Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Thursday that it’s “ridiculous” and “outrageous” for Vice President Mike Pence to limit his one-on-one time with women.
“I disagree with him when he suggests it’s not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself,” the presidential hopeful told MSNBC on Thursday. “I think that’s ridiculous ― the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous.”
Harris was referring to Pence reportedly saying in 2002 that he “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side.” Critics slammed Pence for the comment when it resurfaced in 2017, saying it suggested he doesn’t see women as professional equals and that women who work for him aren’t given the same opportunities as men.
Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, refuted this idea Thursday in a tweet addressed to Harris.
“I’m a female Senior Advisor to Mike Pence & am wondering why you are repeating this false claim?” Farah tweeted. “He’s elevated women to positions of leadership throughout his career & relies on their advice & counsel. Get your facts straight.”
Harris also said in the interview that she disagrees with many of Pence’s policies, including his stance on the LGBTQ community. Pence has opposed same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ rights.
“I disagree with most of what the vice president stands for, when he makes decisions about our LGBTQ community in a way that doesn’t understand that they should be entitled to full equality and all rights under the law as any other American,” Harris said.
Watch Harris’ full MSNBC interview below.