Nancy Pelosi blasts media sexism: "What was the day any of you said, 'Aren't you getting a little old, Mitch?'"

The House minority leader called out a reporter for perpetuating a double standard for women in positions of power

Published November 13, 2014 7:20PM (EST)

  (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

As the Democratic caucus decides on congressional leadership positions on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi faces no contest for her post -- but that hasn't stopped speculation about whether she'll remain in the role. During her weekly press conference, Pelosi fired back at a reporter who asked about any plans to step down from her leadership position, questioning whether Sen. Mitch McConnell would ever be asked the same question.

"What was the day that 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?'" Pelosi asked. "Have you ever asked him that question?" She went on:

I don't understand why that question should even come up. I'm here as long as my members want me to be here, as long as there's a reason to be here. I'm not here on a schedule, or anything except a a mission to get a job done. ... It just is interesting, as a woman, to see how many times that question is asked of a woman, and how many times that question is never asked of Mitch McConnell.

Pelosi added that she feels she "has a mission for women" and addressed several other notable disparities in the media's response to her leadership, as opposed to that of McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner. As an example, she cited coverage following the 2006 midterms, when she became the first and only woman ever to be elected speaker of the House.

“I was never on the front of Time magazine, even though I was the first woman to be [speaker]," Pelosi said. "Isn't that a curiosity, that the Republicans win and Boehner is on the front of Time magazine? Mitch McConnell wins and he is on the front of Time magazine. Is there a pattern here? As a woman ... Is there a message here? Is there something that we're missing?"

Watch the clip from Pelosi's press conference below:

By Jenny Kutner

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