Republicans are much too timid and skittish in rebutting Democrats' phony charge that the GOP is waging a "war on women,'' says Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard.
"There's a kind of childish timidity on the part of a lot of Republicans, especially on the women issue . . . They've got to stop being petrified by the media," Kristol told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"There are times when you have to look at public opinion and say . . . we should probably low-key the conservative message.
"But that's different from just curling to the fetal position every time the media finds some phony excuse to scream and yell," Kristol said Wednesday.
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On Monday, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus slammed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, saying he was wrong to talk about women's libidos when he tore into Democrats for accusing the GOP of waging a "war on women" in purportedly trying to legislate women's reproductive rights.
In a speech at the RNC's winter meeting last week, Huckabee said: "If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it."
Asked by NBC's Chuck Todd whether he was critical of Huckabee's comments, Priebus responded: "Sure. Yes, I was. And the reason is that, you know, you have to accept the political world we live in, in the sense that you cannot offer up words like "libido" — wherever that came from — you don't offer up these sorts of lobs and set-up passes and serves that allow the Democrats to spike the ball."
Kristol says Priebus made too much of an innocuous statement.
"['Libido' is] a word that Freud introduced . . . It's been around quite a long time. Reince Priebus, who I rather like . . . is, in a certain way, trying to do a decent job as RNC chairman," Kristol said.
"[But] they're so skittish, they're so terrified of the 'war on women.' [Priebus] should've made a joke. Are you kidding? We're going to spend time on national television talking about a word that Mike Huckabee used? The word doesn't offend anyone. It's not a curse word. It's not a derogatory term. It's a term that was used in psychoanalysis for 50 years."
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