A Mississippi gubernatorial candidate defended his refusal to spend time alone with a female reporter unless she was accompanied by a male colleague – a movement she & # 39; sexist & # 39; called.
Reporter Larrison Campbell, 40, asked to ride with Republican state representative Robert Foster, 36, during a 15-hour campaign trip, but on July 7, his staff told her that a male colleague should accompany her.
Campbell, who discusses politics with the online news site Mississippi today, told her that & # 39; the candidate's optic with a woman, even a working reporter, could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate an extramarital affair. & # 39;
Mission Gippi Governor Robert Foster, (left), defended his refusal to spend time alone with female reporter Larrison Campbell, (right), unless accompanied by a male colleague
Foster and Campbell started an interview with John Berman from CNN New day, where Foster claimed that being alone with a woman would go against his Christian values.
Foster said: & # 39; I didn't want to end up in a situation where me and Mrs. Campbell were alone for a longer period during that long 15 or 16 hour period, and so as a precaution, I wanted her to take someone with her – a male fellow worker.
& # 39; The other thing that I think is important to point out is that this is my truck, and in my truck we go by my rules and that is my rule. & # 39;
Larrison Campbell criticized his comments and said no other candidate had such a rule and it boiled down to sexism.
She replied: & # 39; Look, we should call this what it is: when a woman does not get access to the same things that a man would gain access to, it is sexism.
Foster previously claimed that he and his wife had the & # 39; Billy Graham rule & # 39; follow, a practice attributed to the deceased evangelical preacher where a man does not spend time alone with a woman other than his wife.
Berman questioned him about his position and Foster claimed that he would only grant access to the same male reporter.
Campbell was interviewed on CNN's John Berman on New Day and said Foster's decision amounted to & # 39; sexism & # 39; because he said he would allow a male reporter to spend time with him
Larrison Campbell looked bewildered and criticized Foster's comments, saying that no other candidate had such a rule and that she was just trying to do her job.
Foster added: “I fully trust myself, but I don't trust the perception that the world calls people when they see things and they don't ask the questions, they don't want to discover the truth.
& # 39; Perception is the reality in this world and I don't want to give anyone the opinion that I am doing something that I should not do, & he said.
Campbell opposed the question why there is & # 39; proof & # 39; for her was to take a colleague for an interview if she is just trying to do her job.
& # 39; Why is it my responsibility to make you feel comfortable about something that, again, as your campaign director said to me on the phone, is this weird request you have? & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Let's go back to the appearance of something indecent. Why does it seem inappropriate for a man to be with a woman? I mean, why wouldn't a gay affair be explained if he was with a man?
& # 39; Unless, at the end of the day, what you are saying here is that a woman is first a sexual object and a reporter second, & # 39; Campbell added.
Foster responded to the social media story on Wednesday and tweeted: & As I expected, the liberal lefts lost their wits about choosing not to be alone with another woman. They cannot believe that even in 2019, someone still values their relationship with their wives and upholds their Christian faith. & # 39;
Foster (left) wrote that he and his wife, Heather, (right) the & # 39; Billy Graham line & # 39; follow, a practice attributed to the deceased evangelical preacher not to spend time alone with a woman other than his wife. Foster has not discussed how such a practice could prevent him from working one-on-one with women in official capacity if he were elected governor
Foster then claimed that he was a married man and that he would put his wedding vows above the feelings of other people.
He said to Campbell: & I apologize for that for damaging your feelings, but I would much rather defend my vows to my wife than to anyone else.
& # 39; I will never end up with a woman in a situation where they can bring charges against me and there is no witness there to refute that accusation. & # 39;
He added: & # 39; I am a married man and have made a promise to my wife, and part of the agreement that we also concluded during our marriage is that during our marriage we are not alone with someone from the gender, and that is a vow that I have with my wife. & # 39;
& # 39; I put that and my faith and my religion, that is why we have that vow, above the feelings of someone else, including yours, and I apologize for that. & # 39;
Campbell asked why there is a & # 39; proof & # 39; should be for her to take a colleague for an interview to put Foster at ease
Campbell reported for the first time about the incident on the online news site Mississippi todayand has often reported on the political life of Foster.
She had called him directly to arrange the ride, as Mississippi Today did with every candidate for a governor, anticipating the Republican primary, including the former state supreme court, Bill Waller, and the current Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
Because of their professional familiarity with each other, Campbell said Poynter she was surprised to hear back from Foster & # 39; s campaign leader, Colton Robison.
& # 39; Hey, I have a strange request, & # 39; said Robison, according to Campbell. & # 39; We will need you to take a male colleague with you. & # 39;
& # 39; In the beginning I didn't even know what to think; it was something like taking the field out of the air, & # 39; Poynter said Wednesday. & # 39; And when they explained it, I thought, "Oh wait, you mean it and this is just because I'm a woman." & # 39;
& # 39; They said that because you are a woman, you want to avoid any form of impropriety, & # 39; said Campbell.
& # 39; Everything that could make him guilty of an improper relationship with a woman.
& # 39; Apparently being seen with a woman in a work context is so unusual that people assume I was there to have an affair with him. I told them that. I said, "There is no other reason than the fact that I am a woman who would imply an improper relationship." And Colton said, "Yes." & # 39;
Foster has right-wing positions such as opposing changes to the flag of the state of Mississippi, which has a Confederate symbol that is strongly associated with slavery in the US.
In a text message to Campbell on Wednesday, Foster wrote that he is not refusing to grant her access to a measuring sexist.
& # 39; I am confident that a majority of Mississippi understands that this is not about gender discrimination, but about a personal belief, & # 39; Foster said Mississippi today on Wednesday.
& # 39; I am a godly man dedicated to my wife, and although a ride with me would not be immoral in itself, the Bible teaches us to forgo the appearance of impropriety. That is what I did and I stick to my weapons. & # 39;
Campbell addressed the issue again on Twitter and wrote as part of a discussion: & I have never heard of a female politician (remember that it exists!) Who invoked the Billy Graham rule when dealing with male colleague & # 39; s.
& # 39; And this corresponds to the & # 39; perception is everything & # 39; statement I received from Foster & # 39; s campaign that got everything going. & # 39;
Foster claimed that his rule & # 39; very professional & # 39; is because other male politicians have followed Billy Graham's rule.
Vice President Mike Pence has made it a point not to eat a meal with an unaccompanied woman.
Before being vice-president, Mike Pence told The Hill in 2002 that he & # 39; never eat alone with a woman other than his wife & # 39 ;.
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