Stephanopoulos Twice Refers to Nancy Pelosi as “Speaker”

On Sunday's This Week, George Stephanopoulos not once but twice, referred to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Speaker,” a title she would presumably get if Democrats win back the House this fall. So, a Freudian slip by Stephanopoulos, a one-time staff member for the Democratic House leadership himself when they were in the majority? Before signing aboard the Clinton campaign in 1991, Stephanopoulos was a floor assistant to then-House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.

Interviewing Congressman Tom DeLay, the former House Majority Leader who suggested that if Democrats win control of the House they will pursue impeachment, Stephanopoulos countered: “Democrats are also coming forward with another agenda, Speaker, ah perhaps Speaker Pelosi , she's certainly not the Speaker right now, the Democratic leader Pelosi says...” Then with DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Stephanopoulos asserted to Dean's delight: "You talked about an ethics legislation coming forward in the first hundred days, that was not one of the top four pieces of legislation that Speaker Pelo -- uh, excuse me, I don't know why I've got that stuck in my head today-" Dean chortled: "I'm glad. I like the sound of that George, I like the sound of that!"

Video clip (18 seconds): Real (550 KB) or Windows Media (625 KB), plus MP3 audio (100 KB)

The two slip ups by Stephanopoulos on the May 7 This Week:
To Tom DeLay, after DeLay noted how if Democrats win the House John Conyers will take over the Judiciary Committee and he has promised to launch impeachment hearings:

“He has raised the prospect of impeachment, but the Democrats are also coming forward with another agenda, Speaker, ah perhaps Speaker Pelosi , she's certainly not the Speaker right now, the Democratic leader Pelosi says the Democrats' agenda is going to be four parts and I want to show it.” (On screen: raise minimum wage, prescription drug price control, implement 9/11 Commission recommendations and paying for tax cuts and spending increases.)

To Howard Dean:
“You talked about an ethics legislation coming forward in the first hundred days, that was not one of the top four pieces of legislation that Speaker Pelo -- uh, excuse me, I don't know why I've got that stuck in my head today. Must be reading the current polls-”

Dean, over Stephanopoulos: “I'm glad. I like the sound of that George, I like the sound of that!”

Stephanopoulos: “I'm sure you do, but it's not the case. She is just the Democratic leader. Excuse me.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center