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Ellmers: Comment on bringing policy 'down to a woman's level' taken out of context

Posted July 15

Rep. Renee Ellmers

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers said Tuesday that her comments last week about how lawmakers can bring policy "down to a woman's level" to better engage with female voters have been taken out of context by liberal critics.

In an opinion piece, the Washington Examiner quoted Ellmers at a Republican Study Committee meeting Friday to discuss women's issues. According to the report, Ellmers noted that "men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level."

“Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them, and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that," Ellmers said, according to the piece.

She added, according to the Examiner: “We need our male colleagues to understand that, if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life – that’s the way to go."

Examiner columnist Ashe Schow also quoted other panelists from the event outside of Congress who discussed better messaging for issues such as contraception, abortion and other social issues.

"If Republicans want to change the message on women's issues, they'll have to look outside Washington to do it," Schow wrote.

In an emailed statement, Ellmers called criticism over the quote "absolutely ridiculous."

"I am a woman and find it both offensive and sexist to take my words and redefine them to imply that women need to be addressed at a lower level," Ellmers said in the statement.

She said it was a shame critics chose to look past the discussion and "attack the open exchange of ideas."

"In answering a question regarding how Republicans can improve their messaging, I took the opportunity to note that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences – and our messaging should do the same," Ellmers said. "If there is a problem, who is perpetuating it? Was it a room full of women laughing, bonding and sharing solutions – or a liberal woman reporter attacking the event and taking it to a dark place that does not exist?"

The congresswoman's office has not responded to follow-up questions about whether the reporter she referenced was the Examiner's Schow, whose online resume lists her former employers as the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and the Burlington County Republican Committee.

In response to Ellmers' comment Tuesday, Schow posted the full audio and transcript of the congresswoman's remarks from the committee meeting.


Ellmers' full statement

"This is absolutely ridiculous and the quote in question was taken completely out of context. I am a woman, and find it both offensive and sexist to take my words and redefine them to imply that women need to be addressed at a lower level.

The point of Friday's panel was to have an open conversation regarding how we communicate our values and principles to women across this country. Unfortunately, certain leftist writers have decided to take this important opportunity and engage in "gotcha" journalism. There were so many positive ideas and solutions proposed during this discussion that sought to empower women. But instead of focusing on these positive steps, some writers are cherry-picking words and using predetermined agendas to attack Republicans and increase their readership.

It is a shame that such an important moment for addressing solutions and empowering women was used to attack the open exchange of ideas. In answering a question regarding how Republicans can improve their messaging, I took the opportunity to note that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences - and our messaging should do the same.

If there is a problem, who is perpetuating it? Was it a room full of women laughing, bonding and sharing solutions - or a liberal woman reporter attacking the event and taking it to a dark place that does not exist?"

30 Comments

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  • Come On_Seriously Jul 16, 1:54 p.m.

    Clay's chances just get better and better.
    Let me know if I need to clarify that statement for Ms. Ellmers.

  • jackjones2nc Jul 16, 12:20 p.m.

    After reading and listening to all info, nothing was taken out of context. Perhaps Ellmers didn't articulate whatever she was trying to say, but that's a different issue entirely.

  • Honesty first Jul 16, 11:12 a.m.

    How could anyone vote for her especially now. SHe admitted she was not bright enough to understand and then to suggest alll women are the same as her. Is she really a Nurse? I would be scared if she was in charge of my care. (I guess she is) She needs to come home as she does not represent us at all.

  • SaysWhoNC Jul 16, 10:42 a.m.

    What a dingbat. Too bad she's in a safe seat.

  • geoherb1 Jul 16, 10:37 a.m.

    In what context would this be an appropriate thing to say? Instead of complaining about the quote being taken out of context, please provide the context so we can determine for ourselves. "We need our male colleagues to understand that, if you can bring it down to a woman’s level ..." seems clear to me.

  • heather27502 Jul 16, 10:14 a.m.

    I think what she MEANT to say was...."they need to bring things down to HER level" because she is too STUPID to understand them! She most certainly does not speak for most women.

  • 42 Jul 16, 10:02 a.m.

    Ellmers has a history of foot in mouth. Remember "I need my pay check" during the government shutdown.

  • veyor Jul 16, 9:31 a.m.

    Well you can be concerned about getting down to people's intellectual level or you can be concerned about getting up from the moral level the country has dropped to.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 16, 9:31 a.m.

    Ellmers who? Trying to think of something positive she may of done for NC, but I'm not coming up with anything. I do wish she wouldn't send out those flyer at tax payer expense.

  • Wake1 Jul 16, 9:01 a.m.

    Politics is a dirty, dirty game - nothing more! Decent people try to stay out of politics!

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