The panelists of Outnumbered railed against President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden health care celebration during a discussion of the lack of diversity in the lawmakers working on the Obamacare replacement bill.
Meghan McCain started by noting criticism that white men are the only lawmakers visible in photos of the celebration. After playing a clip of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price defending the diversity of the group to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, McCain noted there were women present at the celebration, and referred to the criticism as “gender politicking.”
The panel also watched a clip of Sen. Dianne Feinstein lambasting the working group of Senators, composed of 13 men, that are putting together the Republican-led Senate’s bill.
McCain pointed out the optics of the celebration were not ideal: “the first thing you always have to look out for is optics, because we live in a visual media world. There are these female, Republican senators who were involved in this bill, somebody advanced, put them front and center behind President Trump. Why didn’t that happen?”
“I don’t know man,” Lisa Montgomery said. “And I really don’t like to agree with Dianne Feinstein on much,” but “this was a premature celebration…and if Republicans tank in the 2018 midterms, I think this will be the postcard.”
“Why are the women standing the in the back, women need to have a strong voice in this as well,” added McCain.
Judge Andrew Napolitano, Monday’s guest on the Outnumbered couch, pointed out “we may not like identity politics, but half the country does, and the Republicans have to be aware of that.”
“The whole thing looked like a celebration at which the president of the United States was signing a bill into law, and it wasn’t,” he added. “It was an agreement by one party on a compromise that will probably be rejected by their own colleagues in the other house.”
Marie Harf, a former State Department official under the Obama administration, criticized the group of Senators chosen to work on the bill:
I am disturbed by the fact that they picked 13 senators to write this bill in the Senate, and they didn’t pick any woman. I mean, there’s more women on this couch than are helping write the Republican health care bill in the Senate.
It’s not just an optics problem, I actually think they should involve women in this discussion.
“That’s a fair criticism,” Harris Faulkner responded.
The segment ended with two graphics noting that only 21% of the Senate and 19.1% of Congress is female.
[image via screengrab]
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