In a taped conversation with a young woman who works with high-school girls at the YMCA who asked him whether he supported the (failed) Reproductive Parity Act---which would have required insurance companies that fund maternity care to also fund abortions---Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna lost his cool, first equivocating (implying that as the AG of the state, he can't have a position) accusing the woman of being impolite and dishonest by recording him, then telling her, in an ugly tone of voice, to "go get a job." The conversation took place as McKenna was leaving an event at the downtown Red Lion.
- *Mr. Mckenna*
- Rob McKenna: "Yes"
- *What's your stance on the Reproductive Parity Act?*
- Rob McKenna: "My Stance is I'm a lawyer for the State"
"You can turn that recorder off if you'd like"
"Instead of trying to bushwhack me, its not really very polite is it"
"Do you think you're honest?"
- *I'm just wondering*
- Rob McKenna: "Do you think you're being honest?"
"Are you being honest? Or are you just not going to answer my question?"
- *I'm a youth worker who's wondering*
- Rob McKenna: "You're not being honest"
- Rob McKenna: "You're just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry."
"Why don't you go get a job"
Leaving aside the fact that as a candidate for public office McKenna should expect to be asked questions by people who aren't supporters, and leaving aside the fact that he can, in fact, take positions on proposed bills, and leaving aside the fact that the woman was being honest (hiding the tape recorder would have been dishonest), McKenna's answer was rude, contemptuous, and, well, impolite: The sort of thing that suggests McKenna has a short fuse and may not be ready for prime time.
This isn't the first time McKenna has lost his cool when confronted with a less-than-friendly audience at a public campaign event. Last year, as we reported, he called the cops on a Democratic Party "tracker" who was trying to film his appearance at a King County Young Republicans event, yelling at him, "You need to put away the camera. Now!" And he had the same tracker forcibly removed from his campaign kickoff announcement last June.
We have a call out to McKenna's campaign about the incident. We've put in a message to McKenna's campaign earlier this week to get his take on the Reproductive Parity Act.