House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called comments reportedly made by male lawmakers to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “absolutely ridiculous” and “disrespectful” but said she does not have similar tales of her early days as a House lawmaker.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is out with a new book, Off the Sidelines, in which she recounts a male senator advising her after her youngest child was born to avoid losing too much weight, telling her, “I like my girls chubby.”
Another lawmaker, this time a House member from a southern state, told Gillibrand, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.”
“It’s just appalling, the statements that Sen. Gillibrand referenced and I’m sorry she had to undergo that because it is degrading, but mostly it’s degrading to the person who made the comment, whether they know it or not,” Pelosi said during an afternoon conference call.
Pelosi said she was never subjected to similar comments when she took office as a House lawmaker at the age of 47, in 1987.
“My experience was a different one,” said Pelosi, the former House speaker. “And certainly when you have the gavel, it’s a different one. My children were in college. Kirsten came in as a young woman.”
Gillibrand, now age 47, took office at age 40 in 2007.
Pelosi said that while she did not hear similar comments, she has “complete confidence” in the veracity of Gillibrand's story.