September 15th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
4 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. Whiney Mac Politicizes The Troops & Uses Them as Props and Pawns

    Tell Fiorina to suck it up and put on her big girl sense of humor underwear. How uptight and out of touch is this woman?!

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    Oh geez, here we go!! Give it up lady – nobody likes you – and it's not because you're a woman, it's because you're an idiot. You're going to blow the chance to pull the "sexist" card later by wasting them all now. This had nothing to do with the Obama campaign. This had to do with an intelligent woman making an intelligent parody of your candidate.

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. internet_winter

    Any criticism of Palin = Sexism

    Campaigning against Palin = Sexism

    Voting against Palin = Sexism

    Thinking negative thoughts about Palin = Sexism

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. obamacrat

    The "sexist card" again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again......

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

    Wow. This is pretty pathetic. The skit wasn't very good, but it was in no way sexist.

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Beth

    First of all, it's COMEDY. Get it? COMEDY.

    Secondly, how can a skit written by two women, and performed by two women, be "sexist"? Ok, I get it, they're making fun of Sarah, but that's not sexist.

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. yonimal

    Oh shutup Florina. You are a disgrace to women!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. nate

    Not even worth a comment so instead this from Mark Halperin: McCain today - Goes on to criticize Obama’s record: “And when you look at some of the planetariums and other foolishness that he asked for, he shouldn’t be saying anything about Governor Palin.” Planetariums? My kids (who are now both in nyc g&t programs) learned a lot about science at the Rose Space center. School trips go there by the thousands. Hello???

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. wannabeobamagirl

    well, if the substance-less shoe fits....

    September 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. EZANA

    PALIN CRYING SEXISM TO AVOID Q & A

    SCARED OF Q & A PALIN?

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. kayla

    PALIN IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE REPUGBLICANS, NOT FOR AMERICA.

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Mari

    Palin should not have given the writers so much ammunition to work with! I am so sorry I missed the show!

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Jane

    making fun of one's lack of experience is not sexist. it is the truth the republicans want to hide behind once again.

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. RyanD.

    Wow, what WON'T the GOP whine about.

    Now two women lampooning two other women is "sexist".

    hahahah

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Matt

    You call it Sexist... I call it HILARIOUS.

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Seriously?

    Yes, I am 100% convinced that Tina Fey is sexist against Sarah Palin. This is absurd.

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. MD in ND

    No one cares what you have to say Carly!

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. lynn

    ok.....first of all...have a sense of humor. Second.....how could he say this was sexist re: Palin, but not Clinton? What did Shakespere say.....we thinks thou doth protest too much!

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. David from CA

    "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...

    And, the argument is "sexist in the sense that just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hillary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance."

    So, one woman has substance, the other does not.

    How, again, is that SEXIST?

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Shel in GA

    Carly needs to get a life. Carly, iron maiden, laugh a little. Sarah did.

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Amazed

    These comments coming from someone that took HP to nowhere. What qualification does Fiorina have to comment that defines the future of this countyry?

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Jamie

    People belittle Palin's experience because her experience shows her to be a terrible choice for Vice President. It has nothing to do with her gender. I'm surprised at how quick the McCain campaign is to cry "sexism."

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. John McPain

    What else is new? Everything is sexist!!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Steve

    Fiorini is appalled? Yikes. Talk about someone with zero sense of humor! Oh! I forgot! The McCain ad about "The One" fit more her sense of humor.

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. Voter

    So by Fiorina's claim – when McCain tries to "belittle" Obama's experience... is he being "sexist" to?

    Fiorina says EVERYTHING is "sexist"... you can't critique her because she pulls this card every single time.

    At least Hillary pushed past it – illustrating strength and how a real WOMAN acts rather than "complain complain whine whine" which SETS WOMEN BACK FIORINA!!

    (and btw, SNL is COMEDY... it makes fun of everyone, don't you watch the show?)

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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