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August 9th, 2011
05:32 AM ET

Talkback: Are Republican women unfairly criticized because they're women?

Conservatives are fuming this morning about the latest Newsweek cover, which shows a wide-eyed picture of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann above the headline "Queen of Rage."

The controversy over the cover has reignited discussion about the ways that criticism is aimed at female politicians.

Earlier in the year, Bachmann told CBN's David Brody that, unlike liberal politicians, conservative women like her and Sarah Palin do not get a pass by the media when they misspeak or make mistakes.

"She has been unfairly criticized and I think we've seen that with other conservative women as well across the country, whether they're political commentators or whether they're in public service," Bachmann remarked.

Talkback: Are Republican women unfairly criticized because they're women?

Let us know what you think. Your answer may be read on today's broadcast.

Filed under: AM Asks
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Mitchell

    Almost everything I have read in this blog so far is just pretty much talking points being repeated. If the same thing that is happening to Republicans and Republican women was happening to democrats your entire network would be on 24/7 attack mode. Can anyone spell "double standard"??????

    August 10, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  2. Ridiculous

    What I find facinating is that for some reason the GOP women have somehow subverted feminism to mean that nobody can ever criticize them. There were questions about Palin's fitness for the presidency. Is it wrong to expect a person who wants to lead the entire nation to have to answer questions? Bachman's husband could have hypocritical dealings with the very govt. she wants to lead yet she refuses to answer questions about it. Shouldn't somebody wanting to head the govt. have to answer questions about her families dealings with it? But instead of just accepting Bachman's comments and scrambling to defend against them, all anybody would have to do is point out that not only was Hillary Clinton, a democrat, given the same harsh scrutiny as any politician when she ran, but that Palin was treated better than other politicians. Allowed to continually be featured on stories even though she refused to answer any questions from the media. What male politician would be given publicity and yet never asked questions for the last year?

    August 10, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  3. Naomi P

    No, they're not "vilified" because they are women, but because they are idiots, or at least speak that way. Each time they open their mouths shows a severe lack of preparation and education; the very least they could do would be to research the facts. Additionally, their stance on women and women's rights sets us back 500 years. Get with the times, ladies, and you might, just might, fair better in how you are perceived.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  4. pallas_athena2

    You are focusing on only two female Republicans who are currently active. There are other Republican women who are not as notorious because they are reasonable people. Also, does no one remember Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Dole or Condoleeza Rice? Although Supreme Court Justices are not politically affiliated, Sandra Day O'Connor was appointed by a Replublican president.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  5. Raj, Toronto

    as long as you remark on their statements rather than the person themselves, all is fair. And I think its because republican women are portrayed as being more intelligent but their leaders (publicly in government) are not. They are somewhat attractive to the older generation and that appeals to people that generally shy away from sex publicly. Hillary, is smart but has not been portrayed as sexual in terms of her appeal to people. She is valued on what she has said and her policies, her ability to get the job done. Is this fair, maybe. It depends on peoples actions. Palin in all aspects is a fraud, she is no Ron Paul, and she does not represent the true Tea Party

    August 9, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  6. seven

    There are so many sharp Reublican (and Democratic) women in politics... Christine Todd, Olympa Snowe, Lisa Murkowski, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Susan Collins represent the Republican party and America in fine stead... then there are the ones who choose to be controversial, i.e. S. Palin & M. Bachman - They do it to themselves then cry foul. Sadly Newsweek has captured Bachman as she really is and Palin and her "I told you so" quote. why didn't she offer to help? You are part of the solution or part of the problem, not hard to put Palin & Bachman in the "problem" category!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  7. John Bays

    Has Hillary Clinton ever complained about Fox news? Intelligent women do not respond to criticism – they rise above it. Thank you Hillary.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  8. Marguerite Payne

    Absolutely not. Just the reverse, they are given far too much air time, print coverage and media attention without calling them oin all of the falsehoods, biggotted and stupid comments they make routihnely. They are all just suffering from a severe case of narcissism.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  9. CWilkerson

    It's not that they are unfairly criticized because they are women. It's because they are STUPID! Maybe if the unintelligent ones would go away and allow the ones with some sense to step into the spotlight, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  10. Ed

    Palin and Bachman are not attacked nearly as angrily and horribly as Hilary Clinton was via jokes and rumors circulated when she was in the presidential race which Obama won.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  11. Bill Coni

    They are not unfairly criticized because they are women, they are fairly criticized because they are stupid. They aren't making comments about obscure facts and issues from history where one might be confused. They are making stupid wrong comments on facts and issues that are routine and completely understood by most of the learned people in this country and that's why when thay make those mistakes they stand out and cry out "I don't believe what I just heard" from someone that I would hope should know better.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  12. lisa

    it;s not the Republican women being criticized unfairly. its our President. the critize him for everything and fight him on every side only because he is black. Ill say what many of you are afraid to say just get the black man out of office and they will past every bill on time that need to be past.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  13. Joel

