April 24th, 2010
09:02 AM ET
12 years ago

Republican sorry for 'put her back in the kitchen' slap

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/23/art.bettysutton4.gi.jpg caption="Ohio Rep. Betty Sutton was the target of a flyer sent to about 15,000 homes by an Ohio Republican organization’s that said the congresswoman should be put ‘back in the kitchen.’"]Washington (CNN) - The head of an Ohio Republican organization took back a slap at a Democratic congresswoman on Friday after a recent campaign flyer said she should be put "back in the kitchen."

Read the flyer here [pdf]

Rep. Betty Sutton is the subject of the political attack by the Medina County Republican Executive Committee. The flyer was sent to about 15,000 Ohio homes as part of the political effort to try and defeat her in November.

"Let's take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!" the Medina County GOP said in the flyer. In a statement posted on her campaign website, Sutton blasted the line as "an insult to all women."

"The statement in the mailer devalues the tremendous breadth of talents of women and girls, be they Republicans, Independents, Democrats or none of the above," she said.

Sutton called for Bill Heck, chairman of the county committee, to step down.

Heck defended the flyer's overall message, telling CNN it was intended to educate and engage voters. And he dismissed Sutton's call for his resignation.

"If there's going be a change that's going to come from the Medina County Republican Party," Heck said.

But Heck acknowledged the "back in the kitchen" line was in poor taste. "I agree with her 100 percent," Heck said of Sutton's complaint.

"I think it was a mistake on that choice of words," he said. "This piece of rhetoric was certainly not meant to be offensive."

Heck noted that he has two daughters and his wife had previously run for elective office.

"So the words themselves weren't intended to be offensive or sexist," he said.

Heck also told CNN that the controversy has caused the executive committee of his Republican organization to create a new policy to avoid such statements in future flyers.

Sutton does not yet appear ready to accept Heck's attempt to reverse the slam.

"You can never completely retrieve a sexist message once you send it out to 15,000 households," the congresswoman told CNN.

As for Heck's overall defense of the flyer as an educational tool for voters, Sutton added, "I can't imagine how making such a belittling comment about women could be in any way educational."

Four candidates are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sutton in November.

Filed under: 2010 • Betty Sutton • Ohio • Popular Posts
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    when the repos say it they really don't mean it. How could it be offensive??? If you buy this I have some really lovely swamp land I will sell you cheap. !!!!!.

    April 23, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Judy

    Why is it that the GOP keeps going backward undoing all what we we have done to make this a better country?

    April 23, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Clint, Wa.

    Theses Republicans are so classy, I am really amazed he left out keeping her barefoot and preganant part.

    April 23, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. Republi-cant dance

    and the republicans are doing everything in their power to take us back to the 1800s.

    April 23, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  5. Albert R. Killackey

    Leaving words with Republicans is like leaving a gun in a room full of children. Sooner or later they will shot themself.

    April 23, 2010 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. JR

    Well hell, we all know that the GOP is still in the dark ages as far as social enlightenment goes, why be surprised at some republican clown saying as much, if you lean republican, you must have decided to follow the same dimwitted views.

    April 23, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. TonyInLargo

    We must continue to point out and keep these street remarks and low grade comments by Republicans in the limelight. In a manner of speaking, the next 2 or 3 elections will be a test of the self worth and dignity that we feel as a nation of culture, and, if it is commensurate with the technologically advanced and highly organized society that we have designed and in which we thrive.

    Everyday that passes, Republicans sound like thugs and very un-American. The Party of No is entrenched in negativism. I am an Independent who has voted Republican at times in the past. The news here in Florida are no better with Marco Rubio and other Republicans reportedly having used Party funds for personal use, a la Sara Palin.

    It doesn't seem to end, and, as long as it goes on, they will not get my vote. Those who will get my vote are the politicians who analyze the problems facing us and offer solutions. In this case, only Democrats a re coming up with solutions.

    April 23, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. Independent

    Watch out Ohio, Arizona just approved a law to single out anyone looking suspicious of being illegal. Maybe Republicans in Ohio want to single out women now, remember what Steele GOP chairman said to DePaul University students "For the last 40-plus years we had a "Southern Strategy" that alienated minority voters by focusing on the White Male Vote in the south.
    Minority means what: women, immigrants, everybody not looking like a white male voter..GOP your own Chairman said so-not me.

    April 23, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. quincy in nashville

    Sadly, the apology will not change anything. Playing to the neanderthals fears will always work.

    April 23, 2010 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  10. thinkingperson

    Of COURSE it's educational! It educates voters to the abuse one can expect from the GOP. Do voters REALLY want people of that ilk running their country??

    April 23, 2010 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. Poetic Justice

    Is fair to say women in the workforce has become a very powerful trend in the past years. is not how is frame but what language is used to stereotype women, of all races.

    It really is an misinterpretation and disingenuious way to say such a statement. Is like me saying that the social media should have a life. Of course people are gonna get offended and unappreciated. Or like me telling the social media to go f- themselves but that's more personal and abhor than anything.

    Whatever happen to the less feminine ladies nowadays? You know is serious when the female condom came out...want a link, I'll be more than happy to give it to you.

    April 23, 2010 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. Pragmatic

    It's well know that republicans like their women barefoot in winter and pregnant in summer: every time Bob Dole ran for office, Elizabeth had to quit her job and bake cookies: I wonder, if Palin were plain looking, or her words were coming out of the mouth of a tubby little man, would the GOP be so "in luv?" ... just saying...

    April 23, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. harold

    Sounds just like a Republican.. against womens rights etc...and against pro family Health Insurance..for all families....

    April 23, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  14. jim atmadison

    Okay, this isn't as dumb as Harry Reid's likely Republican opponent saying we should pay our doctor with chickens, but this is still pretty dumb. Even for a GOPer.

    April 23, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    Good God what is happening to the Republican/Tea Party? And what will this mean for all of us going forward?

    Not just the stupid kitchen remark, but all the bigotry and hatred. AZ's new "racial profiling" law. They hate expanded government, and then not only expand it but take away our rights in the process. Women, gays, people of color, anyone who doesn't think like them – it's as if we they'd be happier if we didn't exist. This is getting creepy. Is there not a single one of them man or woman enough to say STOP?

    April 23, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  16. Pkm

    same old gop the moral party is the party to make threats and smeaR people go to a strip gay club and get drunk that seems to be your speed

    April 23, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |

    It was an insult to all women and to any thinking person should have realized it before the flyer was sent out but the sad truth is that it probaly was realized and that group simply did not care

    April 23, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  18. Ryan

    I am not at all surprised. There has NEVER been one moment in history where the GOP was on the side of womens' advancements in society.
    This was the opposition party that tried to stop women from gaining the right to vote in the first place. Going back further this party was so against the American worker earning a living wage that it was just the father but the mothers and children who were also working in factories in mills and on looms sometimes losing life and limb because the conservatives were against health & safety issues and simple things like fire escapes for those places.

    Alice Paul is rolling in her grave when you vote republican.

    She rolls faster whenever Sarah Palin opens her yap trap.

    April 24, 2010 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
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