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Nancy Pelosi Defends Staying on as Dem Leader After House Loses

Pelosi Irked Over Question About Her Tenure As Party Leader 1:26

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended her decision to run for the top Democratic spot in the House, Thursday, despite her party’s double-digit House losses in the midterm elections last week.

“I don’t understand why that question should even come up,” Pelosi told reporters when asked if she would step aside. “I am here as long as my members want me to be here. As long as there is a reason to be here.”

The House Democratic leader – who is the only female to have ever served as House speaker – claimed there was a sexist undertone to the question, which was asked by a female congressional reporter from CBS News.

“What was the day when any of you said to Mitch McConnell when they lost the Senate three times in a row?… ‘Aren’t you getting a little old, Mitch. Shouldn’t you step aside?’ Have you ever asked him that question?” Pelosi, 74, fired back.

Pelosi added, “It just is interesting to me as a woman, to see how many times that question was asked of a woman and how many times that question is never asked of Mitch McConnell.”

The comments come just hours after 72-year-old McConnell was elected by Senate Republicans as their incoming majority leader.

The House Democratic caucus will likely vote Tuesday for their leadership elections and despite some unhappiness within the caucus, Pelosi -- along with the other top leadership – are expected to easily win re-election.