Pelosi wants nomination decided

May 30, 2008 6:50:57 PM PDT
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was in the Bay Area Friday drawing a line in the sand for the Democratic candidates. She's also challenging Republican wisdom about the surge in Iraq.

Pelosi spoke forcefully about how the Democratic primary race should end. She is sending a message to the Clinton campaign that carrying the fight to the convention would be a mistake.

Pelosi still isn't taking sides, but she made it clear the nomination should go to whoever has the most delegates.

"I think that any taking of this to the convention would be sort of a scorched earth approach and I don't recommend it," says Pelosi.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has said it would be willing to take the fight for more delegates to the Credentials Committee. But Pelosi said Friday that challenge would be pointless because any changes would have to be voted on by the delegates.

"Whoever has the magic number of delegates will not only win the nomination, but will win any vote on the seating of delegates at the convention. So what would be the point?" questions Pelosi.

Without mentioning Clinton specifically, Pelosi said she understood how frustrating it must be to lose the nomination after trying so hard to win it.

"I admire the enthusiasm of those who want to take this to the limit. I think if we take this to the convention it will harm our chances to win in November and I think that their enthusiasm is wonderful for them. It's a luxury I can't afford," says Pelosi.

On the war in Iraq, this week Senators John McCain and Barack Obama have traded shots over whether or not the surge is working.

Clearly, Senator Obama made exactly the wrong judgement about whether the surge would succeed," says McCain.

"The whole purpose of the surge was to provide a period of security for the government of Iraq to make the political changes necessary for reconciliation in their country," says Pelosi.

Pelosi says that hasn't happened and the war is squandering U.S. resources.

Friday afternoon, San Francisco-based veterans assistance organization Swords to Plowshares paid tribute to the 458 Californians who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pelosi told the vets Congress is ready to pass a new G.I. bill that will pay for college.

"Earlier this week the president said that this generation of soldiers is like the greatest generation that fought World War II. If that is so, we say to the president then treat them with a G.I. bill just as we did with the veterans of World War II," says Pelosi.

President Bush has threatened to veto the new G.I. bill fearing that would encourage an exodus from the military.

On Saturday, the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committe will meet in Washington, D.C. to decide whether to seat delegates from Michigan and Florida. Clinton's supporters are planning protests.


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