Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) is a “genteel Southerner,” he said in an interview Thursday ― and that’s one reason he thinks it was appropriate for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to call his opponent, Hillary Clinton, a “nasty woman” at the final presidential debate this week.
During Wednesday’s debate, Trump interjected with the insult as Clinton answered a question about Social Security. He didn’t take kindly to her attempt to paint him as a tax-dodging cheapskate ― a characterization that is demonstrably accurate.
“Such a nasty woman,” Trump said. Moments before, he’d claimed that “nobody respects women more than” he does, a line that drew laughter from the audience. Within minutes, the “nasty woman” barb had become a rallying cry for women online.
Speaking to radio host Alan Colmes the next day, Babin, who has endorsed Trump, supported not only the real estate mogul’s decision to go after Clinton, but also the assessment that Clinton is indeed “nasty.”
Babin began by arguing that Trump had won the debate “hands down,” because he’d talked about the issues while all Clinton could do was “attack.”
Colmes then brought up the “nasty woman” jab, and pressed the congressman about whether the remark was appropriate.
“You know what, she’s saying some nasty things,” Babin replied
“I’m a genteel Southerner, Alan,” he continued. “I think sometimes a lady needs to be told when she’s being nasty.”
Here’s audio of the exchange, via CNN:
It’s hard to hear Babin’s comments as anything other than a Republican man saying it’s sometimes necessary to keep a woman in her place. With Trump’s support tanking among women ― especially college-educated women ― amid a series of sexual assault allegations, this kind of retrograde garbage seems unlikely to help.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.