Reports that four women had failed to complete the U.S. Marines Corps’ officers training course in Quantico, Virginia only seemed to fuel 700 Club host Pat Robertson’s dismay that women would even attempt to serve in combat.
“I was trained at Quantico,” Robertson told co-host Wendy Griffith on Tuesday. “I didn’t think it was all that demanding, but I’m not a lady. The SEAL team training is ungodly difficult. Why would a woman want to go through that?”
“You know, I don’t know,” Griffith answered. “I like to work out. I like to challenge myself. I think there are just some women that want to see what they can do to the limit.”
Robertson then began describing some of the training conditions.
“They go on punishing hikes with huge packs on their back,” he explained to Griffith. “The Marine Corps training doesn’t come close to the SEAL training and all the women washed out of that course.”
Robertson was about to say that women serving in combat situations was not a good idea, before Griffith finished the sentence for him.
“Men and women — I mean, there’s gonna be all kinds of issues,” she continued, echoing a recent piece by former National Review columnist John Derbyshire. “Sexual attraction, all kinds of issues that you don’t wanna have to deal with when you’re trying to protect your country.”
While the televangelist and former Republican presidential candidate served in the Corps from 1950 to 1952, questions have been raised surrounding his service. The Los Angeles Times reported in 1986 that a fellow former Marine, California state Sen. Pete McCloskey Jr. (R) accused him of ducking combat during the Korean War with the help of his father, late Sen. A. Willis Robertson (D-VA).
That same year, People magazine reported that Robertson retaliated by filing at $35 million libel suit against McCloskey before deciding to withdraw it so that it would not interfere with his campaign for the Republican nomination.
“The most distinct memory I have of all this is Pat standing on the dock at Kobe with this big grin on his face, saying, ‘So long, you guys—good luck,'” McCloskey said at the time.
Watch Robertson and Griffith’s conversation from Tuesday, posted by Right Wing Watch, below.