Stephen Colbert Gives Nancy Pelosi Platform to Pitch 'Middle Class Jumpstart'

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert did Nancy Pelosi a solid by giving her a platform to promote her effort to energize Democrats to come out in force this November to return the Speaker’s gavel to her grasp.

In the process he also sparked a nationwide run on mind-bleach with a crude joke involving a nude John Boehner. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

On the July 21 Colbert Report, the San Francisco politician hyped her “Middle Class Jumpstart” plan, noting how the “three-pronged plan” will enforce “equal pay for equal work,” will “raise the minimum wage,” and change “tax policy.”

In the former Speaker’s words, the initiative will ensure “all Americans can participate in our prosperity and in an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.” The Comedy Central host responded by asking “how” she could “possibly get this done” when “nothing gets done in Washington.” He then crudely joked, “Do you have naked photos of John Boehner doing something?” Encouraged by the California representative laughing and shaking her head, Colbert continued, “is the tan uniform?”    

The segment closed with Pelosi’s usual tirade against Republicans, proclaiming, “while we were announcing” the initiative “on steps of the Capitol, waving the American flag about the middle class and all that aspire to it, the Republicans were inside with a hearing to sue the President of the United States for enforcing the law.”

Colbert sarcastically responded “why shouldn't you do that? Why shouldn’t--They wanted the president to roll out the Affordable Care Act, you know, swiftly, as they always have wanted.”

See transcript below:

Comedy Central
The Colbert Report
June 22, 2014
11:48 p.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 11 seconds


NANCY PELOSI: Tonight I'm pushing our agenda, Middle Class JumpStart. The heart of it is when women succeed America succeeds.

STEPHEN COLBERT: No offense, madame, listen, no offense but that is implying that women are the middle class. What about the men in the middle class. Haven't you just emasculated them.

PELOSI: No, we're just, we’re getting to that. But what we're saying is the best thing we can do to grow our middle class is to unleash the power of women. Equal pay for equal work. Raise the minimum wage, affordable child care. Going on to men, invest in education to keep America number one, and third keep jobs here in the U.S. with good tax policy, instead of sending them overseas and build roads, bridges infrastructure, broadband in our country so that all Americans can participate in our prosperity and in an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

COLBERT: Okay, alright. We will get to the fact that you're engaging in class warfare in just a moment, okay. You just did it, you just fired a shot across my bow you can’t deny that. Alright how will you get it done though, because nothing gets done in Washington.

PELOSI: That's right.

COLBERT: Nothing gets done in Washington. How can you possibly get this done? What are you going to use? Do you have naked photos of John Boehner doing something? How you could possibly get-- because Republicans-- you got the mental image.

PELOSI: No, I --

COLBERT: And if you do, if you do, is the tan uniform? Nope, all right. How you could possibly get it done?

PELOSI: Win the election. All we need are 17 votes to take back the House for the American people. Or-- .

COLBERT: For the Democrats, not the American people. The Democrats.

PELOSI: The Democrats.

COLBERT: There's a difference. There's a difference. There's a difference.

PELOSI: Well, for them. For issues that help them meet their needs.

COLBERT:: But that would make you Speaker of the House again, probably.

PELOSI: Well, somebody, some Democrat.

COLBERT:: Some, some Democrat wearing a blue linen suit, who cares who it is.

11:57 p.m. Eastern
58 seconds


COLBERT: You launched Middle Class Jumpstart. Is that what it’s called?
 
PELOSI: Middle Class Jumpstart.

COLBERT: Middle Class Jumpstart, last week, when will it be law?

PELOSI: Let me just say this. While we were announcing on steps of the Capitol, waving the American flag about the middle class and all that aspire to it, the Republicans were inside with a hearing to sue the President of the United States for enforcing the law.

COLBERT: Well, why shouldn't you do that? Why shouldn’t--They wanted the president to roll out the Affordable Care Act, you know, swiftly, as they always have wanted.

PELOSI: No, what they wanted was 50 times they voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But they're talking process. We're talking progress, we're talking jobs, they're talking lawsuits.

COLBERT: If the president is being a tyrant, what choice do they have but to take him to court. Obama can always countersue. Everyone in Washington can get mobbed up with lawyers and we'll let Judge Judy decide the entire thing.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.