There has got to be a downside to electing a woman to the presidency, and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is determined to mansplain just what that could be.
On Wednesday’s “The Factor” O’Reilly followed up on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) comment that she saw no “pent-up desire” for a female president by posing the question: “There’s got to be some downside to having a woman president, right? Something that may not fit with that office?”
Panelists Kirsten Powers and Kate Obenshain were skeptical, but Powers volunteered one example: if a woman felt she needed to act “macho” and vote for the Iraq War — theoretically, of course — to make it look like she was a tough leader unafraid of using military force.
“That’s what Hillary Clinton did,” O’Reilly said.
“Yes, but that was a theoretical example,” Powers responded, adding that it may have been part of Clinton’s calculation even if it was a “silly thing to worry about.”
“There haven’t been that many strong women leaders throughout history,” O’Reilly countered, noting Margaret Thatcher and women in the U.S. Congress as exceptions. “But you know when you’re president of the United States you have to deal with people like Putin. You got to deal with real ornery — the Mullahs in Iran. Look, the Mullahs in Iran, they think women are like subspecies.”
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.