House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem'

House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Did Congress just settle for less than best plan to reform housing finance? MORE (D-Conn.) said during a Friday appearance on CNN that the age of the top three Democrats in the House is problematic as the party seeks to reach out to younger voters.

“The fact that our top three leaders are in their late 70s — I don’t care who those leaders are — that is, in fact, a problem,” Himes, the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, told host Poppy Harlow.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDisclosures suggest rebates and insurers responsible for rising out-of-pocket drug costs Democrats keeping GOP from motivating voters with Trump impeachment threat, analyst says Celebrities, lawmakers wear black to support Kavanaugh’s accuser MORE (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Dems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (D-Md.) and Assistant Minority Leader Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnPelosi dismisses question about support for Speakership as ‘least important’ reporter could ask Pelosi: My following in this country is unsurpassed by anybody House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' MORE (D-S.C.) are all 78 or 79 years old.

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Himes said there is a generational gap that needs to be bridged, and the party will need people "who can speak to people in their 40s, to people in their 20s, no doubt about that.”

The Connecticut Democrat declined to say whether he'll back Pelosi to lead the party following November’s midterms, but offered praise or her leadership. 

“I have not made up a decision because I don’t know who’s running, so you’re not going to get a yes or no out of me today,” he said.

Himes went on to praise Pelosi's "operational capability" and ability to fundraise. 

"I've watched a bunch of Speakers in the House in my relatively short congressional career. I have seen three of them. John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats should be careful what they wish for Blue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? MORE was incapable of controlling his party — he got tossed out. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Jordan wants Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE, incapable of controlling his party," he said of the Republicans from Ohio and Wisconsin, respectively.

"Nancy Pelosi in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, did the impossible. She took a rollicking caucus that included all sorts of people from all over the country  — South, North, white, black, poor, rich —and got the Affordable Care Act passed, got Dodd-Frank passed, got the Lilly Ledbetter bill passed."