“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski and a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee clashed on Tuesday over how to approach closing the gender wage gap.
Appearing on MSNBC ahead of a planned vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate, Kirsten Kukowski, the press secretary for the RNC, told Brzezinski that the GOP acknowledges there is a lack of transparency in paycheck fairness. But she said the party believes equal pay legislation puts an “unnecessary burden” on employers and will end up harming female employees.
Brzezinski then recalled her own struggle toward achieving pay parity with her “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough.
“I was blessed to have a platform to discuss it,” she said. “I was blessed to have a boss who was progressive and self aware enough to look at it and deal with it. What about the women who don’t have this voice?”
In response, Kukowski suggested Democrats’ recent championing of the equal pay issue was more about political timing than a genuine effort to close the gender wage gap, which she said would be better served by confronting the job market and the economy.
“What we have seen since the President has been in the White House — they controlled the House, they controlled the Senate, they controlled the White House and they did not do this,” Kukowski said.
“Instead, what we see is this creeps up every time the Democrats are struggling with their messaging,” she added. “When Obamacare is really struggling, when the economy is really struggling, that’s when they all the sudden shift and they have this quote-unquote ‘war on women.'”
“This isn’t about Obamacare,” Brzezinski cut in.
“No, I’m not saying this is about Obamacare,” Kukowski continued. “I’m saying when the Democrats have nothing to talk to the voters about, they tend to talk about this.”
Watch below, courtesy of MSNBC:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.