A Republican Politician Says This Woman Can’t Cover His Campaign Unless She’s Accompanied by a Man

State Rep. Robert Foster justifies his action by the “Billy Graham Rule.”

Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

A Republican state representative running to succeed Gov. Phil Bryant as governor of Mississippi told Larrison Campbell, a female political reporter with Mississippi Today, that the only way she could ride along with his campaign would be if she were accompanied by a man. Rep. Robert Foster said that his rivals could snap a compromising photo of him with Campbell to suggest that he was involved in an extramarital affair.

Campbell wrote that Mississippi Today had requested ride-alongs with each of the three Republican candidates for governor before the Republican primary on August 6. “Bill Waller, a former state supreme court chief justice, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves agreed to ride alongs with Mississippi Today reporter Adam Ganucheau,” Campbell wrote. “The other candidate—state Rep. Robert Foster, (R-Hernando)—declined, however, because I am a woman.”

When Campbell offered to wear her press badge at all times in order to make her role clear, Foster still said no, according to Mississippi Today.

“My editor and I agreed the request was sexist and an unnecessary use of resources given this reporter’s experience covering Mississippi politics,” Campbell wrote.

After Campbell published her account of the incident, Foster defiantly took to Twitter, saying that his refusal to appear in public with a woman was “out of respect for my wife.”

In another tweet, he further justified his decision by his devout Christianity. 

Foster is considered an underdog in the race for the Republican nomination, with Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves leading in the polls.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate