By Daniella Diaz, CNN
The violent attack on Paul Pelosi drove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s decision to leave House Democratic leadership, with the family deciding while in an intensive care unit with him that they were “done,” their daughter detailed in an in-depth interview with CNN on Tuesday morning.
“You have to make sense with this in your mind. You have to make sense with the fact that there’s an 82-year-old man asleep in his own bed and gets attacked in his own home. And I don’t care how you vote. I don’t care what your political affiliations are. That’s just not right in any way,” Alexandra Pelosi told CNN’s Don Lemon in an exclusive interview on “CNN This Morning.”
“It’s just, at some point, you’re just done. After my father was attacked, that was it. We were sitting in the ICU, and we were just saying ‘We’re done,'” she added.
Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker, spent years filming her mother behind the scenes for “Pelosi in the House,” her film out Tuesday on HBO Max. Nancy Pelosi announced last month that she would step down from her leadership post after leading House Democrats for two decades. The decision came just weeks after a male assailant attacked her husband with a hammer at the couple’s San Francisco home.
The documentary details how Nancy Pelosi stayed on message as leader of the House Democratic caucus amid several bills where she needed to whip votes, including passing the Affordable Care Act and securing her own votes for speaker — twice. It focuses in part on the horror behind-the-scenes as Nancy Pelosi and her staff hid on January 6, 2021, from the US Capitol rioters, many of whom broke into the California Democrat’s office searching for her and trashed it.
Alexandra Pelosi said she believed the toxic rhetoric from the GOP contributed to what eventually led to her father’s attack in the early hours of October 28 and her mother’s decision to not pursue a leadership post in the next Congress.
Responses from some Republicans in the wake of the attack, she said, were “unforgivable.”
“What I do know is that how the Republicans responded to this attack was so unforgivable. The jokes. You saw the jokes. The governor of Virginia, the wannabe governor of Arizona, congressmen, were making jokes about an 82-year-old man getting attacked in his own home. I don’t understand how that’s forgivable,” she said, referencing remarks made by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
“So, for me, the toxic media landscape is so hard to try — I don’t know. I just, I don’t know how to talk about this without going so dark.”
Youngkin eventually sent a handwritten note apologizing to Nancy Pelosi for his remarks,
“If I watched Fox News, I would hate Nancy Pelosi too, I get it,” Alexandra Pelosi said. “You don’t have to support her politics. You have to at least say, okay, she’s spent 35 years doing this. Her husband, it looks like Frankenstein over here. She’s done. She’s done.”
Alexandra Pelosi said that 35 years ago, her mother asked her if she could run for office and that she gave her blessing. After the attack on her father, she looks back on it differently.
“She says, ‘Mommy has a chance to run for Congress, but I won’t do it unless I have your permission.’ And I said, ‘Mother get a life.’ All right? What teenage girl doesn’t want their mom out of the house? Go, right? So, there we are on the ICU and I say to her, ‘if I had known 35 years later where this was going to end up, I never would have given you my blessing to run in the first place.'”
She added: “Now my father, coming out of all that he’s been through, says to me, ‘You can’t say that. You have to say if you came to me today in this toxic social media environment, you would not give your permission. But you can’t say the last 35 years of your life, I’m going to erase that because of this one incident.’ So that’s what we’re wrestling with.”
“Was this all worth it? For my family? What we went through? Was it worth it?” she told Lemon. “Now, my parents would say yes, my father, after all he’s been through, he would say yes. And my mother, of course, she would say, ‘I’m proud of my wounds.’ Because she’s proud of the life that she’s lived. But for the family, the families are the ones that pay the highest price for this kind of life.”
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