A Sunday MSNBC panel debated the merits of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders playing the “woman card” in her tweet supporting Trump’s CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel.
Given the questions surrounding her alleged involvement in CIA black site torture, critics — including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul — have sharply criticized the Haspel pick. But Sanders came to her defense on Saturday with a tweet emphasizing Haspel’s gender and accusing Democrats who oppose the pick of hypocrisy.
There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 5, 2018
“There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Any Democrat who claims to support women’s empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite,” tweeted Sanders.
The tweet led Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour to acknowledge Sanders’ use of the “woman card,” but also to praise it.
“She’s playing the woman card … I like the tweet, but it’s pro woman,” said Nikpour. “It’s pro-woman. It is…”
“I’m sorry but my eyes cannot roll back far enough in my head,” interrupted New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg. “The idea that there is no kind of feminist in America who is rooting for the first female water-boarder to take power. The idea that they’re going to play the woman card, the most sexist administration in modern history…”
“So they’re not supposed to play it?” asked Nikpour.
“They’re not supposed to play it,” responded Goldberg.
“It’s a card, it’s a card. They are playing a card. It’s not serious,” journalist Bobby Ghosh said. “This tweet is inconsistent with everything the White House has said regarding women.”
“What I’m saying is this,” said Nikpour. “You’re right. You’re right. The woman card is being played but there is nothing wrong with it because if you take the woman card away she still has 30 years experience. She is qualified.”