This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," September 8, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: Instead of applauding Sarah Palin for her professional accomplishments, NOW — the National Organization for Women — and old-school feminists such as Gloria Steinem, are blasting the Republican vice presidential nominee for some of her political positions, including her pro-life stance.
Now the group that's supposed to speak up for women is staying very, very silent while Palin gets publicly pummeled for being a successful working mom. And many women out there are angry about the way Palin is being portrayed including jabs about her experience.
Take a listen here:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA, MCCAIN SUPPORTER: I believe we as women find sexist about the discussion is every single one of us have been subjected to the media's description of show horse, not workhorse. That's what this conversation is about. People are trying to portray her as a show horse, not a workhorse. She is a workhorse with a track record of accomplishment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NAUERT: That was Carly Fiorina; she was the former chairwoman of Hewlett-Packard and a McCain supporter. But we're going to talk to these ladies right here. And joining me now, on the left, we have FOX News political analyst Kirsten Powers, who, by the way, wrote a column about this very issue in The New York Post. If you haven't seen her column, check it out.
And on the right, we have syndicated radio talk show host and FOX News contributor Monica Crowley.
Kirsten, let's start with you. You're frustrated, you're Democrat, OK? So, explain this. You're frustrated by the fact that women aren't coming to the support of Sarah Palin because she is what feminists worked for — for so many years.
KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
NAUERT: To have a working woman, who could have a spouse, who could choose a career, who could have it all.
NAUERT: You're upset with some of these groups. Why?
POWERS: Well, yes, for exactly the reason you just said. And what's become clear is that it's really about ideology and it's really about saying that women have to support certain viewpoints in order to be considered valid by these groups of people by now and by other feminists. And if you don't support those then, you know, what's the pro-choice thing? You know, it's just pro-choice when it comes to abortion but you're actually not allowed to make any other choices about your life, you know, which way you want to take your life.
NAUERT: These groups have claimed that, you know, is that all women should ascribe to being pro-choice — they seemed to think that that should be the number one issue.
POWERS: That's exactly right.
NAUERT: Are these groups dead now, Monica? Are we done with the bra burnings?
MONICA CROWLEY, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: They are completely irrelevant. I think they've been irrelevant for a long time but I think what the Sarah Palin situation has really pointed to is that unless you ascribe to their certain political ideology which is supported first and foremost by what Kirsten said which is the pro-choice position, they don't want to have any part of you.
The Gloria Steinem piece in last week's Los Angeles Times was very particularly appalling because within the context of that actual article, she said, "I'm speaking for all women."
NAUERT: She did, yes.
CROWLEY: The presumption that she is speaking for Sarah Palin or for me or for Kirsten or for you, Heather, or for any of the women watching us today is absurd, it's antiquated. And that's why, you know, they wonder why these groups are jokes — this is why.
NAUERT: Why haven't these groups come around to sort of embrace more issues or when Hillary Clinton is getting pummeled in the media or Sarah Palin — putting politics aside — sticking up for women in that way?
POWERS: Because I don't know what these groups are about. And look - - they're allowed to do that, they're allowed to be a pro-abortion group. They can do that. They just say that that's what they are — we're the national organization for abortion rights or for liberal women, or whatever. I'm just saying a little truth in advertising. Don't say you speak for all women because you don't.
There is a group, though, Women Count that I would like t o recognize because they actually have come out. They came out in the Hillary movement. And they have come out and said — look, we don't agree with Sarah Palin on the politics but we will not stand by and be silent while she's being attacked with misogynist attacks because we're feminists and we're going to stand up for her.
CROWLEY: You know, and the other thing that's so interesting about these dynamics is that these old school feminists, Gloria Steinem and NOW and so on, they can't believe, I mean, they're horrified by Sarah Palin because they say this is what we fought for, for a woman to go and be pro- life? Oh, no, no, no. We don't want any part of that.
NAUERT: That's not what they were counting on.
NAUERT: They were counting on a Democrat.
All right, ladies, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much. Kirsten Powers and Monica Crowley, thanks.
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