House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed a question about whether the Democratic leadership should feature more young, progressive, and female members, saying, “I am female. I am progressive. What’s your problem?”
Pelosi, responding to a question about Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the highest-ranking Democrat to lose a primary challenge, noted that every district is different, and that she still has the qualities to lead the party. Crowley lost to 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who criticized the congressman as out of touch with his constituents.
“Everyone has all their analysis within hours of the election taking place,” Pelosi, who was the first female House Speaker in U.S. history, told reporters, CNN reports.
“We have to analyze how this — is it because of this, is it because of that. It’s because of a number of things. But within 24 hours we don’t have that analysis,” adding that the race was in a “very progressive district.”
When asked if Democrats should have more leaders that reflect the increasing numbers of young, female and more progressive members, Pelosi said, with a laugh, “I am female. I am progressive. What’s your problem?”
Pelosi, 78, has encountered some criticism from her own party for not doing more to promote young or new Democratic members of the House. Two other members of the House Democratic leadership, Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, are 79 and 77, respectively.
“They made a choice in one district,” she said. “So, let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and this or that within the caucus or outside the caucus. … We have an array of genders, generations, geography and the rest, opinion, in our caucus and we’re very proud of that.”
Pelosi said that Crowley is a “very valued” legislator and praised his “dignity” in conceding, adding “we will miss him.”
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