A recent newsletter from the Republican Party in Medina County, Ohio, flagged by EMILY’s List, contains a specific attack on Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton: “Let’s take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen.”
County GOP chairman Bill Heck told TPMDC that the newsletter was “an attention-getter” in terms of its political rhetoric. “I’m not sure that it was intended — in fact I’m positive that it was not in intended to be sexist,” said Heck. “In fact, it was speaking to the people of that district, and not intended to be a sexist comment.”“I mean, I have a wife that was elected twice to county office, and once was a judge. I’ve got two daughters,” Heck added. “It was not authored by me, but it was published by the Republican Party of Medina County. We are just trying to get the attention of the voters. It is rhetoric that I think is very common in all elections, of sending people somewhere — either to the House or back from the House. And we certainly apologize for any offense that anyone would take from this.”
Heck said that it was more important for people to take the targeted elected officials to task, rather than focus on the phrases used. “I think to say that it’s sexist is really diverting the issues around Betty Sutton. The voters should really be up in arms about her performance as a representative for the district, as opposed to the idea that she is being singled out or characterized as someone who should go back to the kitchen as a woman.”
Although Heck said he did not author it — he said that it came from the party’s communications committee — he confirmed that he does approve all literature that is sent out.