House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came to the aid of Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren on Sunday by admonishing her opponent, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), for saying “thank God” she did not pay for college by modeling.
Brown’s comment last week “really spoke volumes about really disrespect for women that he may not even realize,” the California Democrat said in a prerecorded interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
Pelosi also expressed empathy during the interview for the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their message that “change has to happen.”
“I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen,” she said. “We cannot continue in a way that does not — that is not relevant to their lives. People are angry.”
Pelosi also snapped back at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) comments that “some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”
“I didn’t hear him say anything when the tea party was out demonstrating, actually spitting on Members of Congress right here in the Capitol, and he and his colleagues were putting signs in the windows encouraging them,” Pelosi said. “But it’s the American system. It’s the democratic system. We don’t all agree.”
The Democratic leader’s comments mark the first time that top House leaders have responded to the Massachusetts Senate race controversy, which started last week when a debate moderator asked Warren how she paid for college.
“I kept my clothes on,” Warren replied, in a nod to Brown’s now-famous naked centerfold photo in Cosmopolitan magazine. Brown has said he modeled to pay for his tuition.
When a local radio host later asked Brown to respond to Warren’s quip, Brown replied, “Thank God.” Democrats and women’s groups immediately expressed outrage, and Pelosi joined the fray Sunday.
“I hope it’s jokey,” she said. “And if it is, then hopefully he will take that comment back. But women know. They hear a comment like that, it tells you a lot about somebody.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.