Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Hoyer: McMorris Rodgers a ‘Transparent’ Pick to Deliver SOTU Response

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McMorris Rodgers preps for the GOP response to the State of the Union address. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers delivered the official GOP rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night in a bid to offer voters a new face for the party ahead of the midterm elections.

On Wednesday morning, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., predicted voters would see through that effort to appeal to minorities and women, and other constituencies traditionally unmoved by the Republican platform.

“I think the Republican Party knows full well they are not a very diverse party, whether you look down on the conventions or down from the gallery of the House of Representatives or the United States Senate,” Hoyer told CQ Roll Call in a brief phone interview. “They are not a very diverse party, and when they get the opportunity to project some diversity, they want to take that.”

One of the reasons the Washington state lawmaker was chosen to give the nationally televised response was her compelling personal narrative and her track record in trying to use her leadership position to promote a more inclusive GOP — and because she is one of only 19 women in the Republican House.

“I think it’s somewhat transparent because all you have to do is look at their convention and see the lack of diversity that they reflect,” said Hoyer, who admitted he hadn’t seen McMorris Rodgers’ address. “But much more importantly, their policy is perceived by many in the country as not helpful or perhaps even hostile to those groups.”

Hoyer pointed out that earlier in the day on Tuesday, House Republicans voted on a bill to ban taxpayer funding for abortion.

“They passed legislation during the day which is harmful to women and harmful to women’s health, and then they have a woman give their response. I don’t think that’s a surprise,” he said.

Hoyer was willing to concede that “Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a very pleasant person. … She gives a good appearance [and] she speaks well.”

He wouldn’t, however, say she would be able to move reliably Democratic votes over to the Republican court in November.

“Every polling data shows that it’s the Democratic brand and the Democratic camp that’s very substantially ahead of Republicans among various different groups,” Hoyer said.

  • Will

    Firstly, Republicans have four female governors. Democrats have one. Republicans have two minority governors. Democrats have zero. Republicans have two Latino senators. Democrats have one. Who’s the diverse party?
    Secondly, if democrats really want to attack Republicans for opposing taxpayer funding of abortion, this election cycle is going to be a lot of fun.

    • Julie Pascal

      Someone doesn’t like that you added facts to this discussion.

      It’s IMPORTANT that women believe that Republicans hate them and that women are not welcome. It’s sort of like high school… when your “friend” tells you that so-and-so hates your guts and said something mean. It’s almost never true, but it’s a social tool to force conformity and tribal boundaries. If someone makes a different friend they won’t like you best anymore.

  • Thren3019

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  • Julie Pascal

    Because, you see… “Hoyer was willing to concede that “Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a very pleasant person. … She gives a good appearance [and] she speaks well.”” …Democrats fundamentally disrespect the accomplishments of women. She can’t, after all, THINK. She can’t, after all, understand policy well enough to have an actual Republican way of thinking about government or solutions. Men can have different opinions, can favor Hayek over Keynes, can have deep discussions about the philosophy of government, of republics and direct democracies… but not women.

    Pat her on the head, Hoyer, and tell us how you respect women. You can count on Emma Dumain to write an article about poor deluded Cathy McMorris, transparent poster girl for a non-inclusive party, without ever once mentioning anything ABOUT Cathy McMorris, her accomplishments, or anything that she’s ever said.

    • Carabella1

      I know Steny Hoyer and you are so off base. He is the least disrespectful man in Congress when it comes to women and women’s rights. Know what you’re talking about before spewing rhetoric you don’t understand.

      • Julie Pascal

        I read the same quote as you. TRUST ME that if any Republican in the whole world had patted a woman on the head that way, we’d be hearing ALL about the Republican War on Women.

        It’s not my problem that you don’t see it or that you can’t tell the difference between respect (being treated like a full adult with a brain) and pandering (here, have a cookie, I’m on your side not like those mean people who expect you to be all grown up.)

        Oh… but she’s well spoken for a deluded air head…

        Right… respect. That’s what it looks like.

        I will give you this, though… it’s not Hoyer’s fault that those were the quotes chosen for this article or that every humanizing bit of information has been removed from Cathy McMorris Rodgers leaving us ONLY with what Hoyer said about her. All of the rest, and Hoyer’s other quotes, are an explicit call to degenerate a woman Republican, to dismiss and diminish her. To outright SAY that she’s some sort of puppet without her own mind and without principled ideas… and unwelcome in her own party besides.

        This is entirely and ONLY disrespectful of women. As a libertarian I can be offended for the disrespect shown women, the “group-think” that we’re required to hold to before we’re given that “respect” that you talk about, no matter where I see it or where I hear it.

        • Carabella1

          Then I suppose that would be as much respect as you people afford our First Lady. How interesting. I’d call that selective hypocrisy. Only your kind of woman is deserving. I would hope I’m wrong and you have actually defended the woman Rush Limbaugh calls “Moochelle”… right?

          • Greg Harpe

            “…you people”?

      • Greg Harpe

        Did you miss the part where Rep. Hoyer admitted he hadn’t even SEEN Rep. Morris Rodgers’ giving the Republican reply, yet somehow felt he could speak intelligently on it?

  • Greg Harpe

    Rep. Hoyer(D) freely admitted he hadn’t seen Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ response. Then he launched into a tirade denouncing an address that he hadn’t even seen. That last little crack toward the end: “Hoyer was willing to concede that “Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a very pleasant person. … She gives a good appearance [and] she speaks well.”, simply reeks of snobbery and elitism.

  • semby

    Democrats support killing unborn babies; can’t get worse that.
    They are anti-children.

  • Benjamin Dover

    As Lenin asked: Who decides what is “fair” for whom? Who decides how much their friends and supporters should have? And on, and on.

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