In an interview on Fox News Monday morning, Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked presidential candidate Carly Fiorina about a segment on her former program last week in which The View hosts called Fiorina’s face “demented” and “like a Halloween mask.”
The View hosts were talking about one of Fiorina’s more notable moments during the Republican debate last week, when the former HP executive said people told her to smile more during her debate performance in September. The segment also came under fire from CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, pointing out it echoed fellow presidential candidate Donald Trump’s sexist comments about Fiorina’s face.
Previous research has shown that discussion of female candidates appearance is harmful to that candidate’s “favorability,” “her likelihood to be seen as possessing positive traits” and “how likely voters are to vote for her.” So Fiorina is right to criticize The View for their statements about her, but the way she criticized the show — telling those women to “man up” — could also be considered sexist.
On Monday morning, Hasselbeck — a former co-host of The View herself — asked Fiorina to comment on the segment and asked her if she had an announcement.
“I don’t need an apology, Elisabeth,” she said, also noting that she would be appearing on The View on Friday. “I think what this points out is liberals, and that includes liberal women, when they don’t like the message they attack the messenger. My message to the ladies of The View is man up. If you want to debate me on policies, the Obama administration has been bad for women. Planned Parenthood is harvesting baby parts. Don’t sink to talking about my face.”
But Fiorina has actually been called out by media and various fact-checking groups for her claims about women. Fiorina was found to be massively misrepresenting what was in the Planned Parenthood videos by PolitiFact. She seems to have made up a claim about 3 million women winding up in poverty under Obama out of thin air. And she repeated a Mitt Romney statistic about 92 percent of job losses coming from women that was badly out of date.
“My candidacy has been called offensive to women by women,” she continued. “I have been told that I hate women because I am pro life, by the women. This is what liberals unfortunately do too often. They attack the messenger instead of dealing with the message.”
Hasselbeck asked Fiorina about “faux feminism” among Republican women, saying, “When Hillary Clinton is running, they want to get behind a woman. How do you overcome that moving forward with this election?”
Fiorina replied, “I mean, Hillary Clinton doesn’t scare me. None of these liberal women scare me.”
She also echoed this criticism when she appeared on Fox News Sunday, saying, “There is nothing more threatening to the liberal media in general and Hillary Clinton in particular than a conservative woman, so of course there’s a double standard. Conservative women from Sarah Palin to Michele Bachmann to Carly Fiorina are long used to this. It will not stop me. It will not scare me. Maybe the ladies of The View if I come back again, let’s say if they have the guts to say that to my face.”