By Mike Lillis - 01-20-17 11:19 AM EST
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday laid out a simple blueprint for how she expects Democrats to work with the incoming Trump administration.
"Look," she said, "to how we worked with President George W. Bush."
In an interview with MSNBC, Pelosi noted that the Democrats won the House majority in 2006 and fought Bush tooth and nail on issues like the Iraq War and Bush's effort to privatize Social Security. Trump, she suggested, should expect the same opposition if he tries to undermine the federal programs Democrats have spent years championing.
But on a host of other issues, Bush and the Democrats were able to overcome ideological differences and enact major pieces of legislation. The list includes the Wall Street bailout, a sweeping energy bill - "He wanted nuclear, I wanted renewables, we had a big bill," she said - and a tax package.
"He wanted tax rebates for the wealthy; we said it had to be refundable to poor people," she said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" from inside the Dubliner pub in Washington. "[It was] one of the most progressive tax bills that we've ever passed."
"Our example is one where we have said, 'We disagree here, let's find our agreement elsewhere,' " Pelosi said.
Trump's populist positions on a host of issues, including trade, infrastructure and entitlements, leave plenty of opportunity for the incoming administration and the minority Democrats to work together - if Trump can convince the majority Republicans to bring those measures to the floor.
The two sides are off to a rough start, however, as scores of Democrats are boycotting Friday's inauguration, many of them to protest Trump's recent attacks on Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
Lewis, a civil rights icon, has said he deems Trump an "illegitimate" president because his campaign was possibly aided by Russian hackers. Trump responded by accusing Lewis of being "all talk" and "no action."
Pelosi on Friday was quick to note that the investigations into potential ties between Trump and the Kremlin are ongoing, while emphasizing that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, won the popular vote by a tally of millions.
She also pointed out that some Republicans boycotted the inaugurations of President Obama.
"I keep asking for the numbers ... and there are a number of them, although they say they don't have the records," she said.
But Pelosi stopped short of joining Lewis in characterizing Trump's victory as illegitimate.
"A lot of people think that, and he gave expression to it. And if it were anybody but John Lewis, it would be a different story," she said.
"But nonetheless, we go forward," she said. "He's elected by the Electoral College. He's there."