Fiorina: Media belittle and demean Palin

September 3, 2008


ST. PAUL – Carly Fiorina and other women supporters of Sen. John McCain blasted “the media” for what they called sexist coverage of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and denied that the Republican party had inflicted its own sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton.

fiorina.jpg“The Republican Party  will not stand by while Sarah Palin is subjected to sexist attacks,” Fiorina said.

She singled out a column by The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd that referred to Republicans’ “tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West” as a glaring example of gender stereotyping.

When asked what was sexist about examining Palin’s experience or judgment, Fiorina said she objected to the media “trying to portray her as a show horse, not a work horse.”

She also denied that Hillary Clinton had been subjected to sexist attacks by Republicans, drawing a few sarcastic chuckles from the audience.

Fiorina said she had stepped up to defend Clinton by going on television to express her outrage over sexism.

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn thought the media was to blame for Republicans not doing more to support Clinton, arguing that, “Had we been more vocal, you all would have chosen not to report it.”


However, not everyone in the McCain camp appeared to be on the same page. When asked on Fox News whether there was any sexism in the reaction to Palin, Meg Whitman, McCain’s national campaign co-chair, said, “I wouldn’t say there really has.” 
“I actually think it’s completely fair for the media to vet Sarah Palin, just as they did Barack Obama, and John McCain and everyone else who’s running for office,” she said. “I mean you are running for the second highest office in the land.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

– Photo credit: REUTERS/Rick Wilking. Carly Fiorina speaks at a press briefing at the Republican National Convention, Sept. 3, 2008.


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Someone needs to pull the plug on such hate-mongerering sites as HuffPo and The Daily Kos. The level of malevolence there is frightening and those who support them should be ashamed. Don’t be surprised if the MSM experiences a backlash from many honorable Americans on this issue; I am more committed than ever to seeing John McCain and Sarah Palin elected. Our country’s future is at stake in more ways than one.

Posted by RR/FL | Report as abusive

I can only imagine what would the Dobson’s and Robertson’s of the world would say if it were Barack’s daughter!! Republican party has a set of separate laws from themselves – corruption is OK as long as it only
benefits other Republicans, ear-marks are OK if only it goes to Red States and Red Constituencies, blasphemy and satanic acts are OK if only done by republicans and their children. The people who support Republicans needs to think one more time what they are supporting and where their contributiosn are going.

Posted by Guy From LA | Report as abusive

Pointing out that a person is vastly under-qualified to be the vice president of the united states is now greeted as sexism?


Sarah Palin won second place in Miss Alaska.
She has only an undergraduate degree in sports journalism from the University of Idaho
She was a mayor of a town of 6000 that nearly recalled her from the position.
She has been governor for less than two years of the second-smallest state in the nation.

This is not sexism… it’s reality.

Posted by eric | Report as abusive

Can’t believe they keep trotting out that failure, Carly Fiorina. If McCain somehow wins, she and Phil Gramm will finish off the US economy in no time.

Don’t buy this “sexism” stuff, its just the latest spin from the Repubs to stifle any criticism of the far-right looney they selected for a VP.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

–Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn thought the media was to blame for Republicans not doing more to support Clinton, arguing that, “Had we been more vocal, you all would have chosen not to report it.”–

Oh, THAT’S why Republicans didn’t rush to Hillary’s defense against sexist Fox News coverage. Of course, of course…how could I not have seen that myself?

Posted by Lou | Report as abusive

Wow, all of a sudden the Republicans are femnists! What a magical transformation! And in only a week’s time!

And the Rove playbook is back in use.

Imagine the audacity of the press to vigorously investigate Palin, who may stand a breath away from the most powerful office in the land—next to her 70+ year old partner who has had cancer, oh, like FIVE times.

Last time the Rove style pushback intimidated the press, we got into a lovely war when the media failed to do a tough investigative job.

Grow some rocks, Rebublicans. You are embarrassing. I thought you guys and gals were the “tough” ones.

