For International Women’s Day, Mimi Walters criticizes women running for office

Rep. Mimi Walters

On International Women's Day, Rep. Mimi Walters insultingly implies women backed by groups like EMILY's List may not be "qualified."

International Women’s Day is a day usually filled with women and men celebrating the accomplishments of women. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) used the day to imply progressive women are often unqualified to run for office.

After a lengthy discussion about one of her Democratic challengers who is backed by EMILY’s List, Walters discusses the type of women she wants to run for office.

“It’s not that we think women, just because you are a woman, you should get our support. We feel very strongly you have to be qualified,” she said at an event discussing how to get more Republican women involved in running for office. “We really want the best person in office. We don’t want you there just because you’re a woman.”

Implying candidates are “unqualified” simply because they have different political views is wildly inappropriate. Implying a group like EMILY’s List supports unqualified women running for office simply because they are women shows a lack of understanding about the group.

EMILY’s List was founded in 1985, and has spent more than 30 years working to recruit and support pro-choice Democratic women to run for public office. Since the election of Trump, EMILY’s List has heard from more than 30,000 women who are interested in running for public office.

Walters’ dismissiveness of progressive women is not surprising. She has a lifetime 0 percent rating from Planned Parenthood. She even voted in favor of cutting patients off from care at Planned Parenthood, a position overwhelming opposed by not just women but all Americans.

Earlier in her remarks, Walters commented on the “very toxic” political environment.

Yet on International Women’s Day, in a country where women make up less than 20 percent of the House of Representatives, Walters attacks progressive women as “unqualified” to run for office.

Rather than add to the toxic environment, Walters could have praised all women who are running for office, no matter their political beliefs. But rather than lift up other women, Walters would rather tear them down.

What a sad statement on an otherwise uplifting day.