Congressman Rokita had history of demeaning public statements before hypocritically trying to position himself as sexual harassment champion
INDIANAPOLIS – Nominating Congressman Rokita as the GOP’s Senate candidate would cause a “major issue” this year due to his history of demeaning comments about women, according to Republican WIBC host Rob Kendall, highlighting a growing rift among the state’s GOP power centers.
In a segment yesterday with Brian Baker on WIBC, Kendall discussed the impact that recent sexual harassment controversies may have on May’s GOP Senate primary. He cast serious doubt on Congressman Rokita’s chances in light of the recent scandals, saying “he’s going to have some major issues based on previous statements he’s made… especially related to the looks and appearances of women, which, I don’t know… 2018 [is] probably not the best time to have that on your track record.”
Congressman Rokita has indeed been dogged by a history of demeaning and derogatory comments. Arguing on air with CNN’s Carol Costello in 2013, Congressman Rokita mocked her and told her “you’re beautiful, but you have to be honest as well,” which NUVO described as “sexist and patronizing.” A year earlier, Congressman Rokita suggested that GOP attacks on women’s health and other issues that were part of the so-called “war on women” weren’t “real issues” and that they weren’t as important to female voters.
In recent months, however, Congressman Rokita has hypocritically tried to capitalize on the recent scandals. In November, he jumped on an existing bill on the issue, and then accused political opponents of being “quick to exploit these issues for political gain.”
Before these scandals broke in recent months, Congressman Rokita was nowhere to be found on the issue. In August, he voted to repeal a rule that required federal contractors to disclose sexual harassment and other labor law violations. He also continued to support then-candidate Donald Trump in the wake of his leaked Access Hollywood tape in October 2016, where Trump infamously bragged about committing sexual assault.
“Congressman Rokita’s history of derogatory comments towards women is clearly beginning to earn him criticism from certain corners of the conservative airwaves,” said John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “The wedge being driven between Indiana Republicans in this increasingly divisive primary can’t help whoever their nominee is next fall. No matter who that nominee is, Hoosiers will want candidates who stand up for women and harassment victims, not one like Congressman Rokita who whitewashes his record and points fingers elsewhere.”