Cliff May on Sen. Clinton: "At least call her a Vaginal-American"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On the October 15 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, discussing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) presidential campaign with Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and Cliff May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, host Tucker Carlson said: "Gene, this is an amazing statistic: 94 percent of women say they'd be more likely to vote if a woman were on the ballot. I think of all the times I voted for people just because they're male. You know? The ballot comes up, and I'm like, 'Wow. He's a dude. I think I'll vote for him. We've got similar genitalia. I'm -- he's getting my vote.' " After asserting that "the Clinton campaign says: 'Hillary isn't running as a woman,' " Carlson stated: "Well, that's actually completely false, considering the Hillary campaign -- and I get their emails -- relentlessly pushes the glass ceiling argument. 'You should vote for her because she's a woman.' They say that all the time." May responded: "At least call her a Vaginal-American."

Carlson replied: "Is that the new phrase? Boy, that's nasty. I don't think I can say that." Robinson interjected, "No, you don't say that," to which Carlson responded: "I shouldn't say that? I'm not going attempt it. No, no."

Carlson also asked: "Do you think that people who are voting on the basis of gender solidarity ought to be allowed to vote in a perfect world? Of course they shouldn't be allowed to vote on those grounds. That's like -- that's moronic. I'm sorry. I know I'm going to get bounced off the air for saying it, but that's true."

From the October 15 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CLINTON [video clip]: All these women in their 90s come to my events. And they come and they wait. Sometimes they're in walkers. Sometimes they're in wheelchairs, like a daughter or granddaughter bring them. And then when I'm going around shaking hands, they'll say something like, "I'm 95 years old and I was born before women could vote, and I want to live long enough to see a woman in the White House."

CARLSON: That was Hillary Clinton talking to women, the women who host ABC's The View and the millions of American women, presumably, who watch that show. According to polls, Mrs. Clinton has widespread appeal to female voters, and if you talk to her campaign, it's women who are going to carry her to the nomination and eventually the White House.

A memo from chief Clinton strategist Mark Penn says that 94 percent of women under the age of 35 said they are more likely to vote next November if a woman, Hillary, is on the ballot. Can that be? And how much would it matter were it true? Here to tell us, The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson and the president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Cliff May.

Gene, this is an amazing statistic: 94 percent of women say they'd be more likely to vote if a woman were on the ballot. I think of all the times I voted for people just because they're male. You know? The ballot comes up, and I'm like, "Wow. He's a dude. I think I'll vote for him. We've got similar genitalia. I'm -- he's getting my vote."

ROBINSON: Look, you didn't have a choice all those times you were voting, right? You didn't have a choice of genitalia to vote for.

CARLSON: No, but when I do, I just -- I always vote the man. Because, I don't know -- come on.

ROBINSON: It's a -- when firsts happen, they are significant. They say something about the society and how far it's come and where it is. And, you know, not just that figure in that poll, but if you look at all the polls, really, that show her amazing strength among women. And you look at a state like South Carolina, my home state, where both in my paper, the Post, and in The New York Times, over the weekend there were stories about black women and how, in a sense, conflicted --

CARLSON: That's an interesting [unintelligible].

ROBINSON: -- they feel about Obama versus Hillary Clinton. Part of that -- not all of that, certainly, but part of it is -- you know, he's African-American. She's a woman.

CARLSON: Well, part of it is loyalty to the Clintons as -- specifically the Clintons, don't you think? It's not just the female.

ROBINSON: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I think --

[crosstalk]

MAY: Because if gender solidarity trumps all other interests, I think that's kind of sad. I don't think racial or religious solidarity should trump all interests, either.

CARLSON: Do you think that people who are voting on the basis of gender solidarity ought to be allowed to vote in a perfect world? Of course they shouldn't be allowed to vote on those grounds. That's like -- that's moronic. I'm sorry. I know I'm going to get bounced off the air for saying it, but that's true.

ROBINSON: That doesn't trump all other characteristics. There are a lot of women who are going to vote for Republicans in November because they're conservative.

CARLSON: I'm not saying women shouldn't vote for Hillary at all. I'm merely saying the obvious: that you shouldn't vote for her because she's a woman. Here's what the Clinton campaign says: "Hillary isn't running as a woman. As Hillary says, she's not running as a woman candidate. The only reason to vote for her is that you believe she's the most qualified to be president."

Well, that's actually completely false, considering the Hillary campaign -- and I get their emails -- relentlessly pushes the glass ceiling argument. "You should vote for her because she's a woman." They say that all the time. She just said that on The View. I mean, that's like their rationale.

MAY: At least call her a Vaginal-American, as opposed to --

CARLSON: Is that the new phrase?

MAY: I think that is, yeah.

CARLSON: Boy, that's nasty. I don't think I can say that.

ROBINSON: No, you don't say that.

CARLSON: I shouldn't say that? I'm not going attempt it. No, no.

[crosstalk]

ROBINSON: Look, it's kind of working, number one.

CARLSON: It's definitely working. It's definitely working.

ROBINSON: So this is effective. And number two --

CARLSON: So you don't think it's a little embarrassing, though?

ROBINSON: No, it's not embarrassing. There are a lot of --

CARLSON: I talked to two women today who I love and admire, who -- I work in their proximity, and they both said, "I'm embarrassed that women would vote just on the basis of her gender or that that would influence their vote."

ROBINSON: It wouldn't vote -- you know, we're talking about Democrats --

CARLSON: But how will she be a different president because she's a woman?

ROBINSON: -- first of all, who basically agree with her. Hmm?

CARLSON: I mean, here's what I don't understand. We need a woman. How is she going to be a different president because she's a woman? I just don't get that.

ROBINSON: I don't think she will be. But I think it will be significant if a woman is elected president of the United States, as it would be significant if an African-American were elected president of the United States. It's -- you know, for some people, it was significant, you know, when a Southerner is elected as opposed to a Northerner, when the first Catholic was elected president of the United States. It says something about the country and inclusiveness.

MAY: Did Maggie Thatcher have more women voting for her than men? I wonder.

ROBINSON: You know, I don't know the figure.

CARLSON: I suspect she had more men voting for her than women.

MAY: I suspect that's true.

CARLSON: She ran and governed as a man, I think, was the idea.

ROBINSON: Most of her elections, she probably -- she won pretty big, most of her elections. She probably did have [unintelligible].

MAY: She ran and governed based on her views and her determination and her mettle, and I think that's the way it's supposed to be.

ROBINSON: I once talked to Margaret Thatcher about John Major, and she thought he was kind of a wuss. She leaned close and said, "If only he were a man."

[laughter]

CARLSON: She was a tougher dude than he ever was, no doubt about it.

Here's an interesting poll -- this is from your paper, Mr. Robinson, Washington Post/ABC News poll. Republicans are asked who best reflects the core values of their party. Guess who wins, Cliff.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender, Elections
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Clifford May
Show/Publication
Tucker
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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