A New York Democratic Representative staunchly defended beleaguered House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, saying any criticism of her leadership “reflects the sexism” that exists in politics today.

Rep. Joseph Crowley was speaking with MSNBC’s Katy Tur when he blasted fellow Democrats’ cries for Pelosi to step down from her leadership position, saying they were unknowingly taking part in the “vilification” of the former Speaker of the House.

"Nancy Pelosi is a lightning rod. The Republicans use her pretty effectively to rally support among their voters to get them to vote for Republican lawmakers," said Tur. "Are you concerned that she will be a liability for 2018 when Democrats could have a real opening to retake both houses of Congress?"

"I have heard that argument used so many times before," Crowley responded. "I think it really reflects the sexism that still exists in politics today. I think Nancy Pelosi is held to a different standard than others are."

"The vilification of her, in a very sexist way quite frankly, is what's led to this discussion," he added. “Nancy Pelosi is one of the smartest and hardworking members of our caucus, and what we need to be doing right now as a caucus is focusing on the issues that will advance the cause of the American people.

Watch Crowley defend Pelosi above.

h/t Washington Free Beacon