Governor Candidate To Female Activist: “Get A Job”


When Republican politicians run for office in the Pacific Northwest, they often try to play up their moderate stances, avoid mentioning party affiliations, sometimes even replicate Democratic commercials in an attempt to lure voters into believing they aren’t that much different from the progressive candidates that often get elected.

It’s no wonder they can get vicious when someone tries to ask them about their real positions.

State Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican candidate for Governor, reminded the people of Washington of that fact as he recently berates a young woman asking him about how he would vote on the Reproductive Parity Act, a bill that would expand insurance coverage for abortions in the state insurance plan as long as the plan covers maternity care as well.  If it had passed, it would allow low income and uninsured women the ability to control their own reproductive choices rather than be forced into paying abortion costs out of pocket or continuing an unwanted pregnancy due to lack of funds.

The bill died in the state legislature, but many reproductive rights advocates hope it can be returned at some point, allowing all women, not just those who are higher income, to have the ability to make the same reproductive choices.

McKenna, if elected, would be able to veto a bill, so its only fair to ask him where he stands on the issue.  But apparently asking about policy is “bushwacking” a politician, and makes them lash out.

Woman: “Mr. Mckenna.”
McKenna: “Yes.”
Woman: “What’s your stance on the Reproductive Parity Act?”
McKenna: “My stance is I’m a lawyer for the State. You can turn that recorder off if you’d like, instead of trying to bushwhack me. It’s not really very polite is it? Do you think you’re honest?”
Woman: “I’m just wondering…”
McKenna: “Do you think you’re being honest?”
Woman: “Huh?”
McKenna: “Are you being honest? Or are you just not going to answer my question?”
Woman: “I’m a youth worker who’s wondering…”
McKenna: “You’re not being honest. Forget it.”
Woman: “Okay…”
McKenna: “You’re just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. Why don’t you go get a job?”

Actually, the woman in question does have a job — she runs “youth empowerment” programs at the YMCA.  And as a woman, she’s likely to be concerned how candidates who want to run the state feel about her right to bodily autonomy.

But even if she weren’t employed, dismissing a potential constituent in such a way, especially when you belong to a party that enacts policies that have lead to a 25 percent unemployment rate for young adults, is not the wisest of political moves.  Especially not when, as you’ve already noted, that constituent has a camera.

Candidates instictively react as though those who ask them questions on camera are trying to make them look bad.  But how is asking a policy question making a candidate “look bad” unless he knows his answer isn’t a good one?  If McKenna thought that snapping “get a job” would make him look better than his actual answer would, what does that say about his positions on the issues?


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Another clueless repuke!

yana dimitrova
yana dimitrova5 years ago

Thank you.

Janice F.
Janice Forester5 years ago

McKenna needs to get alife

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush5 years ago

Does anyone think it was necessary to read this article, before realizing that a Republican politician asked this question?

We MUST have term limits! It is profoundly necessary.
Our legislators will not vote for them, so the only solution is, to vote them out of office.
Where do they get the narcissism to vote themselves continued raises, while trying to deny the average American a decent wage?

Practically, every politician leaves their government job, as a millionaire. j
Some one, tell me, how does this happen?

Nancy Black
Nancy Black5 years ago

This respond probably goes back when Newt attacked the reporter during the Republican debates and everyone applauded because everyone there except the reporter was extremely socially consservative and a tea party member. We moved past that and McKenna should realize Ginrich dropped out recently or if he hasn't, he is such unimportance no one knows he is still in. The more McKenna is afraid to answer questions and be rude the less chance he has to be elected or at least I hope that is so in Washington.

J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

I guess he thinks politics should be free from accountability?

Jade H.
Jade H5 years ago

Wow! I am so encouraged by the comments here by BOTH men and women! Like many who commented here, these people do scare me as many are getting in at a state level and creating major havoc for the women of their states! To have them in on a national level ....well, let's just say I'm renewing my passport just in case....LOL Kudos to all of you wonderful humans!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy5 years ago

His response demonstrates his lack of character. An increasingly common issue with conservative candidates.

Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Smith5 years ago

Really,why does the GOP hate women? Are they afraid of us? I hope so,cause it is the same effect they have on me! Why can't people open up their minds,just a little crack? It will not hurt them and they might become more intelligent! Surely that would be a good thing!