POLITICS

Female Democrats Say Down-Ballot Republicans Are Taking Cues From Donald Trump With Sexist Ads

Trump continues to cause headaches for Republican candidates.
Emily Cain is running as a Democrat in Maine's 2nd Congressional District.
Emily Cain is running as a Democrat in Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

Female staffers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are going after House GOP candidates for following in Donald Trump’s footsteps and airing sexist ads against Democratic women running for office.

Some Republicans in down-ballot races are airing “sexist attacks that use fat-shaming and name-calling in transparently gendered attempts to tarnish a highly qualified female Democratic candidate,” write Meredith Kelly, Stephanie Nielsen, Christie Stephenson, Barb Solish and Sacha Haworth ― the women in the DCCC’s communications shop ― in a new memo shared with The Huffington Post on Thursday. 

“No, it’s not another Donald Trump tweetstorm,” they continue. “It’s the NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee], House Republican candidates, and their allies in sexist television ads running across the country.”

They highlight ads in six races that they say show “the tone set by Trump’s offensive, sexist campaign [has] had a shameful and insidious influence down the ballot in House races where Democrats are represented by strong, female candidates.”

The tone set by Trump’s offensive, sexist campaign [has] had a shameful and insidious influence down the ballot in House races where Democrats are represented by strong, female candidates. memo from DCCC staffers

Some of the examples focus on the looks of the candidates, using photos that make them look “crazy.” Others, they say, seem to unfairly make these women seem unqualified, unintelligent or unable to think for themselves.

Read the full memo here.

The NRCC did not return a request for comment.

Trump has been causing significant headaches for GOP candidates down the ballot, especially since The Washington Post published a video of him bragging about sexually assaulting women. Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.), have struggled with how to respond. Their choice: Stand with a man who faces multiple allegations of sexual assault, or unendorse their party’s nominee and risk upsetting his supporters. 

A couple of dozen Republican senators, representatives and governors were quick to unendorse Trump and call for him to leave the race, although a few have since changed their minds and have said they’re still supporting him

Below are the ads the DCCC women are highlighting as sexist: 

HUFFPOST READERS: What’s happening in your state or district? The Huffington Post wants to know about all the campaign ads, mailers, robocalls, candidate appearances and other interesting campaign news happening by you. Email any tips, videos, audio files or photos to scoops@huffingtonpost.com.

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.


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