Republican women accused the media and the Obama campaign Wednesday of sexism toward the party’s vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
“What is so interesting to me, having run for office and having served at state and federal levels, is the way the media continues to attack conservative women, to seek a way to diminish their record and to demonize their actions,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. told reporters in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
RNC Victory 2008 chair and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina likened the coverage of Palin to that of Hillary Clinton during her run for the Democratic presidential nomination, and said that Clinton’s treatment in the press “highly tuned women’s ears to objectionable and sexist attacks.”
The speakers said Wednesday that some of the reports had questioned Palin’s ability to hold an executive office while raising five children, one of whom is an infant with Down syndrome.
Former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, who has a 23-year-old son with the same disability, said that she was “incensed, offended and insulted” that the topic was raised up as an issue, and that the same questions are not being asked about Barack Obama’s parenting.
Marin added that Palin’s roles as both a career woman and mother allow her to be in tune with the challenges and needs facing other American working moms.
Blackburn echoed the sentiment, saying, “If you can handle being a room mother, a room mother chairman, PTA chairman, Girl Scout cookie mom, [then] there are a lot of things that you have the ability, the organizational skills to handle.”
Renee Amore, Pennsylvania Republican Party deputy chair, said that the “smears are meant to distract the American people from the very real fact that Governor Palin has more executive experience than Obama.”
Other panel members lauded Palin’s record as mayor of a small town and now governor of Alaska, and suggested the media should focus on the candidate’s experience. Palin has “made more executive decisions than Barack Obama has made in his life,” Fiorina said.