Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., struggled to drum up support amid her remarks about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on Wednesday, insisting the audience should clap throughout certain parts of her speech.
Joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at the White House to boast about the measure on its one-year anniversary, Pelosi touted what she believes to be benefits of the IRA, which she described as a “remarkable accomplishment.”
Pelosi said there is “no more urgent task than saving our planet,” claiming the issue of climate change is a “health issue,” an “economic issue,” and a “moral issue.”
“It’s a moral issue if you believe as I do that this planet is God’s creation. We have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of it. But even if you don’t, we can all agree we have a moral obligation to ensure strong, healthy, resilient communities for future generations,” she added.
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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act event at the White House in Washington D.C., on August 16, 2023. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Hearing no applause as she gathered her thoughts, Pelosi said to the tranquil crowd, “I think that’s an applause line.”
Later during the speech, while recognizing legislative action taken to address climate change by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Pelosi told the audience once more, “That’s an applause line.”
Waiting and laughing, Pelosi’s statement was met with a round of applause by those in attendance.
Continuing on with the speech, Pelosi also urged the crowd to clap to for House Democrats who worked to pass the IRA.
“Now let’s hear it for the House Democrats,” Pelosi told those in attendance as she motioned for the lawmakers to stand up.
Pelosi’s plea for applause at the White House mirrored a similar request she made last September when she failed to ignite a crowd gathered on the White House lawn. Celebrating President Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act at the time, Pelosi told the audience the same line.
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Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., deliver remarks on the first anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act in the East Room at the White House on August 16, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Appearing alongside Schumer at the event last year, Pelosi said the “landmark law,” which Biden signed last August, is “driving down costs for kitchen table items for America’s working families.”
“Mr. President, thank you for unifying and inspiring a vision of a stronger, fairer, safer future for all our children. Your extraordinary leadership has made this glorious day possible,” Pelosi said.
After a brief moment of silence, Pelosi told the audience “that’s an applause line,” eliciting claps from the spectators.
Pelosi’s comments are reminiscent to a statement made by former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who memorably urged his supporters to “please clap” at a campaign event during the 2016 election.
Back in February 2016, Bush unwittingly became a political trendsetter at a campaign event in New Hampshire.
“I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter but send a signal that we’re prepared to act in the national security interest of this country, to get back into the business of a more peaceful world,” Bush passionately said at the time, subtly swiping at then-Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
Then-Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush addresses a crowd at a town hall event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Feb. 8, 2016. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
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Facing a lengthy silence from the crowd, Bush then said, “Please clap.” The plea from Bush — the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the younger brother of former President George W. Bush — prompted applause and some cheers.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.