Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

GOP Men Should Be ‘a Little More Sensitive’ to Women, Boehner Says

Insensitive remarks about women's issues, like those made by Akin, above, during the 2012 campaign, are what Republicans hope to avoid in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Insensitive remarks about women and women’s issues — like those made by Akin, above, during the 2012 campaign — are what Republicans hope to avoid in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday responded to reports that the National Republican Campaign Committee is coaching male House GOP candidates on how to steer clear of allegations of sexism in elections against female challengers.

“We’re just trying to get them to be a little more sensitive,” the Ohio Republican said. “You look around the Congress, there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus than there are in the Republican conference, and some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.”

Asked whether he thought House Republican men were making progress, Boehner replied, “I do.”

Boehner’s statement was another acknowledgement that his party has some work to do in recruiting more female candidates and correcting its image as insensitive to women generally.

The 2012 election cycle for Republicans was marred by controversial comments made by male Republican candidates, most famously by former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who, while running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said that pregnancies rarely resulted from “legitimate rape.” Akin did not win his Senate bid.

The House Republican Conference has also run afoul of the 19 GOP women in the 113th Congress. Most recently, Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, stood up at a members’ meeting to chide Boehner for appointing only men to a special negotiating committee convened at one point during the government shutdown.

“[Boehner] literally got up and said, ‘You know what, Renee, that was a mistake,’” Ellmers recalled. “And I believe that it was just a very innocent mistake, and I don’t think they realized how that looked. … I believe it is not a mistake that will be made again.”

Boehner went on to select a woman — Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee — to serve on the bicameral, bipartisan budget conference committee.

  • Rumionemore

    A smarter way to put it: give women more respect.
    It beats sending roses every time.

  • pitch1934

    Not a little more, you DORK, but be a whole hell of a lot ore sensitive to the distaff side. They will be running things shortly, Get on their good side, while you can.

  • 2ndchild

    How about appointing the BEST person (be it man or woman) to a committee? How about electing the BEST person (be it man or woman) to congress? Do Republicans need “coaching” on what they say to a reporter . . . YOU BET! They also need to make sure that they don’t under estimate the tactics of their opponent.

    I’m really tired of hearing about Akin’s statement. In fact, I (a woman) was not offended by the term “legitimate rape”. I understood what he meant and so do most of you. I was just sorry to see one of the most conservative members of congress fall for the trap. (Research Charles Jaco and see what kind of reporter he is.) McCaskill probably set up that interview (trap).

  • Tony G.

    Really . . . now we are getting women couching words from John Boehner . . . I don’t think so John . . . go back to sleep . . .

  • bite me libs

    Bohner needs to find a pair and pull it out of HIS Vagina

  • Little_Tin_God

    Just “a little more sensitive”?? The GOP has 1000 miles to go to even come CLOSE to being “a little more sensitive” towards ANYBODY but old, white, rich guys!

  • Defend The Constitution

    While altruism enabled our ancestors to survive in the bands and troops of primeval times, altruistic cooperation cannot work outside of small homogeneous groups that share common ways and perceptions.

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Considering the various cultures that have evolved within a variety of environments, it is reasonable to conclude that the traditions and political principles found among them would be just as diverse.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...