The Republican Party’s campaign to rebrand itself as more appealing to women keeps running into problems, usually due to the fact that the party isn’t very appealing to women. Monday provided a shining example of that, as one of the most powerful operatives in the GOP dismissed one of Chris Christie’s political opponents as a “lady mayor” who clearly isn’t to be trusted.
Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour went on CNN today to discuss the claims of Dawn Zimmer, the Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. On Sunday, Zimmer told federal prosecutors that Christie threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief money from Hoboken unless Zimmer approved one of the governor’s pet real estate projects. Barbour dismissed Zimmer’s claims outright, accusing her of “shaking Christie down” in a greedy attempt to rebuild the destruction Sandy wrought on her city.
“I’ll tell you what it gives me concern about, that the news media is willing to leap at any far-fetched story with the basis, in fact, unbelievable,” Barbour said. “This is a lady mayor who asked for $127 million of hazard mitigation money from the governor to give that to her from — federal money, when the state was only receiving in its entirety $300 million.”
Barbour isn’t just some obscure ex-officeholder who happens to be a Republican; he’s the former head of the Republican National Committee, an extremely prolific fundraiser, and a long-standing force within the GOP. You may recall the time he claimed that black Americans didn’t really have it that bad in the 1960s, or when he praised a local white supremacist group as “an organization of town leaders.” He considered running for president in 2012, but opted not to after realizing that, while being a cartoonish caricature of a racist Southern politician might play well in a GOP primary, it probably wouldn’t win over too many voters in the middle.
Lest Barbour’s comment go unnoticed, Christie immediately posted the clip to his official YouTube page, as if to hammer home the point that female politicians are inherently inferior to their male counterparts.