Top 50 Most Sexist Quotes on the Campaign Trail

hillary clintonIt happens all the time to female politicians regardless of their political party -- being called a "she-devil," "beauty queen," "mean girl," or whatever misogynistic label the media, pundits, bloggers, and other politicians use to describe them. And, with so many women campaigning for office in the upcoming mid-term elections, sexist coverage is at an all-time high.

The number of renegade attacks on women politicians is alarming, especially in light of a new study showing that sexist comments actually hurt women in the polls.

Don't we want more women in positions of power in the government? You wouldn't know it after reading through the top 50 most sexist quotes on the campaign trail:


1. "I think she's hot .... She's tiny, she's short. She's got a banging little body on her. Facial-wise, I give her about a seven. Body-wise, I give her about an eight-and-a-half. Tight, little butt. I endorse Karyn Polito." ~ Bill Cooksey (WRKO) 

2. "I think I'm going to send Sotomayor, and her club, a bunch of vacuum cleaners to help them clean up after their meetings." ~ Rush Limbaugh about Sonia Sotomayor

3. "I'll say something else about Christine O'Donnell. You ready? I'd rather look at her than Mike Castle. I think she's kind of cute. I think she's kind of refreshing. She's a conservative. What's the problem?" ~ Rush Limbaugh

4. "Many senators are known for many things .... We in the Senate refer to Sen. Gillibrand as the hottest member." ~ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

5. "Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something, or just before she's going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then." ~ Gordon Liddy about Sonia Sotomayor

6.  "I hope Barack Obama puts another woman on the Supreme Court. And this time, I hope it's a woman with kids." ~ Peter Beinart (The Daily Beast) about Elena Kagan

7. "Sam, I want to ask a question all the men in this room have been dying to ask you: Just what are your measurements?" ~ Meeting chairman to Congressional candidate Siobhan "Sam" Bennett during her first stump speech

8. "This violates the very basic laws of nature: hot women do not have affairs with ugly guys unless those guys are rich." ~ Erick Erickson (Red State blogger) about South Carolina Governor candidate Nikki Haley 

9. "I think Kirsten Gillibrand is an attractive woman, I think she's bright, and I think she's probably a good mom herself." ~ Bruce Blakeman (Republican U.S. Senate candidate) on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

10. "Iron my shirt!" ~ Audience member to Hillary Clinton during campaign event

11. "God, what is that hair? So yesterday." ~ Carly Fiorina about Barbara Boxer

12. "She put on rouge and lipstick for the formal White House announcement of her nomination, but mostly she embraced dowdy as a mark of brainpower." ~ Robin Givhan (The Washington Post) about Elena Kagan

13.  "Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her [Condoleezza Rice's] behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud." ~ Glenn Kessler (The Washington Post) about Condoleezza Rice (and Coit Blacker) 

14. "I was looking at the Sturgis schedule ... and noticed that you had a beauty pageant, so I encouraged Cindy to compete. I told her with a little luck, she could be the only woman to serve as both the first lady and Miss Buffalo Chip." ~ John McCain about his wife, Cindy McCain 

15. "I'm going to treat you like a lady ... now act like one." ~ Sen. Arlen Specter to Rep. Michele Bachmann

16. "When Barack Obama speaks, men hear, 'Take off for the future.' And when Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear, 'Take out the garbage.' " ~ Marc Rudov

17. "That's not change. That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig..." ~ Barack Obama about Sarah Palin

18. "We're with a high class prostitute. That's what we're with .... You're not sittin' there in a back alley and sayin' hey what do you say, five bucks? No, no, no this comes to your Four Seasons hotel room and does it right. There's nobody that's going to look at her and say oh my gosh you're with a whore ..." ~ Glenn Beck about Sen. Mary Landrieu

19. "What's the difference between selling out your party's values and the oldest profession?" ~ Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller about Sen. Lisa Murkowski

20. "Take home point for the moms in the audience: how likely is it that a hot woman would want to have an 'inappropriate physical relationship' with this guy when, according to his timeline, she would have had very small children at the time and more likely than not wanted sleep above all other things?" ~ Erick Ericson (Red State blogger) about South Carolina Governor candidate Nikki Haley

21. "That may be folks, that may be, the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitution, and she's bragging about it. Mary Landrieu bragging about a $300 million payoff from Dingy Harry to get her vote on this healthcare scam on Saturday night." ~ Rush Limbaugh

22. "Jan Brewer has the cojones that our President does not have to look our for all Americans in this desire of ours to secure our borders and allow legal immigration to help build this country as was the purpose of immigration law." ~ Sarah Palin

