This post has been updated.
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) said on Friday that in order to connect with female voters, the Republican party needs to bring policy explanations “down to a woman’s level.”
During a panel discussion on issues that women face and how the GOP can better reach women voters, the chair of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee said that members of the party need to better “articulate ourselves,” according to the Washington Examiner.
“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”
The congresswoman did not stop there. She said that women want more time in their lives, such as “more time in the morning to get ready.”
“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” Ellmers said.
In a statement to ThinkProgress the lawmaker said her remarks were “taken completely out of context” in the Examiner story.
“I am a woman, and find it both offensive and sexist to take my words and redefine them to imply that women need to be addressed at a lower level,” she wrote in the statement.
Ellmers blamed “certain leftist writers” for employing “‘gotcha’ journalism.”
Ahead of the 2014 elections, the GOP has emphasized messaging to women voters. The party has been training candidates for House and Senate seats on how to improve the way they talk about issues that impact women voters.
The Washington Examiner on Tuesday released audio and a transcript from Ellmers’ remarks on Friday.
Here are key segments from Ellmers’ extended comments, transcribed by the Examiner’s Ashe Schow:
Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level. You know, one of the things that has always been one of my frustrations and I speak about this all the time – many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and, you know, how the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.
So one of the things that we have worked with, with our male colleagues – and I have seen a difference, I will tell you I’ve seen a difference – is to again, engaging individuals on their level. Talking about them on a personal level first. Making sure that when we speak to individuals, we’re coming from the perspective that we care about what’s happening in your life. We know that these things – that the agenda of the Obama administration, the Obama economy, has been hurting you and your family consistently. Obamacare is hurting your family.
The biggest need that women have is more time. We all want more time in our lives. More time in the morning to get ready. More time in the evening to spend time with our families. All of these things – more time to move up that career path. It’s about time. And we have to make sure that women understand that we understand that.
We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life – that’s the way to go.
And many of our male colleagues are starting something that I think is very important: Utilizing – especially when we’re talking about the war on women – they are saying, you know ‘I have a wife, I have daughters, I have a mother, I have sisters – if there’s a war on women, I’m losing it.’
Listen to the audio via the Washington Examiner: