Pelosi: Clinton Camp Played Gender Card

House Speaker says perception of "all-boys' club" may be exploited in campaign.

ByABC News
November 5, 2007, 2:39 PM

Nov. 5, 2007 — -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., hasn't been treated differently because she's the only woman in the presidential race, but added that her campaign appears to have been trying to exploit that perception in the wake of last week's Democratic debate.

Pelosi, the nation's first female House speaker, told in an interview that she didn't agree with observers who thought Clinton was drawing particular heat because she's a woman.

"[Sen. Clinton] said it best: They're 'piling on' -- or whatever the words were -- 'because I'm the front-runner.' That's why they're piling on," said Pelosi. "If she was in third place, they wouldn't say, 'Let's go attack a woman.'"

But in distributing a Web video splicing together her opponents' attacks her campaign appears to be exploiting perceptions of Clinton facing down a field of aggressive male challengers, Pelosi said.