Pelosi: It's about the war

House speaker says she'd "probably" advocate Bush's impeachment if she weren't a member of Congress.

Published July 31, 2007 2:18PM (EDT)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked at a breakfast this morning if she supports a move to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: "Well, I would like us to stay focused on our own agenda for this week."

Pelosi has called for Gonzales' resignation but seems wary that too much focus on the attorney general will feed into a public perception that congressional Democrats are too focused on partisan politics. Better to focus on healthcare, energy and other pocketbook issues first, she said, than to go after the abuses of the Bush administration.

"What we want to do is show accomplishments, then say, 'OK, we've made this difference, now let's pay attention to these issues," Pelosi said.

As for the low esteem the public seems to have for the Democrat-controlled Congress already? Pelosi said it's about a lot of things, including the failure to agree on an immigration bill, but mostly about Congress' failure to end the war in Iraq. She believes the American people are saying, "'Just do it. You have the support of the public to end the war. Just do it.' I'm with them."

Pelosi said that the House will "pass judgment on the conduct of this war" every week, and that she'll press her case with the president in a meeting Tuesday night. The problem, she said, is the Senate, where too many members are intent on "making sure the president is not put on the spot."

So what about impeaching George W. Bush? Pelosi said that any effort to do so would divide the country and that she isn't sure what the odds of success would be. But she said that if she weren't the speaker and weren't in Congress, she'd "probably be advocating" Bush's impeachment herself.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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