A Democratic women’s group is looking to point fingers at the GOP’s treatment
of women following Rep. Allen West’s (R-Fla.) criticism of the head of
the Democratic National Committee.
EMILY's List, a group dedicated to supporting Democratic women, is upping the pressure on West to apologize for what it calls his “sexist tirade” against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
In an email sent to Wasserman Schultz on Tuesday, West said, “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” He also told her to “shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!”
Democratic women pushed back furiously on Wasserman Schultz’s behalf Wednesday, while EMILY’s List quickly started a petition demanding that West apologize. Although reports indicated late in the day that West apologized, a West spokesman said later that he had not.
Jess McIntosh, EMILY’s List deputy communications director, indicated that the progressive organization is intent on extending the blame to the entire Republican Party.
“The Republican agenda is one of the most sexist that we have seen in politics,” McIntosh said on MSNBC’s "The Ed Show" Wednesday evening.
The backlash coincides with a push by Republican women in a new video advertising the website jobs.GOP.gov. The video characterizes the GOP as friendly to strong women, using clips of congresswomen ranging from Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) speaking the message, “I am proud to be a Republican woman.”
McIntosh slammed Republicans for not speaking out for Wasserman Schultz in the aftermath of the West incident. “It’s been shocking that not a single Republican has said anything,” McIntosh said. "That silence is speaking loudly."
—This post was updated at 10:35 a.m.