Nancy Pelosi got a little bit heated with Luke Russert when the NBC reporter suggested at a press conference that it might be time for her to pass the baton on to young leaders.
The California Democrat had just announced her intention to stay as House minority leader. ‘Your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership,’ Russert said to Pelosi. ‘What's your response?’ ‘
‘Age discrimination!’ some of Pelosi’s colleagues booed.
‘Oh, you've always asked that question, except to Mitch McConnell!’ Pelosi responded.
Russert tried to press on. ‘No, excuse me,’ he said. ‘You, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn, you're all over 70. Is your decision to stay on prohibiting younger members from moving forward?’
Pelosi responded, ‘Let's for a moment honor it as a legitimate question, although it's quite offensive, you don't realize that, I guess, the answer is no’.
Later, Russert took to defend himself:
While Pelosi laughed off my Q as age-ist, many House Ds will privately gripe it hurts caucus that all 3 leaders are 70+.— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) November 14, 2012