Posted by tdub | Report as abusive

I was ahillary supporter, but i will be backing Mcain and Palin. I do not like the dirty way the media is doing palin because she is a women. Some people need to get some class! It is dirty to attack a women through her children! Mcain has my vote and i was a democrat! Tracie Gibbie

Posted by Tracie Gibbie | Report as abusive

It’s an interesting position to have women suggest that moms and dads are interchangeable. The truth is, in most divorces, mom gets primary custody – even when she is working full-time. This is because our society and courts support the idea that a mom is more equipped to nurture and rear the children than a dad.

If Palin succeeds in becoming our first female Vice President, this could send a message that says “moms and dads are truly equal when it comes to raising our children, and finally begin to put cracks in that Glass Ceiling that says “divorcing fathers should just get weekends.”

Posted by Shelly Gates | Report as abusive


The GOP put her on the ticket to play the gender card in their quest for the symbolic appeal. Palin is a lightweight — in fact, just another business-as-usual corrupt Republican. McCain (aka the Hanoi Songbird)is demented and Palin is just trailer trash.

Who wants this dynamic duo to do anything but go home?


Posted by wendy tao | Report as abusive

I resent this profoundly. Where does Fiorina get off? A democracy depends mightily on a free press, and ours is doing its job. Thanks to the press, we have learned that Palin slashed funding for teen mothers in her state, aggressively pursued pork barrel projects and has an abysmal record protecting the environment. She has advocated teaching creationism in public schools, and she has never been out of this country. We have the right to know those things. Perhaps Fiorina would prefer life in China, where neither independent press coverage or dissent is tolerated?

Posted by Rebecca RL | Report as abusive

I believe that most voters (and I do mean most) are intelligent, informed and honest people. When they compare the direction these 2 candidates focus on in their debates, speeches and statements of policy they will bring to a new administration, it is quite evident who is the right candidate for the position.

When watching the 2 of them for signs of prudent, decisive actions within their canmpaigns, I noticed that Obama tends to respond to McCain’s remarks in a susinct, straight forward manner. McCain on the otherhand, tends towards more of an attack mode.

Issues are the main focus of this election year. How can we not believe that.

Choreographing this latest media release by the McCain campaign, shows us how desperate they are in getting votes from the Pro-Hillary women. In my opinion, these women had passion and a firm belief in their candidate. They had a right to be angry when their candidate lost. The conviction they had can not be ignored. If Hillary were to reappear on the presidential election stage in 4 years, they may very well be a movement to carry her through to the presidency.

Don’t believe for a moment that these intelligent woman are so blind that they don’t understand what the McCain campaign is trying to do here. They believe in the issues that Hillary espoused and are not going to insult Hillary by allowing McCain to ‘use’ them in attaining his agenda.

McCain wanted ‘Joe” and he couldn’t get him. So what does he do? Well, he is desperate and knows that he needs the vote of the ‘PUMA’s’ and other supporters of Hillary. His campaign advisors formulate a plan at the last minute (and I do mean the last minute – vetting in one day?) and decide to pick a woman for a running mate. I would be appalled if I were a Hillary supporter. To consider them ( Hillary supporters) to be ‘stupid’ enough to fall for this and insult their candidate with such a ploy is unimaginable! McCain’s blunder, was in not taking the time early on to vet her properly. Yes, they didn’t think that Palin’s family issues would affect their campaign, because they knew that Obama couldn’t go after her. And let’s be honest here folks, Obama is a family man and declaring that ‘Family is out-of-bounds’ was an honest feeling on his part. Although, I do believe that Biden will go after her on a number of issues, he certainly will not go after her family (he too is a family man). But, you will see this as the campaign moves on.

In closing I will say: I am a veteran (62 years young) and would have supported McCain, but I am also an American with ‘family values’ that I will not give up for the sake of seeing someone violate those values in using another family with values, to achieve his personal agenda. So much for McCain’s view on ‘policies’. I have decided over this past weekend to support Obama. I thank the dear Lord for letting me see the truth. God bless all Americans and may he giude your concience in this election year.

