House Democratic leaders are circling the wagons around Nancy Pelosi.

During a Thursday appearance on MSNBC, Pelosi deputy Rep. Joseph Crowley, the Democratic Caucus chairman, asserted a female anchor’s question that was critical of the House Minority Leader was sexist, merely because Pelosi is a woman.

“The Democrats obviously want to retake the House and, if they can, the Senate as well in 2018,” Katy Tur said to Crowley.

“Nancy Pelosi is a lightning rod. Republicans use her pretty effectively,” she continued as Crowley appeared to grow agitated, raising his eyebrows and letting out an audible sigh.

“Rallying support among their voters, getting them to vote for Republican lawmakers. Are you concerned that she will be a liability in 2018 when Democrats could have a real opening to retake both houses of Congress?” Tur asked.

“You know, Katy, I’ve heard that argument used so many times before and I think it really reflects the sexism that still exists in politics today,” Crowley responded.

“I think that Nancy Pelosi is held to a different standard than others are,” he claimed.

“The vilification of her in a very sexist way, quite frankly, is what’s led to this discussion,” he said.

Crowley went on to assert that Pelosi “is one of the smartest, hardest working members of our caucus.”

On Thursday, Rep. Linda Sanchez, another woman, called for new Democratic leadership and effectively for the ouster of Pelosi.

“We do have this real breadth and depth of talent within our caucus and I do think it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders and I want to be a part of that transition,” Sanchez said on CSPAN.