Courtney and Himes Punt on Pelosi; Won’t Endorse Her Now for Another Term as Speaker

It’s been happening around the country, and now here in Connecticut two prominent Democrats appear to be distancing themselves from the Democratic leadership in Washington, namely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  

During a taping of Face the State, when I asked both Congressmen  Jim Himes and Joe Courtney if they would endorse Pelosi for another term as their leader, they balked. 

The two are running for re-election in districts where President Obama’s approval rating has fallen and unemployment is high.  With an electorate becoming increasingly frustrated with Washington, Himes and Courtney are both stressing to voters that they are “independent voices. ”    

Himes is one of roughly three dozen Democrats in the House bucking Pelosi’s call to end the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year, and he talks about that on Sunday’s show.   Courtney supports Pelosi on that issue, but has gone against her wishes on some other votes. 

Dan DeBicella, the Republican running against Himes has been highly critical of the incumbent’s ties with the President and the Speaker.    Ditto for Janet Peckinpaugh, Courtney’s opponent.   

I asked both men about their feelings toward Pelosi.  Here is a condensed preview of our conversation you will see Sunday:  

DH:  Do you think Speaker Pelosi is taking Congress in the right direction?

JH:  I don’t think a lot about Speaker Pelosi.   My job is to represent my constituents…

DH:   If the Democrats hold on to control, do you think Mrs. Pelosi is the best speaker for the House? 

JH:  (brief pause)

DH:  Would you endorse her re-election?

JH:  You know, Dennis, at a time when unemployment is so high I have devoted no time to thinking about whether Nancy Pelosi or Steny Hoyer or anyone else would be the best leader. 

DH:  It seems non-committal,  your support for Speaker Pelosi.  Right now you could say “I’d like to see her re-elected as speaker,”  but you are hesitant. 

JH:  Ha, I haven’t given it an iota of thought.    

Here’s an abbreviated preview of Courtney’s response:

DH:  Would you endorse Nancy Pelosi for another term as speaker?

JC:  If is is a choice between her and John Boehner……it is an easy choice.

DH:  Obviously you wouldn’t vote for a Republican.  Is she the best Democrat to be speaker? 

JC:  Look obviously there is an election to take place and there will be caucuses that will take place and at this point there is no opposition that has materialized. 

DH:  Has she done a good job?

JC:  That is the most thankless job in America…

Although they had some complimentary words about Speaker, their lack of enthusiasm was very noticeable.

Also on Sunday’s show:  Himes called DeBicella “right wing,” Courtney talked about Peckinpaugh’s stance on the sub base, and both men defended their records.   

A programming note:  we had some technical issues with our taping.    A television monitor failed moments before the Courtney interview, so we had to move to the Eyewitness News set.   For the Himes interview you’ll notice the background was orange, rather than the usual aqua because of a lighting malfunction. 

Also, we have some great old film of a presidential visit to Hartford, dug out of the archives. 

See you Sunday at 11AM.

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14 Responses

  1. Typical Joe Courtney …. will not answer a simple question.
    Q: Has Nancy Pelosi done a good job?
    A: from Courtney ‘that is the most thankless job in America’.

    Courtney weak as usual. This question deserves a yes or no answer.

    CAN COURTNEY on Nov 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Don’t forget Joe Courtney has voted 98% of the time with Pelosi, so he must think she’s doing a good job. The voters will have the final say on Nov 2….Can Courtney.

    • 98 percent with Pelosi! He’s got my vote.

      • I’ll help you pack your bags, so you can move to California and be properly represented by Pelosi.

        Bye bye joe….35 days until Nov 2….soooo excited to see joe be fired by his employer….’we the people.’

  3. These two fools are lock, step, and barrel with Pelosi. They need to be voted out.

  4. If you believe that there is a better way and want to do something about it, you can do so here: http://www.40seats.com/ct4.

  5. I am from Hime’s district. He voted for Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and for extending the debt of our fiscal budget knowing full well that a majority of his constituents are against these bills. He is as liberal a congressman we have ever had from this district or is in Congress. Our district is traditionally Republican but Himes won because of Bush Derangement Syndrome. He now realizes that he is in a dogfight and is changing his colors – a true chameleon but only until he wins and then he will turn true uberliberal again.
    He truly does not represent his constituency.

  6. To mooseH who said, “He voted for Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and for extending the debt of our fiscal budget”. The health care bill and the cap and trade bill both would decrease the debt. It’s fact, and no Republicans can argue otherwise, but they who claim that nothing is more important than the debt never seem to recognize what legislation actual does.

  7. Mr. House, your interview with Jim Himes was an absolute disgrace. It was nothing but a Fox News-style hit-job.

    You asked if Himes’ constituents are better off today then two years ago, implying that if they’re not, Jim Himes is to blame. That is ludicrous. You didn’t mention that when Jim Himes came into office, the country had already been suffering through more than a year of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. You didn’t mention that when Jim Himes came into office the American financial system was in meltdown, the first time since 1929. You didn’t tell your viewers that the month that Jim Himes and President Obama came into office, the last month under Bush, that the country suffered its worst job losses in the entire downturn. Obama and Himes took the emergency measures that kept this country from utterly collapsing. The economy has been growing under Himes’ time in office, compared with a dramatic decline in the year before he came to office. But all you did was spew out a slimy, misleading question without any context, insinuating that the downturn was Himes’ fault.

    And your twisted comments about Himes’ views on Pelosi are nothing but dishonest. He said he hadn’t thought about her position, that it isn’t clear if she will continue, or others will seek the chair. Yet you twist that response to fit your right-wing story line. It is nauseating.

    You should be ashamed of what you did in that interview. It can only be considered professional journalism by a hack at Fox News. Shame on you.

  8. Hmmmm Thats the way the system works Janet Peckinpaugh will vote with Boehner None of these congressmen or women are independent They follow the leadership Once the election is over they don’t give a hoot about his or her constituency.

  9. If you watch the full video Himes’ response is different than this article makes it out to be. The fact of the matter is Himes has the most independent voting record of all Congressmen in New England. He has led with a thoughtful approach and his votes have benefited middle-class Farifield County families. Pelosi doesn’t have anything to do with CT-4.

  10. Dennis

    Love your show. Don’t back down on the hard questions. These guys need to be held accountable for their actions.

  11. Some of these posters are delusional. Himes, the most independent member of Congress from New England? Surely you jest? By what standard? He has voted more than 90% in lockstep with Pelosi. His voting record reveals a complete adherence to a far-left agenda, from cap and tax, the porkulus, health care, financial “reform,” card check, etc. He’s also in bed with ACORN, as the CT Post revealed. He deserves to go down in flames along with the other soocialist clones from CT. He has been hostile to the interests of the people of Fairfield County and all Americans who work and pay taxes.

  12. I remember Jim Himes stating that he is voting with Pelosi because he was a freshman legislator and Jim said that he needs her support if he was going to be on the committees that he wanted. We need to remember that Jim Himes was also the vote that called for the recess that enabled Congress go home so now our tax rates will be going up Jan 1. It is time to send Jim back home for good!!

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