House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed in a recent interview that sexism is behind some of the calls for her to relinquish power in the Democratic Party.
Pelosi, D-Calif., who has faced opposition even inside her party, was asked in an interview with Rolling Stone whether she had ever been “tempted to step away” from her post as House minority leader.
Pelosi responded by suggesting a double standard was at play, compared with men in leadership positions.
“I think some of is it a little bit on the sexist side—although I wouldn’t normally say that,” Pelosi said in the interview. “Except it’s like, really? Has anyone asked whatshisname, the one who’s the head of the Senate?”
Pelosi seemed to forget Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, R-Ky., name, and was reminded by an aide during the interview.
"McConnell," she corrected. "I mean, he’s got the lowest numbers of anybody in the world. Have you ever gone up to him and said, ‘How much longer do you think you’ll stay in this job?’"
Pelosi added, "Nobody ever went up to Harry Reid and said that. Nobody ever says that to anybody except a woman. But it’s a thing."
The comments come as some Democratic lawmakers and candidates speak out against Pelosi's leadership. Just last month, at a candidate forum in New Hampshire, 10 Democratic candidates were asked if they’d support Pelosi for speaker if elected, and only one raised his hand.
In Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb famously vowed earlier this year not to support Pelosi for speaker if the party takes the House – and went on to win a special election in a deep-red district that President Trump carried in 2016 by 20 percentage points.
Since then, numerous Democratic congressional challengers in districts controlled by Republicans have publicly distanced themselves from Pelosi.
Pelosi, though, has no plans to step down.
But she did say that had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the presidency and protected ObamaCare, she “could have happily gone home.”
“Nobody in California gets Potomac Fever, believe me. So it’s not about wanting to be there,” Pelosi explained. “It’s just a question of, ‘Who can fight this man who’s in the White House? Who really knows this territory?’”
She added: “None of us is indispensable, but some of us have more experience and confidence in how to get the job done.”