Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards made an appearance on MSNBC on Thursday where she addressed the recent sexual assault allegations against GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Nearly a week ago, the Washington Post released a disturbing tape from 2005 in which Trump is heard bragging about sexually assaulting women by kissing and groping them without consent.
While some have come to defend the former reality TV star’s actions with the argument that “boys will be boys,” or by suggesting the behavior is “normal,” Richards made an extremely important point. She said, “The issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment is not a partisan issue.”
She continued, “These are problems that women face no matter what walk of life they’re in and what we’ve actually seen over the last few days is millions of women coming forward and sharing their stories, and sharing their stories about how these issues have affected their lives.”
“This was not just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual bragging about predatory behavior.” It’s personal. – @FLOTUS
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) October 13, 2016
Sexual assault is absolutely not a partisan issue. In some ways, the Trump campaign continuously pointing the finger back at Bill Clinton’s own history of alleged sexual abuses actually draws that same conclusion.
Women — no matter our political affiliation — are victims of sexual assault at incredibly high rates. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that in any given year, 284,000 Americans of age 12 and older are sexually assaulted or raped. Further, 90 percent of victims are female.
What RAINN didn’t report in their findings? Political parties. That’s because all women are affected by the structures of patriarchal violence regardless of whether an abuser or victim is a Democrat or a Republican.
Richards explained, “Actually, I feel like what’s happened here is that in some ways, Donald Trump has in his own backhanded way now, energized an entire movement of women and men around the country who are saying ‘we’re better than this. This is not the culture that we want to have, and it’s certainly not the role model that we want for our children.'”
When pressed on how Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would handle her husband’s history of sexual misconduct on the campaign trail, Richards shot it down and with good reason.
Just one more time for anyone still wondering: Bill Clinton is not the 2016 Presidential nominee and his record of sexual abuse does absolutely nothing to erase Trump’s. Yes, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump can both be perpetrators of sexual violence.
Richards addressed this narrative, saying, “I don’t know about [Clinton’s] strategy. What I would say is, Donald Trump has made this an issue.”
Noting how we’ve already known about Trump’s long history of bullying and harassing women Richards adds, “This isn’t just an October surprise.”
Catch her full comments below.