WASHINGTON – A reporter for NBC News was booed at a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday for asking Nancy Pelosi to respond to those who think she should step aside as leader of the House Democrats because she’s too old.
Reporter Luke Russert of NBC asked the 72-year-old Pelosi if she’s keeping younger talent from rising by staying in the leadership position. Pelosi was flanked by about 30 women of the Democratic caucus who let out audible boos at the question.
“Let’s for a moment honor it as legitimate question, although it’s quite offensive that you don’t realize that I guess,” Pelosi said to Russert.
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Pelosi used the news conference to announce that she plans to run again for Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, ending speculation that the California Democrat would resign from the leadership position following last week’s elections.
The exchange began when Russert asked: “Some of your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and it hurts the party in the long term. What’s your response?”
The women flanking Pelosi groaned and yelled out, “age discrimination.”
Referencing the 70-year-old Republican leader of the Senate, Pelosi responded: “Oh you’ve always asked that question, except to Mitch McConnell?”
Russert protested, pointing out that she along with the two other top Democrats in the House are all over 70. “[Does] your decision to stay on prohibit younger leadership from moving forward?” he asked.
Pelosi went on to argue that, “everything that I have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect younger and newer people to the Congress.”