The executive director of a Republican super PAC aiming to court female voters in Texas suggested Sunday that women are too “busy” to fight for equal pay laws.
Cari Cristman, the executive director of Red State Women PAC, was asked in an interview with Dallas TV station WFAA about Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s (R) position on equal pay laws. Abbott, who is running for governor against state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), previously told the news station that existing law was sufficient to protect women’s pay.
Cristman told WFAA that the PAC believes women “want and deserve” equal pay, but doesn’t believe legislation like the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is the right solution. When asked what would resolve the gender pay gap, Cristman repeatedly said women are “busy.”
“Well, if you look at it, women are extremely busy,” she said. “We lead busy lives, whether working professionally, whether working from home, and times are extremely busy. It’s a busy cycle for women and we’ve got a lot to juggle. So when we look at this issue we think, what’s practical? And we want more access to jobs. We want to be able to get a higher education degree at the same time that we’re working or raising a family.”
The Dallas Morning News pointed out that Abbott’s office has successfully argued before the state’s Supreme Court that equal pay protections don’t apply in Texas, while Davis sponsored an equal pay bill last year that was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry (R).
A spokeswoman for Davis’ campaign called Cristman’s and Abbott’s comments out of touch.
“Here’s a newsflash for Greg Abbott: women aren’t too ‘busy’ to fight for economic fairness for all hardworking Texans and they aren’t too ‘busy’ to reject his business as usual opposition to equal pay legislation at the polls next November,” Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuna said Monday in a statement.
Watch the interview segment below:
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.