According to Marjorie Dannenfelser and Penny Nance, feminists and liberals are culpable of a “double standard” towards female conservatives, and particularly Carly Fiorina, who re-emerged in the 2016 race last week to become former rival Ted Cruz’s running mate. Along with her return to the stage came echoes of Dannenfelser’s and Nance’s take on the unfair treatment they believe Fiorina is subjected to. Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group that supports female pro-life politicians, and Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative evangelical Christian women’s activist group, have argued that politicians such as Fiorina and Palin have had their rhetoric falsely tied to tragic events. They co-authored a column on the topic before Fiorina ended her White House bid. Palin’s opposition to gun control was criticized after a Tuscon shooting left six dead and several others wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and some commentators have suggested Fiorina was “gleeful” after a Colorado Springs attack against a Planned Parenthood clinic left a police officer and two civilians dead. The Colorado Springs shooter famously justified his actions by parroting Fiorina’s unsubstantiated accusation that the group trafficked in “baby parts.”
Dannenfelser and Nance believe that as a pro-life politician, Fiorina is treated as a “chauvinist in a pantsuit and heels” by feminists, noting that the the liberal female hosts of ABC’s The View have attacked Fiorina’s physical appearance, a gendered criticism that they not have subjected Clinton to.
Fiorina, a self-made woman who went from a secretary to the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company, made a return to the national stage last week. Also making a return to the public consciousness was a video of her from eight years ago in which she heaped praise upon none other than Hillary Clinton. Fiorina, of course, cast herself as the anti-Hillary Clinton before dropping out of the race, and since joining Cruz on the campaign trail has resumed her attacks on the Democratic frontrunner. Back in 2008, Fiorina said that she both respected and related to Clinton. “I have such great admiration and empathy for Hillary Clinton,” she said. “I saw how she was scrutinized, characterized, and talked about as a woman.” Those feelings, however, are long gone. Just last week, Fiorina compared Clinton to Donald Trump, saying they are “two sides to the same coin.”