U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer told a Fresno banquet hall filled mostly with women Thursday that they have to be tough to run for political office, and later said no one should question Hillary Clinton’s strength in this presidential campaign.
Boxer, the Democratic senator from Marin County, said Donald Trump’s campaign – including accusing Clinton of being a “bigot” on Wednesday – is like no other Republican candidacy she’s seen. “Every day there’s something offensive.”
And Trump’s questioning whether Clinton is healthy enough to be president “is a sick joke,” Boxer told reporters. She said people will see Clinton’s strength when the candidates are side by side at the presidential debate next month.
Every day there’s something offensive.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign
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“She’ll just whip him in that debate, and she’ll have more stamina than him, and everyone will see it,” the senator said.
Boxer, who announced last year that she would not seek re-election, said Californians have two strong Democratic women candidates for her seat – Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris. “Either one will make history. It could be the first Latina from California or the first African American, so it’s exciting to see those barriers come down.”
In introducing Boxer at the National Women’s Political Caucus 2016 Women’s Equality Day Luncheon at TorNino’s Banquet Hall, former Fresno Mayor Karen Humphrey said “we have needed the kind of fighter” that Boxer has been for women.
When she leaves office in January, Boxer said she will continue to be a voice on issues she cares about, including equal pay for women who now make 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. “Over the course of her lifetime, she’s shorted $400,000 when she retires. That $400,000 is a huge amount of money that could really help her in her retirement years and could help her family.”
And she plans to help get people elected to the U.S. Senate, which could involve the creation of a super PAC that will “go toe-to-toe with Karl Rove and the Koch brothers,” prominent fundraisers for GOP candidates, Boxer said.
She said she would be the first woman to create a super PAC.
I realized that I had to do well, not only for my constituency, but for the broader issue of letting people know that women can do this and do this well.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer
After retiring from the Senate, Boxer also will be speaking. She has a new book: “The Art of Tough – Fearlessly Facing the Politics of Life” that she is promoting.
Boxer said she will speak around the country on what she’s learned since she was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1976 and the 10 years she spent in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992 in what came to be called “The Year of the Woman.” When she first entered the Senate, the number of women Senators tripled from two to six. That same year Californians also elected Dianne Feinstein to the Senate in a special election.
Today, there are 20 women senators. But Boxer said she won’t be satisfied until there are more. Today women are 20 percent of the Senate, and this year it could be 25 percent, she said. “And my goal is to live until it’s 50.”
Boxer said that in her 40-year political career, she learned that women have to be tougher and stronger than men.
And they had to be better.
“I realized that I had to do well, not only for my constituency, but for the broader issue of letting people know that women can do this and do this well,” she said.