    If a GOP man said 1/2 of what Palin or Bachman said the man would not be taken seriously either! They are criticized fairly for the content of their statements not their gender.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  14. Gloria

    Any politiician, man or woman, who has something to say should be taken to task if the information is inaccurate or lacks truth. Unfortunately, the Republican women with the microphone have some very strange ideas about what is truthful or what is good for the country. If that differs from the majority, they should expect criticism.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  15. John Bays

    If you put yourself out there unprepared and then flaunt your ignorance how can you expect not to be called on your faux pas.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  16. Notea

    The criticism is correct and it is a result of the campaign to bring down the President. These women play to the population that determines worth by skin color. They are willing to break the country for their political gain. Then the women whine the second they are criticized

    August 9, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  17. Allan from Raleigh

    I might be willing to believe that Republican Women are unfairly criticized, but only if you show me examples that do not include Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin. They have both established "brands" through their comments that are easily criticized, and thus are thus less significant samples in drawing conclusions about current levels of bias.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  18. J Harris

    I consider my wife one of the smartest people I know that carried a 3.98 GPA during college while raising four children, now in regards to Palin and Bachmann when their shoe size exceeds their I.Q. and everything they say is corrected by a first grader then they're in trouble.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  19. Ryan C

    Are you kidding me? NO! If anything, some of them (*ahem* Palin, Bachmann) are unfairly given more attention than others because they're "pretty." How much attention and/or criticism does Olympia Snow get on a regular basis? The way I see it, if Bachmann and Palin can't take the attention and criticism they get, they really need to examine the career they've chosen and adjust accordingly.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  20. John Larrere

    This is false victimization. Extremists have no place in government They distort the process, drive gridlock and downgrades because they think they have a corner on the truth. Their anger distorts everything they hear and channels everything into absurd simplicity. The photo captures the reality. No victim here. Move on!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  21. Lydia

    Republican women like Palin and Bachmann don't get criticized because they're women, they get criticized because they're dimwits. Should we overlook their gaffes, their ignorance of facts, their peculiar views because they are female? They shouldn't expect a pass when they choose to be judged by the public by running for office.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  22. Iris

    Stupidity shows no gender bias. Republic women like Palen and Bachman are keeping company with the big guys like Ford, Quayle, and G.W. Quit crying and put on your big girl panties.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Iris

      Stupidity shows no gender bias. Republic women like Palin and Bachmann are keeping company with the big guys like Ford, Quayle, and G.W. Quit crying and put on your big girl panties.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  23. John Lee

    I'm so tired of the gender card being played's interesting that it's only used by the ones that are truly ignorant. You don't hear Hillary or Condaleeza or Pelosi using this this excuse..because they are informed!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  24. tiredofthis

    While the media is still fueling the gender/racial issues as the basis for charting a new course in our country our credit rating, our financial freedom, our sense of unity are completely gone. Can you, as the "almighty powerful media" at least start revealing the relevant issues/qualities of a decent presidential candidate!!!
    We can no longer afford to raise relatively superficial issues/values as we are heading to being a number 2/3 nation. We the people want to see us getting back to trully leading as a nation.

    BTW: stop talking about political parties, start dissecting the issues and then matrix where the parties stand!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  25. Chris from VA

    has nothing to do with them being women, it has to do with them being hateful nutjobs.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  26. MeLoN

    Most Democrats suffer from Gynophobia.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  27. Jim Osborn

    They're unfairly criticized because they are Republicans, not because they are women.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  28. damon davis

    They are not unfairly criticized. They chose to put themselves out there. Unfortunately, they don't think before they open their mouthes, that is Palin and Bachman. There are plenty of intelligent and rational republican women out there. These two just don't fall in that class.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  29. MeLoN

    All Republicans – both make and female – are unfairly criticized in the liberal lame street media. Can't find honest,open or fair reporting on CNN. If you're not for the Democratic policy of uncontrolled runaway spending then you are to be criticized.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:15 am |
  30. Lannie Arnold

    Big deal. Why not focus on the 31 soldiers that lost their lives ? What difference does it make how she looks on a cover of newsweek. You should be honoring the brave men in the arm services!!!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:02 am |
  31. Dokron

    republican women that are around today(bachmann, palin) are very fairly critisized because they are not qualified to run for ANYTHING! I would point out that there ARE republican women that are very qualified, but I believe they are embarressed at what the republican party has become. Condi Rice comes to mind as one very intelligent "republican" lady. And she probably is the only republican that could beat Obama in 2012, if she were to run.(imagine; a black, woman, republican president!)

    August 9, 2011 at 6:44 am |
  32. Mark

    No I take female candidates just as seriously as the men...What I cannot take seriously is someone like Bauchman or Palin, individuals who think you can counsel gay or lesbians out of being gay or lesbian and the other who insists that Paul Revere was warning the British...

