House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accompanied by House women Democrats, announces that she wants to remain as the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)
House Democrats booed NBC's Luke Russert on Wednesday for asking House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) whether her decision to run again for Democratic leader "prohibits the party from having a younger leadership."
Russert's question during a news conference elicited sharp rebukes from the other women House members on stage, including calls of "discrimination!", "boo!" and "wow!"
"You've always asked that question except to [Republican Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell," Pelosi shot back.
"No, excuse me," Russert insisted. "You, Mr. [Minority Whip Steny] Hoyer, Mr. [Assistant Minority Leader James] Clyburn, you're all over 70, is your decision to stay on prohibiting younger leadership from moving forward?"
"So you're suggesting that everybody step aside?" Pelosi asked.
"No, I'm simply saying that delaying younger leadership from moving forward in the House Democratic wing -- " Russert countered.
"Let's for a moment honor it as a legitimate question, although it's quite offensive but you don't realize that I guess," Pelosi said.
She said "the fact is" she has worked tirelessly to get younger people elected to Congress, particularly women, in order for their seniority to kick in much sooner.
Pelosi added that "you've got to take off about 14 years from me because I was home raising a family, getting the best experience of all in diplomacy, interpersonal skill," to applause from her colleagues.
"The answer is no," Pelosi said.