23. "How do we beat the bitch?"~ A John McCain supporter about Hillary Clinton (McCain replied by laughing)

24. "They had a wonderful time ... The toughest part of her visit was keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter." ~ David Letterman about Sarah Palin

25. "[During her trip to New York, Sarah Palin] bought makeup from Bloomingdale's to update her 'slutty flight attendant' look." ~ David Letterman (from his Top 20 list)

26. "Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly, and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'" ~ John McCain

27. "For anyone watching around the country, [my daughters] are both available." ~ Sen. Scott Brown, during his victory speech

28. "To the connoisseur of American political theater, the most entertaining aspect of the 2010 election season has been the rise of the right-wing cuties -- political celebrities whose main qualification is looking terrific on television. From where I sit, in a comfortable chair in front of the tube, the GOP Cupcake Factor has enlivened an otherwise dreary campaign season." ~ Gene Lyons (Salon) about Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Christine O'Donnell

29. "She's running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she VALUES the Second Amendment  -- she's talkin' like she's Annie Oakley." ~ Barack Obama about Hillary Clinton

30. "If Nancy Pelosi's failed economic policies are any indicator of the effect she may have on Afghanistan, taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place." ~ National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman

31. "You're likable enough, Hillary." ~ Barack Obama

32. "Hold on one second, sweetie .... We'll do a press (availability), thanks." ~ Barack Obama to a Michigan TV reporter

33. "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis? And that woman, by the way, is not going to want to look like she's getting older because it'll impact poll numbers, it'll impact perceptions." ~ Rush Limbaugh about Hillary Clinton

34. "Does Chick Mate Spell Check Mate for McCain?" ~ Headline in announcing that Sarah Palin had been picked as candidate for VP

35. "Will Women Pols Clean House?" ~ Headline in Newsday during the campaign of 1992

36. "In one political campaign of '92, the race between two prominent women [Elizabeth Holtzman and Geraldine Ferraro] could be called the cat fight of the New York corral." ~ Suzanne Fields (Washington Times)

37. "Another Angry Woman Wins Senate Nomination." ~ Headline in The New York Times during the campaign of 1992

38. "The reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." ~ Chris Matthews about Hillary Clinton

39. "When she reacts the way she reacts to [Sen. Barack] Obama with just the look, the look toward him, looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court," ~ Mike Barnicle (MSNBC) about Hillary Clinton

40. "I have often said, when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs." ~ Tucker Carlson about Hillary Clinton

41. "[L]et's be honest here, Hillary Clinton is Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. She's going to keep coming back, and they're not going to stop her." ~ Ken Rudin (NPR)

42. "Good heavens! I'm sorry I just looked up at Madeleine Albright and she's ... No, normally it burns our eyes out ... and look at the neck skin on her ... does she kind of look like a turkey? .... Look at her eyes and her nose. She looks like a turkey." ~ Glenn Beck

43. "At her victory party, Hillary was like the heroine of a Lifetime movie, a woman in peril who manages to triumph." ~ Maureen Dowd

44. "Outraged Liberals: Stop Picking on Obama's Baby Mama" ~ Caption on FOX News

45. "There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton .... There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable ... To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a provocation." ~ Robin Givhan (The Washington Post)

46. "The high-sheen lip gloss, the 'Naughty Monkey' brand red pumps, the black leather outfits, the winking, for heaven's sake. She's the original 'Mean Girl' -- the head honcho of Orwell's 'Junior Anti-Sex League' dressed to kill. You want her, but you can't have her. ~ Gene Lyons about Sarah Palin

47. "There's also this issue that, on April 18, she gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome... The baby is just slightly more than 4 months old now. Children with Down syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of vice president, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?" ~ John Roberts about Sarah Palin

48. "We want to have her over for dinner. I trust her. I want her watching my kids. I want her laying next to me in bed. That's the way people vote." ~ Donny Deutsch about Sarah Palin

49. "What could have John Edwards' motivations been to have the affair with Rielle Hunter, given his wife is smarter than he is and probably nagging him a lot about doing this, and he found somebody that did something with her mouth other than talk." ~ Rush Limbaugh

50. "[Hillary Clinton] is not called a B-word because she's assertive and aggressive; she's called a B-word because she acts like one." ~ Mark Rudov

You can report problematic coverage of women candidates at Name It, Change It -- a new non-partisan project put together by the WCF Foundation, Women's Media Center, and Political Parity to fight sexist and misogynistic coverage in the campaign.

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