Four years ago, acclaimed actress Kerry Washington penned a stirring op-ed for The Daily Beast about why American women should support the reelection of President Barack Obama.
“President Obama knows the importance of women’s rights and women’s health. He was raised by a single mom, and he has been surrounded by smart, strong women ever since—he’s married to one and he’s a father of two. So for our president, women’s issues aren’t just political, they’re personal for him as well,” she wrote.
On Friday night, less than two months away from the general election, a pregnant Washington made an appearance on HBO’s late-night talk show Real Time with Bill Maher in order to make another plea to American women: vote for Hillary Clinton over women-bashing Donald Trump.
Washington first addressed Trump’s proposed maternity leave plan unveiled this past week that called for new mothers to receive six weeks of paid maternity leave by cutting unemployment insurance—while also neglecting to mention paternity leave.
“Having a child might open up my mind to the issues—like this ridiculous maternity leave that Trump talked about just recently,” said Washington. “There’s been a lot of talk about it being insulting to women, but I actually think it’s insulting to families—and to workers—because there’s no paternity leave, there’s no family leave. For Hillary Clinton, these issues and these policies are not about ‘women’s policies,’ this is about ‘economic policy,’ because we understand in this country that if families are able to take care of each other, we do better as a nation. I choose that candidate over the guy who brags about having never changed a diaper. He has literally bragged about never having changed a diaper! That’s crazy.”
Fact-check: True. In a 2005 interview, Trump, when asked whether he changes diapers, replied, “No, I don’t do that,” before shaming men who actually have the nerve to help their wives raise their kids. “There’s a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife, and you know, there’s a lot of husbands that listen to that. So you know, they go for it.”
“If I had a different type of wife,” Trump added laughing, “I probably wouldn’t have a baby, ya know, cause that’s not my thing. I’m really, like, a great father, but certain things you do and certain things you don’t. It’s just not for me.” He also once told Howard Stern that he refuses to raise a finger when it comes to helping his wife take care of their kids. “I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids,” he said of Melania Trump.
Calling Trump’s childcare plan “logically inept,” the actress and activist also railed against the GOP candidate’s (bogus) claims that his company provided excellent childcare to their female employees. “They did a little digging—because he talked about the kiddie cocktails, and coloring books, and slides—and that wasn’t for his workers, that was for people who were guests at his fancy hotels!” Washington exclaimed. “And he didn’t apparently understand the distinction. His workers were like, ‘If we have childcare, we don’t know about it!’”
After calling out the former reality show host on maternity leave and childcare, Washington expanded her argument as to why the impulsive, remarkably thin-skinned Trump is mentally unfit for the office of President of the United States.
“There’s a bigger problem, which is right now, we are in a political climate where we are being led—by the media, no offense—to vote for the loudest candidate and the meanest, bulliest candidate in the playground, and that we are voting based on a cult of personality or a cult of celebrity rather than voting in our own best interest,” said Washington. “I think if we really look at policy, voting for Trump is voting against our best interests as Americans—as workers, as people of color, as women. Not voting is voting against ourselves.”
“And when people talk about [Hillary’s] long history,” she continued, “there may be things that you may not particularly agree with at some point. Like I know a lot of millennials talk about her position on criminal justice reform and the ‘superpredators’ stuff, and I hear that and I understand it. I would rather vote for the candidate who is willing to address mistakes, address issues, take responsibility, be accountable, be a part of a changed solution rather than a candidate who continues to perpetuate fear and hate in the present moment.”