Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright introduces Clinton during a campaign stop in Concord, N.H., on Saturday. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)
The topic of sexism came up several times in the Democratic presidential campaign over the weekend after two of Hillary Clinton’s prominent female supporters criticized young women for backing Bernie Sanders.
At a rally in Concord, N.H., on Saturday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright introduced Clinton by throwing shade at her Democratic rival.
“People are talking about revolution,“ Albright said. What kind of a revolution would it be to have the first woman president of the United States? … Young women, you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you.”
On Sunday, Clinton defended Albright’s assertion that “there’s a special place in hell for women” who don’t vote for her.
“I think it was a light-hearted but very pointed remark,” Clinton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” "She believes it firmly, in part, because she knows what a struggle it has been. And she understands the struggle is not over.”
The Democratic frontrunner was asked if she understood why some women might have been offended by Albright’s comments.
“Well good grief, we’re getting offended by everything these days,” Clinton said. “Honest to goodness, I mean, people can’t say anything without offending somebody. She has a life experience that I respect. I admire her greatly. And I think what she was trying to do — what she’s done in every setting I’ve ever seen her in going back 20 plus years — was to remind young women, particularly, that you know, this struggle, which many of us have been part of, is not over, and don’t be in any way lulled by the progress we’ve made.”
Albright wasn’t the only prominent Clinton supporter to offend some of the female Bernie voting bloc. In an appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday, feminist writer Gloria Steinem suggested the young women who support Sanders are doing so because young men are.
“Men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age,” Steinem said. “Women get more radical because they lose power as they age. They’re going to get more activist as they grow older. And when you’re younger, you think, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.’”
On Sunday, Steinem posted an apology on Facebook:
In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics. What I had just said on the same show was the opposite: young women are active, mad as hell about what’s happening to them, graduating in debt, but averaging a million dollars less over their lifetimes to pay it back. Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Clinton addressed the issue of sexism in coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign days after she was accused by a male pundit of “shrieking” during her speech following the Iowa caucuses.
“We are still living with a double standard, and I know it,” Clinton said in an interview with Jake Tapper. “Every woman I know knows it. Whether you’re in the media as a woman, or you’re in the professions or business or politics. And I don’t know anything other to do than to just keep forging through it and just taking the slings and arrows that come with being a woman in the arena.”
Last week, CNBC’s Larry Kudrow compared the former secretary of state’s address to “something out of Lenin or Trotsky.”
Clinton told Tapper she didn’t want to “single anybody out.”
“You know, sometimes I talk soft,” Clinton said. “Sometimes I get passionate and I get a little bit excited. I don’t know any man who doesn’t do the same thing. And I find it sort of interesting that all of a sudden this is a big discussion about me, once again.”
Clinton, who endured similar attacks when she ran for president in 2008, said she knows the drill.
“I’m so used to this,” she said. “I’m going to keep making my case. I’m going to keep talking about what I will do as president. I’m going to keep laying out my record. Because I think it’s really important that this election be actually about who can do the job that needs to be done starting in January of 2017.”
In a separate interview with Tapper that aired on CNN Sunday, Sanders addressed the so-called “Bernie Bros”: the Vermont senator’s male supporters who attack his detractors “in very crude and sexist ways.”
“I have heard about it. It’s disgusting,” Sanders said. “Look, we don’t want that crap. We can’t, you know, and we will do everything we can and I think we have tried. Look, you know that… that anybody who is supporting me that is doing the sexist things is — we don’t want them. I don’t want that. That is not what this campaign is about.”