The president of the liberal National Organization for Women says President Obama’s recent comments about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s opposition to his administration’s trade deal were sexist.
Speaking to The Hill, NOW President Terry O’Neill pointed to Obama’s use of Warren’s first name during his interview with Yahoo News.
“Yes, I think it is sexist,” O’Neill said to The Hill. “I think the president was trying to build up his own trustworthiness on this issue by convincing us that Senator Warren’s concerns are not to be taken seriously. But he did it in a sexist way.”
Obama and Warren have gone back and forth over his trade effort, including the Massachusetts senator’s accusation that a future president could use fast-track authority to dilute financial reform regulations.
During his interview with Yahoo, Obama took Warren’s criticisms on.
“The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else. And you know, she’s got a voice that she wants to get out there. And I understand that. And on most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one, though, her arguments don’t stand the test of fact and scrutiny,” he said.
According to O’Neill, it was those comments that were sexist, that Obama’s “clear subtext is that the little lady just doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
She added, “I think it was disrespectful,” according to The Hill.
The NOW head’s comments followed a similar charge from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) who called Obama’s comments about Warren “disrespectful” as well, according to a Politico report.
“I think by just calling her ‘another politician.’” Politico quoted Brown, “I’m not going to get into more details. I think referring to her as first name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps? I’ve said enough.”
“I think that the president has made this more personal than he needed to,” Brown added.