    August 9, 2011 at 6:43 am |
  33. mike sey

    To the contrary the Bachmans and Palins tend to get more than enough free passes. Just go back to the birther controversy and their craven conservative pandering to it to see how much rope they are given. If they choose to hang themselves with it they can't blame it on political sexism. None of them have faced the villification and cheap shots that President Obama has .

    August 9, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  34. stephanye

    Better to be silent and be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt... Especially in the all seeing public eye.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  35. Kevin

    Why did it take so long to figure that out! It's sad the way the media treats women running for office.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:32 am |
    • mike r

      It has nothing to do with gender. It's the false and ridiculous statements that seem to go on and on.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:15 am |
  36. Johnny Jones

    Politics is not gender-specific and is not chivalrous...nor should it be. What's important is knowledge, rationalized candor and ability. Bachmann has none of the above. She's being criticized, in my opinion, only because she's a loon. "loon" politically correct? She's being criticized not because she's a woman but because she's a wack my opinion.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:28 am |
  37. Alpha Collins

    Bachman and Palin deserve the criticism they get when they rattle off idiotic statements. They are unworthy to represent Republican Women because they simply don't have the intelligence to handle the leadership responsibilities they have been given. Either that, or they are so shallow and narcissistic as to presume they don't have to know what they are talking about, just as long as they throw in a few conservative talking points and look good doing it.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  38. Nick H

    They're not criticized for being women, they're criticized for seemingly never passing their elementary school American history classes! They should stop using gender as an excuse and start buffing up on the historical facts of the nation they want to govern.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • Ed Sees

      can only IMAGINE what would have been said if Michele had told the country that she was in all 57 states!! C'mon, face facts the left beats up on anyone who disagrees with them!!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  39. Karen Gregg

    Goodmorning, No I do not believe that the woman who are running for office are critizied more than men. The two that were brought up this morning, Palin and Bachman brought it on themselves for not being prepared. Bachman just rambles on about running for President and gives no substance to how she will improve the country. At the same time she makes stupid remarks about history and does not know her facts. Perhaps she should watch the History Channel and take classes on American History. There are many woman in government positions who are very intelligent and talk with knowledge. Bachman and Palin just attempt to stir the pot and enrage the American Public. They deserve the comments that have been presented in the News. I am a retired female Police Officer and worked 25 yrs in a mans world without problems. To Palin and Bachman I say, If you want to bring about change them lead by example and leave your negative remarks about leaders and bring about a solution.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:24 am |
  40. Bonner Richardson

    "Cue the crying baby". I'm so tired of conservatives, especially Palin and Bachmann blaming the "mainstream media" for all their woes. The unfortunate truth is that conservatives have allowed the likes of Palin and Bachmann to be poster children for conservative women. Two ill-informed, self-proclaimed political celebrities wh are so enamored with their own unwarranted arrogance that they don't bother to study issues but are content to just rant and rave. Do conservative women get more scrutiny? Very possibly. But in Bachmann and Palin's case, the scrutiny and critcism is well deserved. I want people in office who are smarter than me. Heck I want people in office that are smarter than your average high school student! These two are not.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  41. Melanie Kampen

    When will the discrimination card stop being the way out when people don't want to look at the real reasons which could very possibly be lack of education, information, knowledge, and therefore understanding .

    August 9, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  42. Concerned American

    Accurately reporting the nonsensical misinformation that Bachman and Palin (& Kyl and other right-wing MEN too) spew out in order to scare and upset voters - this reporting is a public service. These politicians don't check their facts because: a) they don't want the facts to get in the way of their speaking points; or b) they don't know how to check facts.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:20 am |
  43. Judy Demick

    I've always been a feminist and believe in, when a woman acts like a narrow minded, right wing (nut), like many of her male counterparts, I am going to criticize her. Palin and her clones are their own worst enemies.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:19 am |
  44. S. Crawford

    No, Republican women are not unfairly discriminated against when they make an error. Women, however, do not get away with what men get away with. Women are more subjected to scrutiny, so they have to be far more careful than men in their statements. Unfortunately, the Republican women you have mentioned just aren't very careful - or, apparently, very knowledgeable about our country, the Constitution, and history.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:17 am |
  45. George in Riverside


    August 9, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  46. Anita S

    The criticism these women have received has absolutely nothing to do with their gender or political leanings. It was everything to do with the fact that on more than one occasion they have misspoken and/or have completely made false and inaccurate statements. To think otherwise is just another example of why they are not ready to lead. Claiming that their gender makes them a target is ridiculous. Male or female, if you are wrong, inaccurate, and lacking in intelligence, you will be criticized.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:47 am |
    • Alpha Collins

      These two women will never be ready to lead, and while it is perversely satisfying to know they are the best that the extremists on the right can come up with, it is also painful to see these women held up as representing our gender.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  47. stillonline

    Republican are criticized fairly. They represent exactly what Republicans think women should be – Nice house – nobody home.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:37 am |