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Nancy Pelosi Blasts Luke Russert for 'Offensive' Question About Stepping Aside Because She's Old: VIDEO


A question from NBC correspondent Luke Russert was met with boos and cries of  "age discrimination!" at Nancy Pelosi's press conference this morning announcing her decision to stay on as Minority Leader.

Asked Russert:

"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?"

Snapped Pelosi: "You've always asked that question, but not to Mitch McConnell."


She added:

The fact is that everything that I have done in my almost decade now of leadership is to elect younger and newer people to the Congress. In my own personal experience it was very important for me to elect young women. I came to Congress when my youngest child Alexandra was a senior in high school and practically on her way to college. I knew that my male colleagues had come when they were 30. They had a jump on me because they didn't have to, children to stay home. Now, I did what I wanted to do, I was blessed to have that opportunity to sequentially raise my family and then come to Congress. But I wanted women to be here in greater numbers at an earlier age so that their seniority would start to account much sooner. And it wasn't confined to women, though. [...]

You've got to take off of that 14 years for me because I was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all in diplomacy, interpersonal skills. No, the answer is no.


Russert defended himself on Twitter: "While Pelosi laughed off my Q as age-ist, many House Ds will privately gripe it hurts caucus that all 3 leaders are 70+....The longer the top 3 stay, the longer it takes to infuse the caucus with new blood like #GOP did w Cantor, Ryan, McCarthy etc."

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  1. Luke Russert's question was very fair. In fact, it was the elephant in the room. Pelosi is 72, Hoyer is 73 and Clyburn is 72. Those are the top 3 Democratic leaders in the House. You mean we can't carve out at least one spot for a new, fresh perspective?

    Powerful politicans are only concerned with keeping their power.

    Posted by: Isaiah | Nov 14, 2012 1:44:54 PM

  2. Young Republicans think more archaic thoughts than old Democrats.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Nov 14, 2012 1:45:18 PM

  3. Old Age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time!

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 14, 2012 2:21:28 PM

  4. she's younger than Rickety-Old-McCain and he was running for Pres.....

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Nov 14, 2012 2:30:39 PM

  5. Luke Russert has been called a "water carrier" for the GOP House Caucus - he should be on Fox rather than NBC...
    and a Nepotist Prince here:

    He's just a GOP hack...if it weren't so transparent it would be funny...

    Posted by: MikeH | Nov 14, 2012 2:37:39 PM

  6. But these same people would ask a 90 year old, still capable, driver to give up his/her license without batting an eye.

    Posted by: Edd | Nov 14, 2012 2:39:47 PM

  7. Luke Russert is such a little d-bag. While he's out there asking agist questions, why doesn't someone ask him what the chances would have been to have his job at his age if not for the fact that his father was Tim Russert.

    Posted by: Ryan | Nov 14, 2012 2:42:45 PM

  8. Entitled little twerp --- got a job because he had a famous last name, on the back of sympathy of his sold out elitist father --- disgusting comment, disgusting response from him -- just a disgusting example of what passes for the elite social circle today.

    Posted by: rjp3 | Nov 14, 2012 2:43:37 PM

  9. Wait, this is a valid question. I personally think we need an ammendment to have age limits in at least the Senate I mean look at how long Strom was able to espouse his racist views. Pelosi is great on our issues, and many other progressive issues, but I certianly never want to see her as the House Speaker again. She steamrolled her way to the Speaker position to begin with and as a minority speaker has been more of an Obama crony than an effectual opposition. I get the sensitivity towards age but it has some merit as a question.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Nov 14, 2012 3:04:06 PM

  10. Like his father, Luke Russert is a jerk.

    Posted by: PhoneUser | Nov 14, 2012 3:11:45 PM

  11. I love the justification that he was just asking why the Dems don't do what the GOP did and bring in new blood... that just lost the election at every level in an unprecedented drubbing.

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 14, 2012 4:06:00 PM

  12. If you don't like the question, then you should obviously attack the questioner personally. Heard that elsewhere.

    Posted by: Dan | Nov 14, 2012 4:55:27 PM

  13. Kicking people out because they have age and experience is bad policy. Term limits has not improved politics one bit. You end up getting rid of some great people and replacing them with inexperienced people who need years to learn the ropes only to be termed out once they get the hang of it. The examples of Cantor and Ryan only serves to illustrate that younger is not necessarily better.... and can be just awful.

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCA | Nov 14, 2012 6:34:52 PM

  14. Luke who?

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Nov 14, 2012 9:27:20 PM

  15. I wouldn't say she "snapped", but she sure as hell told him straight out that his question was both offensive and stupid -even if he disn't exactly realize why.

    Stop trying to be such a hot shot kid. Let the adults speak.

    Posted by: Natamaxxx | Nov 15, 2012 12:18:09 AM

  16. You've always asked that question, but not to Mitch McConnell.

    Posted by: Rosia Reno | Nov 15, 2012 2:13:16 AM

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    Posted by: Raeann Pennell | Nov 15, 2012 2:13:34 AM

  18. "You've always asked that question, but not to Mitch McConnell."

    Well yeah, because Mitch is man. Obviously. They can grow old and still be powerful. A woman? No they have to be young and pretty.
    Damn double-standard!

    Posted by: robert | Nov 15, 2012 8:58:49 AM

  19. Also, if you ask among journalists, privately they'll say that Luke Russert exists in journalism because of who his father was, not because of any journalistic skills that he himself might have. They also believe that he is not anywhere near the man his father was, and probably never will be--just a young vulture, feasting off the corpse of his father's reputation. And they will not say anything on the record about Luke's alcohol consumption, and whether it is excessive. Not a word.

    Posted by: Sins of the Father | Nov 15, 2012 10:52:35 AM

  20. I will wait to hear him ask that question of Scalia.

    Posted by: Gumbah Justice | Nov 15, 2012 10:57:21 AM

  21. For all of you who are saying that it is offensive to ask someone over 70 to step aside in a leadership role for younger people, I give you Barbara Walters, Jim Lehrer, Bob Scheiffer as examples of brillant people who are well past it yet stay on and block spots for younger more talented people. I dont know what the answer if but if there are few top positions and they are all filled with people who are past it then there is a problem. Look at Reagan. It was way to old for his second term and clearly in the early stages of Altzeimers yet he was protected and reelected.

    Posted by: Liam | Nov 15, 2012 11:02:18 AM

  22. Luke Russert is Exhibit A for the "don't get in over your head being a news reporter just because your dad did a mediocre job every Sunday on Face The Nation but kicked it prematurely and everybody felt sorry for you and gave you a job at NBC even though you probably should be flipping burgers at McDonalds right now" syndrome.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 15, 2012 12:06:35 PM

  23. "Pelosi Blasts Luke Russert". Another misleading Towleroad headline. She calmly answered his question. I would have asked him if he thinks that his getting the job of reporter because of his father has prevented a really talented young reporter from getting that job.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 15, 2012 12:17:54 PM

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