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WashPost: GOP Women Fighting Uphill Battle Amid Trump Candidacy

Image: WashPost: GOP Women Fighting Uphill Battle Amid Trump Candidacy

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By    |   Tuesday, 02 Aug 2016 09:48 PM

Republican women are having a tough time gaining respect on Capitol Hill amid the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, compared with Democrats — and many shrugged off his negative comments about women and other groups.

"Many of us wish he had not said some things," Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn told The Washington Post. "My hope is that we’re going to see a change of tone and a change of demeanor.

"But, when you’ve worked like I have in male-dominated environments for years, you many times push comments like that aside."

West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, however, has met with the nominee and told the Post that she did not think Trump was a misogynist.

She did tell Trump that "the intensity with which women are going to support you is going to be influenced by the way you talk about women and address their issues.

"I don’t think it’s the first time he’s ever heard it," Capito said. "And I’m not sure how great an impact it made."

The current Congress has 28 Republican women — 22 in the House and six in the Senate.

Only one Republican woman, Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking woman in the House, is in leadership while the Senate has no GOP women in top positions.

During the presidential primaries, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was the only woman squaring off against 16 men. Three of the nation's 31 Republican governors are women.

The Post interviewed about a dozen GOP women for its report.

Shauna Shames, an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University at Camden, said that Republican women face different obstacles than Democrats, including "a less egalitarian party culture," according to the Post.

"The values are about individual rather than group-based concerns," Shames said. "There’s the idea that, if women are not in some place where they should be, they’re not working hard enough.

"This doesn’t necessarily impede women from running for office, but it means fewer efforts to recruit, train and cultivate them.

"There is a story that women are gaining ground in Congress, but it’s not entirely true," Shames told the Post. "If we are making progress, it’s only because of Democratic women."

Many of the women told the Post that Republican women can only move forward through high-ranking political appointments, committee chairmanships and elected positions.

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who once chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee, slammed a rule that limits Republican committee leaders to six years as chairs or ranking members "crazy."

"You don’t set the agenda," she told the Post. "You don’t move bills [as a ranking panel member]."

First elected in 1988, Ros-Lehtinen is currently the longest-serving Republican woman in Congress.

"I think it’s unfair," she said of the restriction. "We need to look at those rules and see what we could do.

"Our GOP needs to do better."

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Republican women are having a tough time gaining respect on Capitol Hill amid the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, compared with Democrats - and many shrugged off his negative comments about women and other groups. Many of us wish he had not said some things, ...
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Tuesday, 02 Aug 2016 09:48 PM
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