Republican California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder slammed Democrats for “slandering” him for characterizing an op-ed he wrote more than 20 years ago as sexist.
“Calif. Dems are desperate & slandering me, distorting what I wrote in a column 21 yrs ago. Here’s what I wrote, decide for yourself,” Elder said on Twitter Wednesday, after an op-ed published in 2000 for Capitalism Magazine, titled, “Democrats and the ‘SHE’ Vote,” became a target for Elder’s competition in the recall election.
“Newsom is afraid of losing power, as he should be. He will say anything to try to avoid the humiliating loss that’s coming,” he added.
The op-ed focused on female voting issues such as Social Security, health care and education in the 1990s, and cited a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.
In the op-ed, Elder wrote: “But there’s a problem. Women know less than men about political issues, economics, and current events. Good news for Democrats, bad news for Republicans. For the less one knows, the easier the manipulation.”
He went on to explain in the piece that researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center “asked 25 questions about candidates and specific issues during the recent primary season” and found, “Men knew more than women in 15 categories.”
The piece also quoted one female Penn researcher, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who said: “The perplexing finding that women do not perform as well as men on political knowledge still persists in the year 2000.”
Elder went on to explain that “Jamieson found women more ignorant than men” because ” Women, more so than men, get their news from local television.”
“Local news-watching makes you dumber,” Jamieson is quoted as saying, according to the piece.
Elder was questioned about the op-ed on Wednesday morning by an Eyewitness News reporter who asked him if he believed that men are smarter than women.
“Is that what I said? Men are smarter than women?” Elder countered to the reporter.
“You quoted a study done by the Annenberg School, not exactly a right-wing organization, that looked at 25 issues that turned out men were more knowledgeable about 15 of those issues,” Elder continued in his remarks to the reporter.
Elder’s campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News’s request for comment on the op-ed.
The op-ed came under fire from Elder’s Republican challengers, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom, who are characterizing it as sexist.
“Larry Elder should be here to defend his positions, but he’s not. I think many of those are absolutely indefensible. I was reading some this morning, and I wrote it down,” former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a recall debate Tuesday evening.
“When he said that women ‘know less than men,’ that they are easier to ‘manipulate’ and that he believes that it is OK to discriminate against women, including pregnant women in the workplace – that’s bull****,” Faulconer added. “We gotta call it that – all of us on this stage and everybody running for governor. That’s not who we are as Californians.”
While Newsom said last week that, “Elder actually wrote an op-ed saying women are not as smart as men on issues of civic affairs, on issues of economics, on issues of politics.”
Elder leads the pack of Republican candidates looking to replace Newsom, receiving 18% support from likely voters in a July poll. While Faulconer and 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox both received 10% support in the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies/Los Angeles Times survey.
A different poll released Sunday found that 52% of likely voters in the Sept. 14 recall election said Newsom should not be ousted, while 48% called for him to be recalled.
Elder, meanwhile, has repeatedly slammed Newsom for his coronavirus policies, which he says decimated California businesses, and added that he would end mask and vaccine mandates in the state if elected.
“This man that I’m going to defeat on September 14, he shut down the state in the most severe way than any of the other 49 governors have,” Elder told a crowd in a San Jose church this month. “When I get elected, assuming there are still facemask mandates and vaccine mandates, they will be repealed right away and then I’ll break for breakfast.”
The conservative and libertarian radio show host has also taken aim at the incident that helped spark Newsom’s recall: Photos from November showing the Democratic governor dining in a swanky restaurant maskless and surrounded by people from outside of his own household.
“He was sitting with the very same lobbyists and medical professionals who drafted the mandates they were violating by not wearing masks and by not socially distancing,” Elder said in July of the dinner, calling it “hypocrisy.”