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. Mark

    Getting tired of all the sexist crap. Come one, does that mean you can't stay anything about a woman running for public office. Is that not reverse sexism? Sounds to me like the sexism stuff is gonna backfire on palin.

    September 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Demon_Joe

    Give me a break!

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Catherine

    The McCain has been trying to belittle Obama's experience since day one and you didn't hear Obama crying.

    SO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NEEDS TO STOP ALREADY!!!!

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Chris

    Fiorina is a failure and no one cares what she has to say. Her logic sucks. If you mock a woman who lacks substance, you are sexist since all women have substance... Maybe she used some sort of similar faulty logic at her last job. That would explain why she was ousted. SHUT UP, Fiorina. SHUT UP, McCain. SHUT UP, Palin.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Alabama Dem

    Are the republicans going to scream sexism for everything. It is SNL they make fun of everybody. The republicans are like the guy who punches someone and when that person fights back they cry foul. They told Hillary not to scream sexism, and told Barack not to bring up race, because they are the party that actually commits acts of sexism and racism. I know what the GOP is capable of in Alabama.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Dave

    "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."

    Uhhh...OK. Fiorina does understand that Hillary is also a woman, right?

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    C'mon! Give me a break already!

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Jessica

    Give me a break!
    I am a women and I thought it was hysterical!
    Check it out on youtube for yourself.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Capablanca

    America, please tune out all this sexist crap. In America, it is ok to be sexist and not a racist. Eventhough Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined, let's just vote the two old boys in since they can keep the status quo, afterall they have been voting with their party almost 100% of the time.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Marti M, Plano, TX

    Please, Carly, enough already with the "sexist" talk. Lighten up and get a sense of humor. Jeez.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. tsolow

    HOW CAN IT BE SEXIST IF THERE'S TWO WOMEN AND ONLY ONE OF THEM IS A MORON?

    THAT'S THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. shannon

    As a McCain supporter let me say...

    that was a funny bit.

    Reps need to lighten up. Everyone knows that SNL is pro-Hillary...I mean geeeeez...NY is her state.

    It would have been best to laugh it off.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Daryl from Seattle

    I think it's sexist that this woman thinks she can use sex as some kind of reverse psychology to combat the allegations that Palin is inexperienced. Obama has had every right to use the same argument and call it racism, which he hasn't because he's running as a person, not a racial figure or a representative of his gender. If you want equality, this is it. Don't start trying to pull the sexism card when it's convenient. Fight through it like every other PERSON has had to in the past.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Don

    is she crediting the Obama camp with the SNL skit???
    rediculous!!

    It is shamefull the way the McCain camp (Fiorina specifically) screams sexist evertime someone makes a negative comment about Palin's credentials. Talk about a bait and switch.

    Someone should show Fiorina the video of Palin talking about sexism.

    McCain, and all of his surragates are real sleaze bags. I mean it, they are used car salesmen, excuse me . . . salespeople

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Leon, OKC

    OMG someone please tell this women to shut up about all this sexist talk. Questioning substance is niether racist nor is it sexist. Your failed attempts at playing the gender card is pathetic.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Lisa P

    Fiorina's "logic" makes my head hurt (oh, sorry - was that sexist?)

    Perhaps SNL's portrayal of Hillary Clinton's "substance" versus Sarah Palin's was simply "accurate," a concept that McCain's campaign seems only to understand with greater and greater difficulty. All that spin must be making them dizzy...

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Nathan

    Really? Can anyone have a conversation, let alone a joke, anymore without being called sexiest? Sad day for our country. Again

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Juan from L.A

    Its the truth...let her speak or answer questions of the public and media...no but Ms. Waldo is once again hiding!

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Tisa

    The DOW dropping 500 points today was sexist too.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    Is she really serious?...Come on now, lady.

    Why are they all ready to defend Gov Palin. As Palin herself stated a while in her critic of Hillary's whining, Fiorina is really not doing her a huge favor. That is, unless it is once again a tactic to deviate from the issues.

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. jb

    how is it sexist if one woman is portrayed as lacking substance and another is portrayed as having substantive? if anything thing that's biased against non-substantive people only. at least argue on the merits, fiorina

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. mark

    SNL was dead right. Palin is not Hillary!

    September 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. inuk of the north

    Our choice:

    Lipstick Palin or Dipstick Biden

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Womans rights

    McCains voted against equal pay for equal work for women yet no one cites him as sexist when everyone (including other women) else are accused of being just that, sexist!

    Obama/Biden

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Amanda

    How was it SEXIST? It seems that the McCain camp has taken to calling any critique of Palin "sexist," as if that word alone has some magical power to suddenly make the issues stop mattering. Detraction and crying wolf, Republicans, make it seem like perhaps there is a lack of substance...

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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