House minority leader Nancy Pelosi seemed annoyed today when a reporter suggested that maybe it was time for her to retire.
The California Democrat announced her intention to stay on as House minority leader at a press conference Wednesday, prompting NBC News reporter Luke Russert to ask Pelosi to consider her age.
“Your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership,” Russert told Pelosi in a room packed with reporters. “What’s your response?”
The room turned into a circus, with nearby female lawmakers booing and heckling Russert (for an otherwise honest question) with one shouting “discrimination” at him several times. “Next!” Pelosi shouted.
“Oh, you’ve always asked that question,” 72-year-old Pelosi sarcastically said to Russert. “Except to Mitch McConnell.”
Pelosi is referencing Senate minority leader McConnell, a Republican, who is 70-years-old.
Answering the question more in-depth, Pelosi suggested that Russert’s question had nothing to do with her age, but her gender. “I knew that my male colleagues…had a jump on me because they didn’t have children to stay home [with],” she said. “You got to take off about 14 years from me because I was home raising a family.”
Pelosi called Russert’s question “offensive.”
She also said that she expects female politicians in the future to get a quicker start in their career than she did. “I want women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority would start to count much sooner,” she said.
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) November 14, 2012
Actually, I’m sure there are plenty of Conservatives who would love Harry Reid to retire. Furthermore, I’d like to know whether Pelosi’s comments about “women here [in politics] in greater numbers at an earlier age” is an idea that she supports across party lines.
In any case, below is the video of Russert’s either ageist or sexist question (depending on your prejudices) and Pelosi’s response. What do you think? Is Nancy Pelosi too old for politics? Was Russert’s question fair? Sound off!