The media had a field day this week when South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate, State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, called his opponent, Gov. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHaley: 'Open question' if US athletes will attend Olympics amid North Korea tensions Haley: Trump isn't deciding who controls east Jerusalem Emergency UN Security Council meeting called after Trump's Jerusalem announcement: report MORE (R), a "whore" while campaigning in Florence.

"We are going to escort whore out the door," he said. And then he corrected himself, but laughed at his misstep. He later apologized calling it a "slip of the tongue."

Ann Romney jumped into the fray, telling CNN: "When I first heard about it, it hit me right in my gut." And she called out all who weren't outraged. "It's so upsetting when you know someone can say something like that about a woman, and not have any kind of reaction." Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted Sheheen, saying it was an unacceptable "personal attack."

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Sexist phrases always attract the fourth estate's attention and criticism, and rightly so. But it seems that almost all Democrats, many of whom are running on the "war against women" platform, keep their lips zipped when one of their own spews bile.

A quick look in the history books shows a pattern. Democrats' silence on sexist attacks made by Democratic candidates is two-faced.

Earlier this month, Virginia Republican congressional candidate Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockHouse Republican backs bill to overhaul DC Metro Poll: Voters in vulnerable GOP districts oppose tax bill Giffords targets 8 Republicans on conceal and carry in new ads MORE fired back at her opponent, Democrat John Foust, calling him sexist for questioning whether she "even had a real job."

An attack ad labeled Foust's attacks "sexist," "bizarre," "insensitive" and "ignorant." And warned, "Don't be fooled by Foust." Democrats were mum.

Not a peep about the use of the sexist word "whore" from Lena Dunham, actress and comedian who stars in HBO's "Girls." Instead, in a recent Cosmopolitan article, she calls out Republicans for antiquated views. While encouraging millennials to vote, she says: "This is how you keep sexist health care policies from passing." And later adds, "This is how you keep sexist politicians out of office. This is how you create the change you want."

In 2010, current California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), or a member of his campaign, blasted his opponent, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R), as a "whore" in a private telephone conversation. The next day, the National Organization of Women endorsed Brown.

But in March 2012, conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after Fluke voiced her support of mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives. The political hierarchy – including President Obama and Democrats — called for him to apologize. But so did Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Last time I checked, the definition of "whore" is "prostitute." So where was Obama's outrage when Haley was maligned? Shouldn't it be fitting that both parties condemn Haley's and Comstock's opponents, not just Republicans?

And why was it okay for Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuProject Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible CNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' MORE (D-La.) Thursday to blame racism and sexism for the reason Dems aren't going to do well in the South? (Hasn't she, a woman, been elected three times as a senator?) Her opponent, Rep. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTax bill could fuel push for Medicare, Social Security cuts Collins to vote for GOP tax plan Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (R), lashed out, wishing she would focus on policies, not rhetoric.

Who knows why male candidates think it's okay to demean female opponents of either party. All I know is Republicans and Democrats have to retire stereotypical gender labels and insidious prejudice and focus on presenting policies that fix America.

Ashburn is an award-winning Washington-based reporter and TV analyst covering media and politics.