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. Amber K.

    She needs to lighten up, I thought is was funny.

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. GB

    Oh, and was the SNL skit about Barak Obama racist? Sarah Palin reportedly found the sketch amusing, so at least she appears to have a sense of humor. Carly's objection is ridiculous, and I can't imagine why anybody bothered to report it.

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Am I a sexist....

    I am appalled that this is the best that Fiorina has got......whining about an SNL skit for crying out loud!

    Is she going to get teary-eyed over next month's Mad Magazine?

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. sa

    I don't think she understands that snl is a comedy show. Eventually, you realize that you can't pull the sexism card all the time. you can't just say any criticism is sexist

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Teacher in CA

    Oh my goodness, they'll scream sexism over anything.

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Loved it

    True relection of this phony Palin

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Sneha

    i liked it very much:) ..tena fey was awsome... can she be our VP?

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. scot

    I guess with the McCain camp the truth is off limits

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Harold

    Why is it Obama is blame for everything surrounding Palin? I don't have a problem with Fiorina running HP in the ground as the male CEO's are just as bad. However, spying illegally on employees is a right wing George Bush tactic. Phil Graham and Fiorina will "further" ruin this country if their guy,Mccluess gets in office.

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "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"

    Huh?

    How is that sexist? This makes absolutely NO sense. This shows that Sarah Palin's lack of substance has nothing to do with her gender, just as Fiorino's failed management of HP had nothing to do with her gender.

    Fiorino says it is "sexist in the sense that just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hillary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance." That also makes no sense. What has that got to do with sexism?

    STOP IT! Carly Fiorino and the McCain campaign are making real occurrences of sexism less credible. You are the one who is hurting women.

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Andrew

    WHAT?!?!?

    The McCain Campaign is willing to throw the word "sexism" on any joke made about Sarah Palin.

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Jim

    Humor? HAHA. Scrambled eggs and beer!

    September 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Matt

    Seriously, do McCain's talking heads just wait for any ole thing and take turns releasing weak arguments about how "outraged and offended" they are? They are seriously pandering to the low brain-power vote. I would've thought they had that on lock down.

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. DENISE

    PALIN has no substance.

    this statement is so true....

    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 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Paizley

    oh for the love of pete! It's not sexist, it is accurate!

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Mccain=Mcsame

    Wow so it is sexit to say that someone has no experience can they play this card more how about she takes Palin's advice and stops whining

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. Dorian in NC

    I'm not even a woman, and yet I feel sorry for women that Fiorina is one of them.

    She clearly has one job: convince women that they're dumb enough to believe that ANY and EVERY attack against Palin's obvious lack of credentials is sexist.

    No offense, but Fiorina is setting women back a 1000 years. McCain is desperate, and Fiorina comes across like his puppet!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Jane

    What in the world is up with this woman? Thru the years I for one have enjoyed the skits on SNL. I think this is the first time I have heard a complaint. So answer me this Why is Sarah Palin anymore special then any of those others who were spoofed. She is just a person like you or me yea right

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Bob Hearn

    "... 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"

    So... lampooning someone based on their *views* is sexist??? I think Carly Fiorina needs a dictionary.

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. janine

    SNL has been making fun of every candidate since the very beginning. They made fun of Obama and Hillary a few months ago. Come on. It's a joke. Get over yourself.

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. gluvnast

    she called it "sexist" when it's one WOMAN being compared differently to ANOTHER WOMAN?????

    mccain is exploiting the GENDER card beyond reality

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. huh?

    How is that sexist? To show two female politicians contrasted by their experience and political "substance" (so-called by Fiorina) seems to me to show that their sex has nothing to do with it. Whether male or female, black or white, or whatever other categorization you want to use, a person can be more or less experienced and knowledgable than another person of either the same or different categorization.

    And it just so happens that Clinton has far more experience and political substance than Palin.

    And could Fiorina actually imply that Tina Fey is sexist?? You'd have to be out of your mind.

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. teacherinarizona

    SNL is comedy...what does anyone expect? I think Hillary was made fun of...did anyone complain of sexism then? Obama was made fun of too. How about McCain? Did they have him on there? We NEED humor in this campaign when the candidates start dragging each other over the coals. But then maybe they should be. It's supposed to be the toughest job in the world! This sexism complaining is getting real old!

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  24. DB

    This is absurd.... geez, even Palin said it was funny. This is starting to feel like 1930s Germany.

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Carl from MI

    Cry me a river, Fiorina!!! Palin DOES lack substance. She can't even be trusted by the Republican Party to do the Sunday morning interviews because they're afraid she'll self-destruct!! Quite right...

    Republicans need some tissues for their issues!!!

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

    September 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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