What do women and cigarettes have in common?

Higher healthcare premiums.

Therefore, being a woman must be a pre-existing condition, right?

Not exactly. But a Republican congressman from Texas got caught with his foot in his mouth during a late-night meeting of the Rules Committee last week.

"Why should a woman pay more than a man?" Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) reportedly asked the congressman.

"Well, we're all different," Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) explained. "Why should a smoker pay more?"

The Texas Republican was interrupted, and Democrats latched on to what they saw as political gold.

“The NRCC and extreme right wing of the Republican Party are totally out of step with women," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Crider and former press secretary for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

"First, the NRCC says that a man ought to put the first woman Speaker of the House ‘in her place,'" Crider added. "I don't know what's scarier, whether NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions actually believes women are second class citizens or whether he believes it's political beneficial for the NRCC to say so."

Hat tip: Huffington Post, Politico.