When Nancy Pelosi announced today that she's staying on as House minority leader, NBC's Luke Russert posed a question about her age (72) that sparked some fireworks at her press conference, notes the Huffington Post:
- Russert: “Some of your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and hurts the party in the long term. What’s your response?”
- Pelosi: As the female lawmakers behind her booed, she said, "Next!" and added, "Oh, you've always asked that question, except to Mitch McConnell!" (The Senate minority leader is 70.)
- Russert: "No, excuse me. You, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn, you're all over 70. Is your decision to stay on prohibiting younger members from moving forward?"
- Pelosi: "Let's for a moment honor it as a legitimate question, although it's quite offensive, but you don't realize that, I guess." After running through her own work to get young lawmakers, especially women, elected to Congress, she summed things up: "The answer is no."
Later, Russert followed up with a tweet in his own defense, notes Mediaite
: "While Pelosi laughed off my Q as age-ist, many House Ds will privately gripe it hurts caucus that all 3 leaders are 70+."