With less than a week left until Election Day, President Barack Obama is calling on male voters to search their minds and hearts for any signs of sexism that may be holding them back from voting for a woman president.
Speaking at an early voting rally for Hillary Clinton in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, the president told supporters of the Democratic nominee, “Hillary Clinton is consistently treated differently than just about any other candidate I see out there.”
“You know, there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman president before,” Obama continued. “We have to ask ourselves, as men — because I hope my daughters are going to be able to achieve anything they want to achieve, and I know that my wife is not just my equal but my superior.”
“I want every man out there who’s voting to kind of look inside yourself and ask yourself, if you’re having problems with this stuff, how much of it is that we’re just not used to it? So that, like, when a guy is ambitious and out in the public arena and working hard, well, that’s okay, but when a woman suddenly does it suddenly you’re all like, ‘Well, why is she doing that?’ “
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The president made similar remarks about sexism and its impact on Clinton’s campaign and possible presidency in a recent interview with comedian Samantha Bee.
“When Hillary is president, what do you think will be the female equivalent of ‘you weren’t born in this country?’ ” Bee asked, referencing the birther campaign against Obama.
“I think the equivalent will be: ‘She’s tired. She’s moody. She’s being emotional,’ ” Obama said.
“When men are ambitious, it’s just taken for granted. ‘Well, of course, they should be ambitious,’ ” he added. “When women are ambitious, ‘Why?’ That theme, I think, will continue throughout her presidency, and it’s contributed to this notion that somehow she is hiding something.”
Vice President Joe Biden has also pointed to the disproportionate scrutiny the former secretary of state has faced over the years, saying on Sunday’s Face the Nation that he’s benefited from the same “double standard” that hurts Clinton. “I get all of this credit for being authentic, and you know, and now even Biden gaffes are now, you know, ‘Biden tells the truth’ kind of thing,” he said. “But I’m a guy.”
At Tuesday’s rally, Obama urged voters to look beyond the “systematic attacks” critics on the right have made against Clinton.
“Has she made mistakes? Of course. So have I,” the president said. “There’s nobody in the public arena over the course of 30 years that doesn’t make some.”
“But she is a fundamentally good and decent person who knows what she’s doing and will be an outstanding president,” Obama concluded to cheers.