On Thursday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviewed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about America's dysfunctional government, and Pelosi really faltered. Pelosi had very weak responses during the two most important parts of the interview.
First, here's what happened when talk turned to problems with the Affordable Care Act.
Stewart: I meant more in terms of like we're going to set up a health care web site that is an exchange. People are going to come to it. Why is it so hard to get a company to execute that competently?
Pelosi: I don't know. And ...
Pelosi: As one who — that's my question.
Stewart: Let me get the House Minority Leader, I can ask her. Hold on. What do you mean you don't know? How do you not know?
Although Stewart is generally pretty serious during the political interviews, he couldn't help but burst out in laughing in this rather candid moment. The question Stewart asked — and which a lot of Republicans are asking — was basically: How did this mess happen, and is it not a signal of a larger problem in the adminstration's ability to govern the country effectively?
Throughout the rest of the interview Stewart asks a series of similar questions, all hinting at the fact that the problems that Obama and the Democrats are facing are rooted in deeper issues of foundational problems and possible corruption.
Things start getting good around the three-minute mark:
Second (during the online exclusive portion), the two clashed again over money in politics, and Pelosi really didn't look great this time.
Stewart: The system is corrupt.
Pelosi: The system isn't corrupt. There's corruption in the system, but the system isn't corrupt.
Stewart: It feels to me that the system has been utterly overrun by moneyed interests. I don't think there's any question of that
Pelosi: I understand why you think that ... because the public paints everybody with the same brush.
Stewart: Tell us what we're missing. Tell us what we're missing in terms of the integrity of the process.
Pelosi: What you're missing is the fight that we're having on issues in Washington whether you're talking about protecting the environment, whether you're talking about climate. Scientific evidence shows that we should address this, but Big Oil, Power of Coal money suppresses that, and that money is endless. There's an endless spigot of special interest money weighing in.
Stewart: But that just made my argument.
Pelosi: That's the Republican side.
Stewart: Please, that's unfair. No, that is unfair. To suggest that the Democrats don't take energy money, to suggest that the Democrats don't take money from big corporations in unfair and not true.
You can watch that part of the interview below. The exchange starts just before the six-minute mark.