Sexism and gender politics

Will they be big issues in a Trump-Clinton matchup? Kirsten Powers weighs in on 'The O'Reilly Factor'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. As we've been reporting, Hillary Clinton believes that Donald Trump is a sexist. Mr. Trump believes Mrs. Clinton is incompetent, corrupt, and would not even be in the presidential arena if she weren't a woman. That sets up a big gender politics situation.

Joining us now from Washington to discuss it Kirsten Powers. So, how do you see this?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Okay. So, I think that in terms of saying that Hillary Clinton has played the woman card, I think that's a true statement in the sense that she has made an overt, you know, plea to people saying, we need to have a woman in the White House. She says this distinguishes her.

But I don't think it's something Trump should be saying, and I also don't think he is right that she would not be successful candidate if she -- if she weren't a woman. If she was a man. And so I don't even know why he said that.

O'REILLY: Hillary Clinton, were just like Madeleine Albright, for example, or a Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state without a husband who was a former president, do you really believe with all of the stuff on Hillary Clinton's resume that she would be a presidential contender?

POWERS: Yes, why not? I mean, how is she any less impressive than Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio?

O'REILLY: Not talking about her being impressed. I mean, you can, it's basically she has been under fire for 30 years.

POWERS: Well --

O'REILLY: You know, and maybe some of it is unfair. Possibly it is.


O'REILLY: But, if she didn't have the Clinton name, I'm not sure --

POWERS: But she wouldn't be under fire if she didn't have the Clinton name.

O'REILLY: But she's done some of the things that have brought the fire on her.

POWERS: But a lot of it is stuff that happened because she was Bill Clinton's wife. And so, I mean, there's two different ways to look at it as a thought experiments. I mean, there is one if she had never married Bill Clinton and I would say that we could ask would Bill Clinton had been president if he hadn't married her. And I think that she would have done very well. She was very, you know --

O'REILLY: Very smart woman. There is no doubt she is a smart woman and then she wants to serve her country.

POWERS: Right.

O'REILLY: Okay. I mean, that's for the audience to decide. Now, you made an interesting statement, you don't think Trump should say that she wouldn't be considered. That's his opinion. Why --

POWERS: I mean, he can say it if he wants. I don't agree with it. And I don't think it helps him.

O'REILLY: Yes. Okay. But he has the right to state that without being labeled a sexist, doesn't he?

POWERS: Well, I mean, I think that he shouldn't be surprised when he is labeled a sexist.

O'REILLY: Why? I don't understand what this whole labeling business is about.

POWERS: Because I think women are tired of hearing from people about how, you know, they are somehow advantaged by being a woman. And most women did not feel that they have been advantaged in the work place by being a woman. And so, I think that is something that will rub a lot of women the wrong way.

O'REILLY: All right. So, let me understand. So, the message to women is, because there is a history of women having a harder time in the marketplace than men, if you reference anything about a woman's abilities you are a sexist?

POWERS: No, it's not about her abilities. It's saying basically you are getting an advantage because you are a woman.

O'REILLY: Yes. Because he ran her abilities down and he says she is not qualified.

POWERS: And I think that, look, I'm not saying that she is using it and she is using it to her advantage. I'm just trying to explain the psychology behind it. I mean, I wrote a column today.

O'REILLY: You sounded like you were personally offended when Trump said that.

POWERS: I disagree with him. I wasn't offended because if disagree with him.

O'REILLY: Well, because you are a Democrat and you feel that Hillary Clinton is qualified, right?

POWERS: I don't think being a Democrat has anything to do with it. I think there are plenty of people who think she is qualified but she may not be the person for them but, you know, I think most will recognize that she is an accomplished woman.

O'REILLY: All right. Look, I got to get this on the record. So you are offended by Trump's description of Mrs. Clinton not being job ready? Not because he said anything about her being a female.

POWERS: Yes. First of all, I'm not offended. I don't agree with it.

O'REILLY: All right.

POWERS: And I think that -- I just don't agree with the statement that Hillary -- I think Hillary Clinton on her own, without Bill Clinton is extremely impressive person and could easily have risen to the place that she is today on her own, not.

O'REILLY: Do you understand now?

POWERS: Not as a woman. As a man.

O'REILLY: Do you understand that now sexism and racism and all of this stuff is being used to punish anybody by some who disagree. Bill, I wrote a whole book about it. I mean, this is a tactic that is used definitely, mostly by people on the Left. Sometimes people on the Right have done it to silence people. If they say something that you disagree with, then you call them a sexist.

POWERS: That's right. And you call them a sexist.

O'REILLY: That's right. You did write about it?

POWERS: That said, it doesn't mean that people do sexist things or racist things.


POWERS: They get called out for it.

O'REILLY: You know what, when they do it, nobody believes it anymore because this stuff is thrown around so irresponsibly.

POWERS: Yes. It's been over a year, for sure.

O'REILLY: Give your book a plug. Because I'm sure --

POWERS: It's called "The Silencing."

O'REILLY: "The Silencing" by Kirsten Powers, everyone.


O'REILLY: All right. Thanks for coming on.

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