Steinem on McCain's Vietnam Years: So What?

Feminist campaigner speaks out against militarism at Clinton event
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 5:41 AM CST
Gloria Steinem attends the world premiere of "The Machinist" in New York in this file photo.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Uber feminist Gloria Steinem downplayed John McCain's experience as a Vietnam POW in a stump speech for Hillary Clinton, and said Americans have behaved since George Washington "as if killing people is a qualification for ruling people," reports the New York Observer. Speaking of McCain's years as a POW, Steinem told a Texas audience: "I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so."

Had a woman been imprisoned during war, the media would have asked, "What did you do wrong to get captured?" she added. The Clinton campaign issued a statement distancing itself from Steinem's weekend remarks and praising McCain's service to his country. Steinem didn't criticize Barack Obama, but told the Observer that she believed he had benefited from people viewing racism as a more serious issue than sexism.