Nancy Pelosi on Hillary Clinton, women in politics: 'I never expected anything but a double standard'

Nancy Pelosi on Hillary Clinton, women in politics: 'I never expected anything but a double standard'
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POSTED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 9:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 9:04am

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday if there's a double standard for women in power, Hillary Clinton's felt it.

In an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley, the top House Democrat said, "If Hillary Clinton thinks there is a double standard -- she's been in the main event, and that is a presidential race -- then I respect that."

Pelosi's comments follow remarks Clinton made Thursday at a women's forum in New York, lamenting what she billed as a double standard for women in the workplace. Clinton pointed to the media as being the biggest propagator of that imbalance.

For her part, Pelosi said she "never expected anything but a double standard" though, "I don't know if it's the media or whether people say things that's news that you have to cover."

Pelosi, 74, has represented California for over two decades. She was the first woman to lead a major congressional party, as well as the first female speaker of the House, serving from 2007 to 2011.

"Let me just say as one who has been speaker of the House, I've had to have a very thick skin about every kind of thing that was thrown at me," she said.

Pelosi said women with political aspirations have told her they decide against running for office to shield their families from the intense media scrutiny of a female candidate that men might not face.

Clinton is considered the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination should she decide to step into the 2016 presidential race.

The former secretary of state, first lady and 2008 presidential candidate has been outspoken in recent public appearances about the challenges facing women, particularly those in positions of power.

Clinton appeared at the New York event with International Monetary Fund chair Christine Lagarde.

The two high-profile female political figures participated in a question and answer session where they discussed a wide range of topics, one of which was women pursuing career ambitions.

Both were asked about their respective prospects for higher office -- and both declined to answer.

CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

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