Posted by germanguy | Report as abusive

This role reversal – Republicans expressing outrage against viral anti-Republican websites – is quite entertaining. Apparently those protesting have not read their own websites which continue to pour out vile accusations against Obama and company – his terrorist ties, his education in Islamic extremism, blah, blah, blah.

How does it feel getting a taste of your own slanderous medicine? Only a taste as what the Daily Kos is dishing out isn’t even close to what conservative hate sites have been dishing out for years . . .

Posted by Jim Brinkmeyer | Report as abusive

The Republican party would like nothing better than not admitting any press while Sarah Palin makes her official debut tonight. (Freedom of the press? They hate the media.) Maureen Dowd tells it like it is, which is why she’s still persona non grata with the Bushes.

And if Carly Fiorina thinks Sarah Palin is as capable as she, Hewlett-Packard must have been paying Carly too much.

Maureen Dowd tells it like it is, which is why she’s still persona non grata with the Bushes.

Posted by Elinor Lynch | Report as abusive

It would be interesting to hear what the republicans are saying to themselves when they are not being quoted.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

Fiorna – we have rights to question who we elect to office. Ordinary people like myself cannot ask questions to the candidates directly so the media is our voices. Get of this crap and stop trying to use sexism because it would not work. The media is doing a fantastic job of informing the public of the answers to questions we cannot ask of the candidates.

To the media – please continue with what you are doing and don’t stop because of the GOP’s fear mongering. McSame know he picked the wrong person in Palin so why don’t you just admit to it and cut the crap. The American people are too smart for your BS.

Posted by ob08 | Report as abusive

It’s fun playing the gender card against you people. You don’t belong in the USA anyway. I here Putin is looking for a few socialist reporters to replace the ones he had shot. If palin were a commy dem you socialist would be pushing here the way you push the “O’messiah”
This is fun to watch. When Sarah Palin gets done with you lefties you’ll know first hand what a good old fashion ass kickin really feels like.

I’d buy tickets to that for sure!

Posted by chance | Report as abusive

typical republicans-
expressing ‘outrage’ over something that is not happening, so the issues aren’t discussed.

Posted by oscar t | Report as abusive

It was pretty clear to both sides Palin was chose, in part, to draw disgruntled Hillary Democrats to the GOP.
Let’s be honest…McCain overlooked many, more qualified candidates that happened to be male and chose Palin.

Palin stood up and said she was ready to shatter the glass ceiling “for women”!

That is sexism.

Posted by William M | Report as abusive

Women in politics are submitted to the most abusive double standard by the media. This is not new news to anyone.

The first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. So, dear media, from Kos to US to the Washington Post: Get over the denial, fess up, and get some help.

Posted by newton31 | Report as abusive

Carly always did do her best work with a shovel. When things went wrong at HP it was always someone else’s fault.

Glad to see she hasn’t lost her touch.

Posted by Doug Chance | Report as abusive

As a responsible voter, I am very interested in any information available with regards to Palin. Her name was made public by the GOP less than one week ago, and we are to vote in 2 months. What could be expected with the surprise element of the choice McCain made? I would feel the same way had McCain chosen a relatively unknown male for this position. As was made evident 8 years ago, every vote is extremely important and the process should be taken very seriously. It belittles our democracy to think we should blindly chose our leaders based solely on party affiliation.

Posted by S Hughes | Report as abusive

I can’t help but feel that Republicans are promoting the UNWED TEENAGE PREGNANCY issue to make some twisted pro-life point. This is irresponsible. Most people cannont afford a teenager with a child, much less the teenager being mature enough. Unwed teenage pregnancy is not good and this is a bad message to send to nations hormonal teens.

Posted by Gnostic | Report as abusive

Hillary broke the glass celing, Sara is gonna grind the pieces into dust. Its a brave new world and the lib/left better get used to the fact that right wingers are able to change depending on the conditions on the ground. The dogma and political correctness of the left make them unfit to lead.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

I’ve voted Democrat for every president since 1972,
and was teetering for McCain because of a shared theater of service…but this had done it. I’ve never seen such a media-involved ambush of a candidate, even when Karl Rove was pulling his stunts. It’s sick – the family and personal attacks carried over and over by the media…and I’m a journailsm graduate myself, who worked in the vocation for 11 years. Bye-bye Barack.

