A Republican candidate for MS governor has been accused of sexism after he banned a female political reporter from going on a campaign trip without a male chaperone for fear of being accused of an extramarital affair.
A Republican candidate for MS governor told a female reporter that he couldn't be interviewed by her unless she was accompanied by a male colleague - later claiming that he was following "the Billy Graham Rule". Instead, she had to write about Foster's refusal to let her shadow him on a campaign trip because of her gender. Foster's campaign director told Campbell she could come if she was accompanied by a man, which Campbell has blasted as a "sexist" request. "That is sexism. We've got to talk about that".
Larrison Campbell with the online publication Mississippi Today says she requested to "shadow" Robert Foster to report about his campaign before the August 6 primary, and his campaign director, Colton Robison, told her Foster would not ride in a vehicle alone with her because people could insinuate Foster and Campbell are having an affair. It's why I love my job. "His campaign refused my request because they sexualized me", she writes.
"He reiterated that the campaign couldn't agree unless a male colleague was present - this despite my offering to wear a Mississippi Today press badge in plain view at all times".
Robison had reportedly argued to her that the optics of a candidate being alone with a woman was too risky.
Foster stood by his decision, saying he did so "out of respect" for his wife, Heather, with whom he is pictured multiple times on his campaign website.
He told the outlet it is to "avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion" or compromise his marriage. "They can't believe, that even in 2019, someone still values their relationship with their wife and upholds their Christian faith".
He continued on Twitter, claiming the "liberal left" was attacking him for his "integrity". "Exactly why we need a #msgov who will protect these values", he tweeted.
Foster says he follows the "Billy Graham rule"-the same sexist rule Mike Pence also follows, which prohibits a man from ever being alone with a woman that isn't his wife (or in Pence's case, "Mother")".
A MS candidate who refused to meet alone with a woman says he's following the "Billy Graham Rule" - and he's not the first politician to do so. Foster said on New Day, "I trust myself completely, but I don't trust the perception that the world puts on people when they see things and they don't ask the questions and don't look to find out the truth".
He told Berman and Campbell that he had "made a vow" to his wife and that "part of the agreement that we've also made throughout our marriage is that we would not be alone with someone of the opposite sex throughout our marriage, and that is a vow that I have with my wife".
"We just wanted to keep things professional", Foster said in a radio interview with SuperTalk Mississippi radio host Paul Gallo.