Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton dismissed criticism that she doesn’t smile enough by suggesting such comments are sexist.
In an interview during CNN’s “Final Five” program, anchor Anderson Cooper asked Clinton if she thinks she is judged differently than her male rivals for the presidency.
“Do you think you’re held to a different standard?” Cooper said. “I’ve seen people on television saying, ‘Oh, you should smile more … that when you’re speaking it sounds like you’re yelling.’ Do you think … is that sexist?”
While Clinton didn’t answer the question directly, the implication was apparent.
“Well let me say, I don’t hear anybody say that about men,” Clinton said. “And I’ve seen a lot of male candidates who don’t smile very much and who talk pretty loud. So I guess I’ll just leave it at that.”
The question was a reference to a comment made by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who observed Clinton’s supposed lack of smiling during her victory speech March 15, after the candidate won three crucial primary states.
Other pundits, including Fox News analyst Brit Hume, took issue with Clinton’s volume.
Hillary having a big night in the primaries. So she’s shouting angrily in her victory speech. Supporters loving it. What’s she mad at?
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 16, 2016
The tweets ignited a firestorm of backlash from critics who found sexist undertones in the comments.
“If there’s one thing I know as a man, it’s that women love it when men publicly police women’s tone and tell them to smile,” Huffington Post columnist Nick Wing wrote.
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