CNN's Bakari Sellers: Democratic leadership is 'old and stale'

CNN commentator and former South Carolina state lawmaker Bakari Sellers (D) called Democratic leadership "old and stale" while praising Republicans for having "done a very good job at uplifting a lot of their younger leaders" during a network interview on Tuesday.

The perspective from Sellers, 33, comes after Conor Lamb, 33, running for a congressional seat in Pennsylvania's conservative-leaning 18th District in the western part of the state, recently ran a political ad stating he wouldn't support House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Virginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda  Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE (D-Calif.) in her next leadership bid. 

"I don’t care if I get in trouble for saying this, I’ve been saying it since I’m blue in the face. Our Democratic leadership is old and stale," Sellers told CNN anchor John Berman during a panel discussion. "When you look at the de facto leaders or the leaders of the Democratic Party, from the Joe Bidens to the Bernie SandersBernie SandersPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Sanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan MORE, Elizabeth Warrens, Hillary Clintons, Nancy Pelosis, you go all the way down the list, you look at the leadership, the Chuck Schumers, in both chambers, you see that it is all above the age of 65, all above the age of 70."

"What the Republican Party has done a very good job at is uplifting a lot of their younger leaders," he continued. "The Ted Cruzes, the Marco Rubios, the Nikki Haleys, the Tim Scotts, even the Bobby Jindals when he was running for president. They allowed these young people space to breathe, [Speaker] Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE, and assume leadership posts."

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"In the Democratic Party we have a hard time with our leaders holding on to the mantle and then browbeating those people who choose to challenge them," he concluded. "I’m one to believe that Nancy Pelosi has done an amazing job, but Nancy Pelosi also needs to put in place a succession program so that [Rep.] Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesSinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal LIVE COVERAGE: Biden tries to unify divided House Democrats search for sweet spot below .5 trillion price tag MORE [N.Y.] or many of the other young people in the Democratic Party have an opportunity to lead and bring in some fresh values."

A special election will be held in two week to replace former Rep. Tim MurphyTim MurphyOur approach to schizophrenia is failing Conor Lamb defeats Trump-backed challenger for reelection in Pennsylvania Biden receives endorsements from three swing-district Democrats MORE (R-Pa.). 

Lamb launched the ad after GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone tried to tie him to Pelosi, who has held a seat in Congress for 31 years.

"My opponent wants you to believe that the biggest issue in this campaign is Nancy Pelosi. It's all a big lie," Lamb says in the ad. "I've already said on the front page of the newspaper that I don't support Nancy Pelosi. The real issues are the ones that affect your lives."

Polls show Saccone holding a slight lead in the red district ahead of the March 13 special election, although nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report rated the race as a toss-up on Tuesday.