Posted by LaLiveOak | Report as abusive

(3:31) Tracie, where do I start? The McCain camp put out the information about Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy! Apparently, you hadn’t noticed the Republican treatment of Hillary. Or, how about McCain’s joke last month about why Chelsea is so ugly? If you cared about the issues that Hillary represents, there’s NO WAY that you’d vote for a conservative pro-lifer like Palin. If you just wanted to vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, well, then YOU are the sexist! What does it matter? You’re a troll pretending to be a former Hillary supporter. You would have voted Republican anyway, so stop pretending.

Posted by bartonizer | Report as abusive

The media isn’t “doing Palin because she’s a woman”, the media is DOING ITS JOB: to report on the campaign’s vice presidential pick, Gov Sarah Palin. Especially since little information was provided by McCain’s campaign, and that which was provided was all flattering ‘talking points’and not particularly truthful.

Whatever heat the Republicans are getting right now on Palin is of their own seeking. They should have vetted her properly, and should be giving the voting public reliable and truthful facts about her now.

Admirable though she is, she is not who they have set her up to be and, thank god, we voters have the media otherwise we’d still be in the dark about all the dubious facts that are leaking out.

Posted by Annemarie | Report as abusive

Unfortunately, there’s just enough of a germ of truth to the sexism thing to give it legs.

Current morality says that it’s okay for both husbands and wives to spend time in the workplace. If you don’t support that view, you’re out of the mainstream. So don’t jump Palin because she’s a woman bailing out on her kids. She’s doing no more or less than millions of other women.

The problem here isn’t about Palin’s femininity; it’s about a handful of other important issues:
– Don’t we currently have a president that makes uninformed, gut decisions? Do we like the results? Doesn’t the Palin selection process demonstrate a tendency to shoot from the hip?
– Do you really want leaders who are so stubborn and stupid as to gamble on abstinence-only sex education when they can’t even get it to work in their own homes, or who are so hypocritical as to preach abstinence-only when they know it isn’t effective?

If you can read any sexism into my comment, you’ve got to be wearing some very special Republican glasses…

Posted by DisFisCon | Report as abusive

Questioning her credentials is not the complaint. The problem is some are questioning her readiness because of her young children. No one questioned Obama’s ability to split his time between the president’s duties and family duties. Why is Palin questioned on this other than she is a woman? That is sexism. Many of you here have decided already that the only quality that leads to her being chosen is her gender. That is sexism when you look gender rather than substance. And she has more substance to speak of than Obama who would take office the first day, much less a breath away. Funny how the libs all of a sudden are worried about experience.

Posted by david | Report as abusive

Askig her back ground is not sexism get a clear mind first if you want to sink with her in quick sand that is your choice but we are not going to let our country sink with these two candidats one self centerd selfish who cares about his election and she is lier and hypocrat..

Posted by jojo | Report as abusive

Annamarie, are you kidding? You want the McCain campaign to give dish dirt about their choice in VP? Kinda’ like when Obama says he wants to change the way politics are done in Washington but picks a 30+ year senator deeply entrenched in the ways of Washington? How about the way Obama says he wants to get special interests and lobbyists out of the decision making but his VP pick’s son (Hunter Biden) is on of the biggest lobbyists in the capitol? Where is the journalistic duty to report on the bank payments to Hunter when his father was voting on banking legislation? Something stinks and it ain’t Palin’s fishing boat. Seriously folks, use Google and educate yourselves.

Posted by david | Report as abusive

I have been dissapointed with G. Bush and I was hoping the democrats will going to nominate some decent canditate…,but I will never vote for Obama.
McCain – Palin is Great Choice, for me and my family.

