GOP gubernatorial candidate defends blocking female journalist's access: 'My truck ... my rules'

A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Mississippi defended on Thursday his decision not to give a female reporter solo access to a ride-along trip based on her gender, saying it's his truck, his rules. 

Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell wrote in an article Tuesday night that state Rep. Robert Foster's campaign would only allow her to shadow an upcoming campaign trip if she brought a male colleague

"I didn’t want to end up in a situation where me and Miss Campbell were alone for extended period of time throughout that 16-hour day. And, so out of precaution, I wanted to have her bring someone with her, a male colleague," Foster said on Thursday on CNN's "New Day." "The other thing I think is important to point out is this is my truck and in my truck we go by my rules. And that's my rule."

Foster said he "trusts himself completely" but worried about the "perception" of how others would view the situation. 

Campbell, who appeared live on CNN as Foster called in, asked the candidate why he thinks it appears improper for a man to be with a woman. 

"Unless at the end of the day what you're saying here is a woman is a sexual object first and a reporter second," she said. 

Foster said as a "married man" he made a vow to his wife to "not be alone with somebody of the opposite sex throughout our marriage." 


Campbell said if a female candidate made the same request, people would say "if she doesn't feel comfortable doing this she can't do her job."

"How can you do your job? How can you tell Mississippians that you will be a good governor if you can't be alone in a room with a woman?" Campbell asked. 

Foster said "it's very simple," he can always keep the door open and have people in the next room. 

Although this situation is local to her state, Campbell said since publishing her story she's heard from women across the country who have faced similar issues with access based on their gender. 

"Politics is a men's club and if you're a woman you're seen kind of as an outsider," she said.