If you’re thinking about telling House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to do some research on an issue, you’re a sexist. How dare you.
At least, that's what Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., thinks. That’s what she told MSNBC host Al Sharpton on “PoliticsNation” late Monday regarding a confrontation between Pelosi and Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., last Friday. Marino had told Pelosi to "do the research" on how she handled immigration as speaker, which made Pelosi cross the aisle to confront Marino.
Asked for her reaction to what she described as a personal attack on Pelosi, Schakowsky called Marino “sexist.”
“I would say that it's sexist and that it was patronizing,” Schakowsky said. She then deepened her voice as if to mock Marino, and repeated his own words: “Do the research, Madame Leader.”
On Friday, the House of Representatives debated an immigration bill that sought to provide $694 million in aid to combat the current surge of illegal immigrants crossing the border, deport those who have already crossed and remove the Obama administration’s ability to decide who gets deported and who does not.
During the debate, Marino accused Democrats of failing to act on immigration when they had control of Congress.
“Under the leadership of the former speaker, and under the leadership of their former leader, when in 2009 and 2010 they had the House, the Senate and the White House and they knew this problem existed, they didn’t have the strength to go after it back then,” Marino said. “But now they’re trying to make a political issue out of it now.”
Pelosi took the unusual step of literally crossing the aisle, finger wagging, to confront Marino and inform him that he was lying and that Democrats passed the Dream Act when they controlled Congress. It isn’t clear exactly what Pelosi said as she crossed, but Marino answered into the microphone.
“Yes it is true,” Marino told her. “I did the research on it. You might want to try it. You might want to try it, Madame Leader. Do the research on it. Do the research. I did it. That’s one thing that you don’t do.”
The day’s designated speaker, Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., informed Marino that he should address his comments to the House. Marino responded, “It works both ways” and urged Congress to pass the bill.
On Monday, Marino appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the confrontation with host Steve Doocy.
“I’m not afraid to speak up. I’m a street fighter,” Marino said. “And I’m not going to continue to have someone belittle and make statements that aren’t true and I’m going to stand up and fight for my constituents.”
Back on Sharpton’s program, Schakowsky told the host that Marino “got exactly what he deserved,” although it’s not clear what that meant.
“And then for him to claim, 'I was the tough guy. I'm a street fighter.' ” Schakowsky said, in a mocking tone.
“And talking to her in that condescending way. I am really offended,” Schakowsky added. “And I was proud of her for marching over. And by the way, she did it after the microphones were off.”
Sharpton had accused Republicans of not caring about the facts, but apparently Schakowsky didn’t either. It’s clear on the video that Pelosi was already crossing the aisle before Marino was finished speaking. And the microphones were still on (you can tell by the fact that Marino’s response can be heard).
Marino’s initial complaint was that Democrats didn’t address immigration in 2009 or 2010. The Dream Act wouldn’t have solved or even helped the current border crisis, as it was designed to provide a path to citizenship for children who had already been brought to America as minors and had been living in the country for five years before the bill was passed.
That wouldn’t have stemmed the rush of new child immigrants coming in to the country and would have done nothing to secure the border.