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. TEXAS NICK

    Wow – I am speechless.

    BTW, I'm curious if Fiorina had anything to say when all of the sexist jokes were being said about Hillary.

    Whatdya say, Lorne Michaels, is it about time to dress up Horatio Sanz as Ms. Fiorina?

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Brandon

    lol what is goin on!

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. JJ

    This is Comedy!!! LOL I thought is was funny.

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Tim in Syracuse

    Wow....what planet is she from?

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

    Please explain to me what part of the SNL parody was "sexist." Earth to McCain camp, it is not the media's fault that you have nominated a person who is clearly not qualified for the VP position and proves it on a daily basis. Quit the PC crap and admit it!

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Lisa in Phx

    I love it. Quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen.

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. internet_winter

    The Republicans are in very serious danger of overplaying the sexism card and looking like a bunch of whiners.

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. BTHogan

    Hilarious.

    September 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Ron

    sen. Obama as always ridiculed and belittled his opponents, just look at what he did to Hillary. and the lipstick remark shortly after she made reference to it, re. hockey mom and a pit bull, was calculated ,and voters except for most of his supporters believed he was referring to gov. Palin.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. inga

    FIND ANOTHER EXCUSE, Fiorina!

    SNL HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

    Palin's foreign policy: 'I can see Russia from my house' just about sums it up.

    Palin: "I don't know what the Bush Doctrine is" – " In what respect, Charlie???"

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Natalie

    NO NO NO everything is fair game... republicans need to stop being such whiners and take what they dish out to everyone else!

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Steve

    Plus I forgot about the substance thing. Sarah Palin has substance? Who knew?

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. independent

    She has used the term "sexist" very loosely. I guess Palin is untouchable.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. RO

    Hello? Obama doesn't have any control of SNL!!! By the way, Palin thought it was "very funny." So what is your gripe?

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley Missouri

    This is Saturday Night Live. Most of the Conservative and Republican Pundits on Sunday didn't have anything negative to say about it. I would call it an honor to have Tina Fey, portray oneself in a skit on SNL.

    SNL usually says what the public feels... so, in this case, it did show that Palin has little substance.. but so far, Palin has spoken some great speeches, but when put before a real interviewer, she failed miserably to produce any substance.

    Tina Fey Did a GREAT JOB!

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Johnny from VA

    Sarah Palin lacks substance?????????

    Say it isnt so!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. McCryptKeeper/Cruella 08

    Cue the violins

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Carl from MI

    Everything is sexist!! Give it a rest already, Fiorina!! SNL has the right to exercise its FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS... THOSE ARE THE PESKY RIGHTS LISTED RIGHT BEFORE THE SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!

    And as for being dismissive towards Palin... as a nation we have that right to be that way towards a candidate running for office. As registered voters, it's our duty and obligation to WEED out those we feel are unqualified... and Palin falls into that category!! If she can't hang with the rest of the candidates and do interviews with the media... then she should be dismissed. She's just not ready!!

    WAKE UP, AMERICA!! VOTE SMART... NOT SENILE!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. Sandy

    TRUTH HURTS DONT IT FIORINA...I THOUGHT IT SHOWED PALIN IN FULL LIGHT, IT WAS SO FUNNY.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. JDM

    When the Rep get on messages! They stay on message!
    The problem is, when Hillary was going though this. This lady did not say a thing about Hillary getting call out. We where told to laugh this off, it was jokes and it 's funny. Even Plain herself thought is was funny!!!

    This lady needs to chill out with the sexist thing. Some very strong women I know don't behave in this manner. They don't whine, they keep going and get it done.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. David

    Not sexist at all. Realistic. She does lack substance, and ethics, and credibility, and tolerance, and knowledge of the world, and understanding of the issues, and the right to be on the ticket.

    Why would anyone seriously think this person is the second best person in America to become president? and if that is the case then it is a sorry day for the world.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. DanWeCanWI

    Because of this article I just dumped my HP stock... is that sexist?...

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Dave

    This is absurd.

    People don't think that Palin lacks substance because she is a woman. We think that she lacks substance because she LACKS SUBSTANCE.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Nimi from NY

    It's like no one is allowed to criticize this lady without being branded a sexist. This is ridiculous. If she can't take heat she better get out of the kitchen. Obama has been derided in so may ways by the right wing nuts. Some of them crossed the line in to racist commentaries and yet Obama never cried racism even when when you wanted to make it seem like he did knowing pretty well it was an innocent remark on his part. Fiorina, go find another line of attack. This one is getting kind of old.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Lawrence for barack

    everthing its sexist to these republican!!

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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