As if the Republican leadership doesn’t have enough problems with an increasingly unpopular President Donald Trump dragging down the party with his erratic behavior and legal problems, now female Republican lawmakers are furious that the party is losing the women’s vote at a record pace.
According to a report at Politico, the number of Republican female lawmakers in Congress dropped from 23 to 13 as a result of the midterm “blue wave” that saw the party lose control of the House — and the remaining 13 are not pleased by the trend.
Politico reports, “Some House Republican women are frustrated that their male counterparts aren’t taking the party’s problem with women seriously. After brutal midterm elections — in which suburban moms broke heavily from Republicans to back Democrats.”
The point that the female lawmakers are attempting to make to the leadership is that the GOP risks becoming even more of a party of white men than it has been in years at a time when the female vote has become more powerful than ever.
According to the report — with their pleas falling in deaf ears — some Republican legislators are striking out on their own including Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) who announced last week she’s leaving the National Republican Congressional Committee specifically to recruit women.
“I am going to keep pointing out to my colleagues that we are at a crisis level for GOP women,” Stefanik stated. “This election should be a wake-up call to Republicans that we need to do better … We need to be elevating women’s voices, not suppressing them.”
After getting pushback from Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) — who House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) handpicked to head the NRCC — who called her move a “mistake,” another female GOP lawmaker fired right back.
“I’m sorry — Tom Emmer is wrong on this one,” stated Rep. Diane Black (R-TN). “To say what Elise is doing is a mistake? We need to applaud her. She’s filling a void. ”OK, the NRCC’s policy is that they are not going to help in the primary … But if [women] don’t get out of the primary, what good is that?”
According to the report, Stefanik, fired back at Emmer on Twitter, snapping: “NEWSFLASH I wasn’t asking for permission.”
In an interview, Stefanik further complained about how the GOP has treated female candidates.
“When I ran in 2014 the first time, a lot of the advice was: ‘You need to sound like, act like, dress like a typical member of Congress,’ when the average age was about 60,” Stefanik explained. “And I realized that was really bad advice. People are looking for authenticity so you should lean into what makes you different and what makes you unique.”
Pointing to the 2012 election that saw gains by female Republicans in Congress, including Reps. Mia Love of Utah, Mimi Walters of California and Barbara Comstock of Virginia who were all just ousted, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) worried it was a growing trend.
“The only one left standing is Elise, and that’s disappointing,” Wagner said.
You can read more here.