September 15th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
5 years ago

Fiorina calls SNL impersonation of Palin 'sexist'

 Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin (left) and Amy Poehler as Sen. Hillary Clinton opened 'Saturday Night Live.'
Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin (left) and Amy Poehler as Sen. Hillary Clinton opened 'Saturday Night Live.'

(CNN) - A top aide to John McCain said Monday she thought comedian Tina Fey's impersonation of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin on NBC's Saturday Night Live over the weekend was sexist because it portrayed the Alaska governor as lacking in substance.

The NBC comedy show's season premiere began with a "nonpartisan message" during which Fey's Palin and Amy Poehler's depiction of Hillary Clinton called for an end to sexism in the presidential race.

"The portrait was very dismissive of the substance of Sarah Palin, and so in that sense, they were defining Hillary Clinton as very substantive, and Sarah Palin as totally superficial," Fiorina told MSNBC earlier Monday. "I think that continues the line of argument that is disrespectful in the extreme, and yes, I would say, sexist in the sense that just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hillary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance."

Watch: 'Palin' makes SNL debut

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO is among McCain's most high profile surrogates and earlier this month was the first member of the Arizona senator's campaign to suggest Democrats were launching sexist attacks at the Republican VP candidate.

"I am appalled by the Obama campaign's attempts to belittle Governor Sarah Palin’s experience,” Fiorina said then. “The facts are that Sarah Palin has made more executive decisions as a Mayor and Governor than Barack Obama has made in his life."

Fiorina, along with other high-profile female backers of McCain, held a press conference at the Republican National Convention criticizing the Obama campaign and the media for what they said were sexist comments about Palin.

"I think one of the things Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency did is attune women's ears to sexist attacks…. Many people have demeaned or belittled [Palin's] experience — and as women, we all know how frequently that happens. This is a well qualified candidate for the vice presidency," she said.


Filed under: Carly Fiorina • Sarah Palin
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Independent

    ? eh? You cannot be serious...these people are reducing Palin into fluff...it is shameful

    September 15, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. FRAN

    Is she even a woman?

    September 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. cjp123

    Maybe it was just accurate? Do all women have substance? Not all men do, so why is portraying Palin as lacking substance sexist?

    September 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. J-Tyme

    I think she missed the joke.

    September 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Ken

    I guess she's never watched SNL? She might want to next week, she might've just made herself the next to be lampooned.

    September 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Ex-Republican for Obama

    "NBC's Saturday Night Live over the weekend was sexist because it portrayed the Alaska governor as lacking substance."

    Truth hurts don't it?

    Caribou Barbi is a disaster and a freak. I think Tine Fey would be a better VP then Palin, same looks, and a much better brain on her shoulders.

    Is it sexist to want a pilot flying the plane?

    September 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Barbara - NC

    Cat fight Cat fight.

    See why folks didn't want women involved in politics? WHAT AN EXAMPLE.

    September 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Griff

    It does not matter! The Women have achance, for the first time; of a Lady President... Now it's a matter of how badly, they wan't one??

    September 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Erin

    Seriously?? Get a sense of humor lady!

    September 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Dave C - NJ

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I would love to debate Fiorina on Palin's "substance" or rather, complete lack thereof.

    By her definition, Palin made more "executive decisions" than MCCAIN.

    In fact, by her definition, the manager at the local McDonald's made more too!

    Keep talking, GOP! You get dumber by the second!

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. mitchell

    OMG! WHATEVER! THAT IS SO STOOPID! THANK THE STARS MCCAIN DIDN'T PICK FIORIONIO! LMAO!

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. BK

    The DNC never stood up for Clinton, they just let Obama and the media destroy her. I give credit to the RNC for standing up for Gov. Palin. The Dems deserve to lose and I hope they do.

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    "I think that continues the line of argument that is disrespectful in the extreme, and yes, I would say, sexist in the sense that just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hillary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance."

    But it doesn't mean that she doesn't either.

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Joe

    and I'm sorry, but Hillary did not get to where she is because she's a woman. Palin was picked for VP BECAUSE she's a woman.

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Danny

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? One SNL is not even tied to Obama, two they are a satyrical show? They aren't nice to anybody. Get over it and stop accusing any one who picks on Palin as "sexist". If she can't take the heat then GET OUT!

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    I hope Lorne Michaels reads this! If this little bit of satire hit too close to home for the McCain campaign ... I can't wait for next week's SNL!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Winston

    Well, she does lack substance and her appointment was strategic to attract Hillary voters. The truth hurts doesn't it?

    September 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. John

    Wow... even the SNL skit is sexist now? This 'sexist' charge is getting over-used. I think if anyone utters any word on Palin other than for praising her, its sexist. Nation, beware! We better not elect this woman, imagine the trouble we'd have with 'sexism' in her 4 years! We'd have swallow whatever crap he dishes out without complaints! Fiorina, looks like ur out of the corporate positions, why not try something other than politics, you aren't good at it.

    September 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. The guy behind the guy

    Perhaps if Palin would open herself up to questions by reporters or the audience at her speeches, she could attempt to give herself substance.

    Simply repeating the same stump speech again and again without ever being questioned does not give someone substance

    September 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Waaaiit a minute

    Those people are UNbelievable. They will do/say anything to stay in the news! I am fed up!!!

    GOBAMA!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Happy in Oregon

    What substance? Palin has no substance. She is Palin the Puppet. She says whatever is written for her.

    And this article from a woman who distroyed HP? She has no credibility! Just they type of woman that McCain surrounds himself with.

    September 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Cathy

    OMG!!!!! SNL makes fun of everyone!!! Give me a break!!! I've had it with the republican party and the tiptoeing that everyone has to do around Palin.

    STOP THE MADNESS!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. you think?

    "The facts are that Sarah Palin has made more executive decisions as a Mayor and Governor than Barack Obama has made in his life"

    ITS NOT THE AMOUNT OF DECISIONS YOU MAKE. IT'S THE DECISIONS THEMSELVES. PALIN = FAIL.

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. joe

    Now even a comedy sketch has to be politically correct? No offense Carly- get a life and get a sense of humor!

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Huh

    I don't think our ears are tuned yet , but then they don't need to be Ms. McCarthy – oops – I mean Fiorina is doing the listening for us. She will find those Reds – oops – I mean sexists and rid the world of them.

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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