Former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said this morning that one of the obstacles in stopping sexual harassment is that “men continue — unfortunately, in too many instances — to respect the men who were behaving this way.”
“Every single one of the men who has been exposed in the last several weeks was been respected,” she told Fox News. “And so, I think men need to decide, I’m not going to respect a man who disrespects women. I’m going to withhold my respect from him, unless he respects others, that will a watershed moment.”
Fiorina noted that “this has been going on in politics for a very long time: Democrats try and defend their own. Republicans try and defend their own.”
“It’s a little bit like George Washington warned us 200 years ago. The problem with politics and political parties is they care about winning above all else,” she said. “Donald Trump cares about a vote in the Senate, no more, no less.”
After the White House first said that if multiple allegations of sexual assault or attempted relationships with minors were true, then “Roy Moore should step aside” in the Alabama Senate race.
Asked about Moore last week as he left D.C. for the Thanksgiving holiday, President Trump told reporters, “I can tell you one thing for sure, we don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.”
Fiorina said sexual harassment and assault is “not my team versus your team — Republicans and Democrats alike are guilty of it.”
“In virtually all of these cases, there has been corroboration of the women stories. And virtually every cases, not one woman who comes forward, it’s three, four, five, six,” she continued. “And I think what’s most — I think what we all need to think about, but frankly particularly men need to think about, and in virtually all these cases, people knew. People knew this was going on. You can’t tell me that no one knew what was going on with Roy Moore and John Conyers or Al Franken or Charlie Rose or Roger Ailes or Howard Weinstein. People knew. Men knew and women knew.”
“And so, while we all express outrage now and people say, should they step down or should they not, I think the question going forward is, when are we going to stop tolerating this behavior and respecting the men who do it? Because all of these men have been respected, despite the fact that people knew.”
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO said that “every woman I know” has been the target of sexual harassment.
“Was I groped by a friend of my family? Of course. Was I propositioned? Of course. Was I introduced as a bimbo? Of course,” Fiorina said. “Did I have on occasion men banging on my hotel room door and then lying about it the next morning? Of course.”
“This is a common occurrence, unfortunately, and that is my point. My point is not that most men are bad; most men are good and respectful. And many, many men have helped many women, myself included,” she added. “And all women are not victims. But the perennial abuse of power by men over women has been with us for a long time. And everyone knows it. Women know it, and men know it.”
Fiorina said one “could endlessly analyze Donald Trump,” but “what I focus on always is someone’s behavior, how do they behave? Are they leading or are they not leading?”
“He won’t be the first president to fail the test of leadership, and he won’t be the last, unfortunately,” she said. “Politics is too rarely about leadership. Politics is too rarely about problem-solving. Problem is too rarely about serving others. Politics is to often about my team versus your team. It’s become like sports. And we all know how emotional and irrational sports is.”