GOP rep in 2012: 'A woman can behave as a slut, but you can't call her a slut'

GOP rep in 2012: 'A woman can behave as a slut, but you can't call her a slut'
© Greg Nash

A GOP lawmaker who hosted a Minnesota radio show for several years once lamented his inability in modern society to call "a slut" women who take "a series of lovers," a CNN investigation revealed on Wednesday.

Rep. Jason LewisJason Mark LewisElection Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket Dems see wider path to House after tight Ohio race MORE (R-Minn.), who hosted the "Jason Lewis Show," lamented on the program that men could not refer to women with multiple sexual partners a "sluts" due to the predominance of feminist ideas in society.

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"Does a woman now have the right to behave — and I know there's a double standard between the way men chase women and running and running around — you know, I'm not going to get there, but you know what I'm talking about. But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can't call her a slut?" Lewis asked in 2012, according to CNN.

"But have we really got to the point where you can't refer to Madonna as a slut without being sued? I mean, Madonna has had a series of lovers, as have many in Hollywood. Now in the old days, what did we call this?" he added.

Lewis also attacked female voters in another episode that year for their left-leaning political views.

"One of the reasons that the Democrats love the quote unquote female issue is because they know women vote more liberally than men do. Now you could say in a very, very sexist, misogynistic way that, 'well, that's because women just don't understand money. They don't understand, they're, they don't handle finances. They're guided by emotion not reason. Why, that's why they didn't have the vote for a full century in the country,'" Lewis said in August of 2012.

"Well, it is true that women cast more votes for Democrats. All I'm saying, I'm not validating the stereotype. I'm married to a woman for heaven's sakes, but I will say this: Do not, do not pander and move left to get the female vote."

Lewis went on to argue that female voters who can be "bought off" by issues such as birth control had ceased "cognitive function."

"You have no, you have no cognitive function whatsoever. If that's all it takes to buy you off," he said.

In a statement to CNN, Lewis's campaign argued that Minnesota voters had already "litigated" his comments in the past, and added that it was his job to be provocative on the show.

"This has all been litigated before, and as Congressman Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio," Lewis campaign manager Becky Alery said.

Lewis, a freshman congressman, won election in 2016 with 47 percent of the vote over his Democratic challenger, Angie Craig, who took 45 percent. Craig is running against Lewis again this cycle.