Posted by AnnaD | Report as abusive

1. Sarah Palin appears to have more experience in governmental management than does Obama, McCain, or Biden. 2. Clinton and Reagan went to the presidency straight from state government. 3. Private matters related to teenage pregnancy are proof neither for nor against parenting skills; check the stats. 4. If parents can not legitimately run for and hold national office, then only single men and women could involve themselves prior to retirement. 5. Where, oh, where are all the typically vocal feminists; are not all women IDed first as females, and only secondly as party members. 6. Neither working nor non-working mothers can control teenage pregnancies -check the stats. 7. Furthermore, and finally, the math is simple. Sarah’s daughter is four months old. Bristol is five months pregnant. Enough said.

Posted by bj smith | Report as abusive

To all who keep bringing up the fact that Palin has a special needs child and should be at home with him… whatever happened to women’s lib?
Why aren’t you suggesting her husband stay home and take care of the family while she has a career? I personally think she is quite capable of handling family and career in harmony with each other.
Also, covering her families struggles is only making me like her more. My mom was pregnant out of wedlock. My grandmother is a staunch supporter of abstinence-only education.
Dare you to come tell my grandmother that she can’t be a role model (she was one to me) when it comes to abstinence. She isn’t as polite as Palin and will promptly tell you where to shove your foot.

Posted by Katie Rocha | Report as abusive


Palin admits taking her baby of 4 months to work and tucking her away under her desk.

palin admits to not knowing what the duties of a vice-president are. Yet she is a governor and has a vice-president under her, called a lieutenant-governor. Doesn’t she even know what the job of the lieutenant-governor is in her absence???

When asked about potentially being president someday (while governor) she stated that she really wouldn’t consider it, because she wouldn’t want to leave Alaska. Although, she said that maybe ‘someday’ it may be in the cards. This was primarily because of family obligations. Had family values changed???

Palin’s statement regarding members of her cabinet acting without her knowledge in the firing of her brother-in-law. Is there a mismanagement issue here??? Why would they make statements without her knowledge???

Palin’s job as mayor, when she fired the sheriff and other officials as a result of their not supporting her when she requested that bars close at 2a.m. instead of 4a.m. Given the fact that the church she attended was vocal against the consumption of alcohol.

I can go on and on, but the facts are the facts. We as voters must decide how Palin as president (God forbid) would operate in the highest office in the land.

Posted by germanguy | Report as abusive

katie rocha

Forbid the thought that she has to make a foreign policy decision on the spur of the moment, while a family crisis is occuring at home. Do you think this is just a game? This position requires someone of exceptional qualities (be it man or woman). Not a risky unknown with no knowledge of what the duties are of even the vice-president of the United States. If you opened your ears and heard her statement regarding family, you would understand that for her, FAMILY COMES FIRST!!!!

Posted by germanguy | Report as abusive

Screw Carly Fiorina and everything that comes out of her mouth. This joke of an EX-CEO ran HP into the ground, was forced out by the board and still walked away 21M. No wonder she is a GOP stalwart spokesman and wants to keep the status quo for corporations.

Posted by donnmon | Report as abusive


Posted by Chris Crocker | Report as abusive

Carly Fiorina is McCain’s “top sconomic adviser”?! She nearly wrecked a great, two-guys-in-a-garage-home-made American corporation, Hewlett-Packard, and pushed another one, Lucent (formery Bell Labs and Western Electric), to the edge of the toilet. And she had the chutzpah to demand (and get) a multi-million-dollar “golden parachute” when she was kicked out after 2 yeats by a disgusted board of directors. What a wonderful advisor she must be. Too bad Jeff Skilling isn’t available. He’d be perfect for Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the McCain administration.

As for Sarah Palin… If the White House is ever attacked by terrorist moose, I coulc sleep well knowing she’d have the situation well in hand.

Posted by Jack Curtis | Report as abusive

After watching Palin speak, I have no doubt that she will be great! Let’s elect her.

Like Rush Limbaugh says, she embodies Guns, Babies and Jesus. What else do we need? Who gives a hoot if she does not have a clue about foreign policy, global economics or diplomacy. Yeh to McCain and Palin…..and if that happens at least have the sense to be “short on US economy”.

Posted by Eddie | Report as abusive