Sen. Ron Johnson: Gillibrand Should Say Who Made Sexist Remarks

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 02:41 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Sen. Ron Johnson says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand should step forward and name names when it comes to accusing her male colleagues of making outlandish sexist comments.

"If you're going to throw out accusations, my guess is you'd probably name names," Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican said of the New York Democrat, on Tuesday's edition of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"If you're going throw out those kinds of accusations, you ought to give people a chance to explain themselves."

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People magazine quotes from Gillibrand's memoir, "Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World," to be published Monday by Ballantine, in which she told of working out in the House gym.

The 47-year-old blonde lawmaker said an older, male colleague told her, "Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!"

Another time, a Southern congressman "said, as he held my arm, walking me down the center aisle of the House chamber, 'You know Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.'"

And after she shed 50 pounds, People reports, "one of her fellow Senate members approached her, squeezed her stomach, and said, 'Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.'"

She also said she was labeled the "hottest member of the Senate." But Gillibrand added she wasn't fazed by the cracks.

Johnson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, said he was unaware of such comments being bandied about on Capitol Hill.

"First of all, it was not me, and I'll be quite frank I've never seen that kind of behavior,'' Johnson said. "It's actually pretty professional. I've never seen that type of behavior. That's all I can say. That's been my experience."

Asked by Malzberg if he believed that Gillibrand was not being truthful, Johnson added, "I wasn't there, so I can't express an opinion. I just never witnessed any kind of comments like that myself."

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