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Voter to Pelosi: Isn’t It Time for Most of These Politicians to Return to the Private Sector?
‘Should I take personally?’

TRANSCRIPT:

CUOMO: “I have something for you along these lines. You gave us a good segue there, Madam Leader. I want to bring in Mary Pat Linnan —“
PELOSI: “Hi, Mary.”
CUOMO: “— retired, lives in Maryland. Mary Pat, what is your question? Beautiful scarf you have on tonight.” 
LINNAN: “Thank you. It’s from Ethiopia.” 
PELOSI: “Ethiopia.”
LINNAN: “Leader Pelosi, quorum.us tells us that more than half of the senators running for re-election this year are over 65 years old. If they win, their term of service will be six years. Their constituents are about 20 years younger. Isn’t it time for some members to return to private service and to encourage younger folks to run for office, so they have —“ (Applause) [crosstalk]
PELOSI: “Should I take that personally?” (Laughter)
CUOMO: “You’re not in the Senate. So you’re good.” 
PELOSI: “Let me — let me say this. Two things. First of all, what I said earlier about money in — if you reduce the role of money in politics and increase the level of civility in politics, you will have more women, more young people, more people of color to elected office. (Applause)
And — and nothing is more wholesome than that. The fact is that Congress has a seniority system, so people in different regions want to make sure that the people who represent them are in a senior position to help express their views, the — the concerns of their region. But I’ll take it personally and say that as a woman who came to Congress later because I raised my five children before I decided that — to accept the opportunity to run for Congress, so lots of times women are a bit older because they have been raising their children, now I’m happy because lots of young people, young women are running with young children, and we’re trying to make it as family-friendly as possible. But I don’t — for me, I don’t think age has that much to do with it. I think it’s about — and especially as a woman, I — you know I say I want women to know that whether they’re going from college to Congress — well, they can’t really do that, but 25 years old to Congress, or in my case, from the kitchen to Congress after my kids were grown, that whatever you’re bringing, it’s new and fresh and different because you’re a woman. And that is with all the respect in the world for our male colleagues, but the important thing is to have the mix at the table, at the table. So I think that, again, reduce — the whole — as I said to you earlier, the whole environment is changing. These young people are registering, kids, 17 years old who are not even quite old enough to vote but will be by the time of the election. The women march and now they’re running. And now they’re running. And so there’s a whole — people say to me, how are you going to use all that talent? I say, no, how are they going to use us? How are we going to incorporate their fresh enthusiasm? I’ve never seen mobilization like it. And everybody has to justify their existence to their constituents, and that’s the democratic way. But, again, don’t — some members come to Congress older and they’re newer. Some people have been there 20 years and they’re younger, but they just got a younger start. So, anyway, that is all to say, we want to take the talent, the experience, the values where they are, and we want to have the mix in all of it. But if you have a problem with somebody who’s older, run for office. Run for office. I say that again, run for office.”


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