Rick Perry’s New Aide Thinks Women Shouldn’t Hold Public Office

Rick Perry has hired a new top adviser to help him win over Christian conservatives in Iowa and elsewhere. Jamie Johnson ran Rick Santorum’s Iowa operation in 2012 and is a member of the Iowa Republican Central Committee. He also thinks that women should not hold public office.

Rick Perry’s latest hire as a top campaign staffer was embroiled in controversy in 2012 over a private email which suggested children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president, according to the Des Moines Register.

Jamie Johnson is a longtime Iowa Republican activist who was hired by former Texas governor and likely 2016 presidential candidate Rick Perry on Wednesday to organize conservatives in Iowa and other early primary states. Johnson is a member of the party’s state central committee and was a staffer for Rick Santorum’s caucus-winning campaign in 2012.

The controversial email, which Johnson sent to a friend in the summer of 2011 and which was then leaked to the Des Moines Register a few months later, included the question, the paper reported: “Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?”

That email went on to say that if a woman were elected president, children would be harmed. Johnson has offered pretty much the lamest possible excuse for it:

He said the email was “sent to one person, speaking as a pastor, to someone who is a personal friend of mine”. Johnson emphasized this was a “private message” and not intended to be shared publicly.

He contrasted this with the tweets posted by Liz Mair, a former digital strategist for Wisconsin governor and presidential hopeful Scott Walker, prior to her brief employment with the campaign that criticized ethanol subsidies and Iowa’s outsized role in the presidential nominating process. Johnson said those tweets, which quickly prompted Mair’s resignation, were intended to be public and she knew that. In contrast, he argued that his remarks came in private correspondence in his role as a pastor and was about “theological nuances”.

Yeah, it’s totally unfair to hold him accountable for his own idiotic and sexist remarks because he didn’t know you were going to see them! Just like if you catch someone trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife, you can’t arrest him for that because he said it in private, not in public. Dumbest. Excuse. Ever.

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  • Sastra

    He’s claiming religious privilege and immunity even as Christians like him are claiming the right to bring their religious views into politics. You can’t do both. At least, you can’t do both and remain consistent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Without looking at any polling data, I’m willing to bet most women don’t think Rick Perry should hold public office.

  • John Pieret

    “Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?”

    Well, taking a wild stab at who he may have been referring to … there’s little doubt Hillary wants to “rule” the state (“lead it” would be a better phrase); whether Hillary rules Bill and Chelsea are their own business; but when did Hillary throw her hat in the ring to become Pope or the head of any other religion?

  • raven

    Without looking at any polling data, I’m willing to bet most women don’t think Rick Perry should hold public office.

    Makes sense.

    It might be wrong though. At least in certain places. Rick Perry was elected several times as governor of Texas. A state with a majority of women.

  • http://atheist-faq.com Jasper of Maine

    @3

    I was going to say. I’m not voting for a “Ruler”. I’m going to hire someone who will execute the functions of the presidency – foreign policy, manage the armed forces, select court judges and veto bad bills, etc.

  • raven

    He said the email was “sent to one person, speaking as a pastor,

    1. Not all fundie xian churches are extremely misogynistic. Some allow woman ministers although there aren’t very many of them.

    2. But a lot of them are. The Mormons don’t allow women any positions of authority whatsoever, including all their women groups.

    Some fundie churches are the same way. In Protestant churches, it’s usually a bottom up management style in reaction to the Catholic top down authoritarianism.

    The members own the church, pick the the minister, and vote on everything. In fundie churches, frequently they all vote on everything except for…the women. Michelle Bachmann’s church, the Wisconsin Lutherans don’t allow women pastors or women voters.

    PS My old Protestant denomination has about half of all ministers as women. The head of the US Episcopalian church is named…Katherine.

  • doublereed

    Geez, he’s just asking questions!

  • fleetfootphilo

    With Cruz now entering the race, can we expect a pissing contest betwixt Perry and Cruz as to whom is more against working women?

    All I can say is, this is going to be fun to watch.

    Of course, if one of them makes it through the primaries, and wins the general election, it will be the end of the republic.

    But, until then, we’re going to get our share of chuckles.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Johnson emphasized this was a “private message” and not intended to be shared publicly.

    By challenging this clear distinction, you threaten the standing prerogative of US politicians to pump out rhetoric tailored to their audiences regardless of personal stance; to maintain a private position distinct from their public platform; to, if I may use language suitable for the rabble electorate, to lie – thus undermining the long-standing and hallowed traditions of communication from candidates and elected officials to their constituents which have made this country what it is!

    Why do you hate America?

  • caseloweraz

    Johnson emphasized this was a “private message” and not intended to be shared publicly.

    Which would seem to blunt Republican criticisms of Hillary Clinton over her private e-mails.

  • eric

    So, he hired a religious sexist to develop a strategy he can use to message to religious sexists? Personally I expect the blowback will be worse than the benefit he gets, but I can see how someone who doesn’t think that would chose Johnson.

  • ZugTheMegasaurus

    To quote Homer Simpson, “Marge, I swear, I never thought you would find out!”

  • moarscienceplz

    Hey, don’t be so mean to poor Jamie! After all, they are not really his positions, they are his god’s. He can’t help it if he worships a misogynist (and racist, and homicidal) deity.

    it’s kinda like the Nazis. They all were decent, warm, human beings who were unfortunately saddled with a monstrous Fuehrer. They didn’t want to hurt and kill all those people, they were just following orders, right?

  • lofgren

    Hey, don’t be so mean to poor Jamie! After all, they are not really his positions, they are his god’s. He can’t help it if he worships a misogynist (and racist, and homicidal) deity.

    Honestly I have a smidgen of sympathy for this position. IF god really exists, and IF he really is as powerful as they say, and IF he really does want what’s best for us, what possible argument could you use to debate him? If he says women shouldn’t be leaders, women shouldn’t be leaders. Disagreeing would be about as effective and as useful as arguing with gravity.

    The thing is, when somebody falls off of a building and splats on the ground, we don’t cheer for gravity. If they truly believe that women have no place as leaders because their god said so, I guess I can see where they are coming from. What I can’t see is why they seem to take so much pleasure in it.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Without looking at any polling data, I’m willing to bet most women don’t think Rick Perry should hold public office.

    So? They’ll vote as their owners men tell them to.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    And here I thought Margaret Thatcher was a hero of the Republicans, since she was a good anti-Communist like Saint Ronnie.

  • D. C. Sessions

    timgueguen, Thatcher was a Good Woman. Which is to say, she did as the menfolk in authority (read: St. Ronald) told her to.

  • scienceavenger

    Does it really matter? This news is like learning that the Jacksonville Jaguars blew their draft (again). Trendy glasses do not a brain make, and its only a matter of time before the N*gg*rhead Oopster trips over his own rhetoric and faceplants himself right out of the race. And yes, its going to be fun to watch.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Dumbest. Excuse. Ever.

    But acceptable to tens of millions of Americans.