Flashback: Pelosi Responds with 'Are You Serious?' to Question about ObamaCare's Constitutionality

When Nancy Pelosi was asked in a 2009 press conference about where in the Constitution Congress has the authority to order Americans to buy health insurance, she responded: “Are you serious?” That week, none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news programs deemed Pelosi’s ludicrous response to the question from CNSNews.com worthy of coverage. The news blackout of the then House Speaker’s response isn’t surprising, given that the liberal news media, as documented in this recent MRC compilation, pushed at every point in the debate process for ObamaCare.

The following are the relevant portions from CNSNews.com’s Matt Cover’s October 22, 2009 article about Pelosi curtly dismissing the Constitution’s relevance to ObamaCare:


When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance--a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill--Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
 
Pelosi’s press secretary later responded to written follow-up questions from CNSNews.com by emailing CNSNews.com a press release on the “Constitutionality of Health Insurance Reform,” that argues that Congress derives the authority to mandate that people purchase health insurance from its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce.

The exchange with Speaker Pelosi on Thursday occurred as follows:



CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?"

CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am."

Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a "serious question."
 
“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.