A second Republican candidate for Mississippi governor refuses to be alone with any woman who is not his wife — even in a professional setting.
Mississippi gubernatorial candidate Bill Waller, a former state Supreme Court justice, told Mississippi Today’s Larrison Campbell that he subscribes to the rule — pegged the “Billy Graham rule” — because it’s “common sense.”
“I just think in this day and time, appearances are important and transparency’s important, and people need to have the comfort of what’s going on in government between employees and people. And there’s a lot of social issues out there about that. My goal is to not make it an issue so that everyone’s comfortable with the surroundings and we can go about our business,” Waller told Campbell, the reporter who was recently barred from doing ride-along coverage of another Republican gubernatorial candidate — state Rep. Robert Foster — unless she brought along a male colleague because he was worried it would look like he was having an affair.
And @BillWallerMS spent over a decade as Chief Justice of MS Sup Court
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays with Waller voters. @RobertFoster4MS supporters, who tend to be far-right, loved his stance. Waller’s base is strongest in Jackson-metro, lots of young professionals pic.twitter.com/8VaJMd1DYD
— Larrison Campbell (@thisislarrison) July 15, 2019
Waller, however, said he would not stoop to request that a female reporter or female colleague provide a male companion to accompany her to a meeting.
“In my situation I always made sure that I was in control of the situation — that’s the way I do business,” he reportedly said.
Campbell received national attention earlier this month for pushing back on Foster’s sexist request. During an interview on CNN, she argued that Foster’s aversion to meeting with her amounted to viewing women as sexual objects first and professionals second.
But Foster dug in his heels, arguing the ride-along would’ve taken place in his truck, so the reporter must follow his rules. He also explained that he’s a married man and had promised his wife he’d never be alone with another woman.