Pelosi on Biden’s Wife Crack: ‘Lighten Up, Folks’

By Arnab Datta

Aug 23, 2008 6:04pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Arnab Datta report: Speaking to reporters in Denver, Colo., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Sen. Joe Biden’s  Saturday crack about his wife having a doctorate degree. 

"You know what," said Pelosi "I’m going to tell you something: lighten up folks.  We have a planet to save. Nothing less is at stake than civilization as we know it today. The economy of our country, the health of our children, the state of our . . . the deficit and the rest."

"If Sen. Biden thinks that his wife is attractive, that’s a-okay with me," she added. 

Pelosi’s "lighten up" remark and statement of planetary purpose came in response to a reporter’s question about how some of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s disgruntled former female supporters would feel about Sen. Barack Obama’s new running mate jokingly referring to his wife’s advanced degree as "a problem."

"Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you’ll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous," said Biden. 

"She also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem," he added. "But all kidding aside, my Jill, my Jill, my wife Jill and I are honored to join Barack and Michelle on this journey, because that’s what it is, it’s a journey."

Jill Biden, an instructor of English at Delaware Technical and Community College, received her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. 

Pelosi, who is the permanent chair of the Democratic National Convention spoke to reporters from multiple news organizations at a lunch hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. 

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