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The 11 Craziest Things The Presidential Candidates Have Said About Women

Are they for real?

It's still early in the race, but the 2016 presidential candidates have already managed to say some pretty alarming things about women and reproductive rights. See for yourself:

  1. Beyoncé is basically a stripper and abortions are worse than the Holocaust
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    Former Arkansas Gov. and ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee once wrote that Jay-Z was the pimp to Beyonce's "sex object," and later, on "The Daily Show," he compared Bey to a stripper. He has also suggested that Roe v. Wade is like the Holocaust, only worse, and he just recently said that if elected, he'd consider using the National Guard to stop women from having abortions.

  2. She must be in a mood because she has "blood coming out of her"

    During the first Republican presidential debate, real estate mogul and former "Apprentice" star Donald Trump said that host Megyn Kelly was being hostile toward him because she "had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her... wherever," prompting women of the internet to respond by live-tweeting their periods at him. He later declared that only someone with "a semi-sick or a very sick mind" would have thought his comment was about period-blood, and said that what he actually meant was that she was so angry she seemed to be bleeding out of not only her eyes, but also somewhere else...like her nose, or ears.

  3. Women on welfare just need to find themselves some husbands
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    During his 1994 campaign for governor of Florida, Jeb Bush said that women on welfare "should be able to get their lives together and find a husband." He has also suggested that we'd have fewer unwed mothers if we'd only resume publicly shaming people who have kids without being married.

  4. The constitution bans abortion

    During the first Republican presidential candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suggested that he believes the constitution protects fetuses, saying, "I believe that every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws whether they...have their birth certificate or not." He also stated during the debate that our generation will eventually be viewed as “barbarians” for allowing Roe v. Wade to happen.

  5. Pregnant rape victims should "make the best out of a bad situation" -- by being forced to keep the baby
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    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has repeatedly reiterated that he believes abortion should be banned with no exceptions for rape or incest. In 2012 he told CNN that a pregnant sexual assault victim should “accept this horribly created” pregnancy because it's “nevertheless a gift" that "God has given to you," and "we have to make the best out of a bad situation."

  6. Focusing too much on reproductive rights is insulting to women
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    In 2014 former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina called herself a "proud pro-life woman," and said "all issues are women's issues," so candidates shouldn't "insult" women by "thinking all they are about is reproductive rights." She also said, “We are not waging a war on women simply because we believe there is no good reason for birth control to be free,” alluding to the Affordable Care Act, which requires that birth control be provided to women without a copay.

  7. Women just need to be "re-educated" on reproductive rights
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    Attempts to restrict access to birth control and abortion are sometimes referred to as the "War on women," but pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson isn't buying it. In 2013 he said that women "get all riled up" when the government tries to restrict abortion rights, but there's clearly not really a war on women because people "give up their seats to pregnant women." “There is no war on them, the war is on their babies," he continued. "What we need to do is re-educate the women to understand that they are the defenders of these babies.”

  8. Women are expected to be smart...but not too bossy

    Ok, so when she said this, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was actually making a legit point about double standards for women. In 1994 she said, "There's that kind of double bind that women find themselves in. On the one hand, yes, be smart, stand up for yourself. On the other hand, don't offend anybody, don't step on toes, or you'll become somebody that nobody likes because you're too assertive."

  9. Women considering abortions should be read their "rights" first...just like criminals
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    After signing a law that requires abortion clinics in Louisiana to put up signage informing women about about "alternative options" in 2011, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "When officers arrest criminals today, they are read their rights. Now if we're giving criminals their basic rights and they have to be informed of those rights, it seems to me only common sense we would have to do the same thing for women before they make the choice about whether to get an abortion."

  10. Rape fantasies challenge gender stereoptypes
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    In 1972 Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote a satirical essay that included a woman who "fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously." His presidential campaign spokesman told CNN, "It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the '70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then," and said the article was a "dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication" that "in no way reflects his views or record on women."

  11. Women are doing fine because the women in my family are successful
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    Earlier this year, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul appeared on NBC's Meet the Press and said, "I’m scratching my head because if there was a war on women, I think they won. You know, the women in my family are incredibly successful. I have a niece at Cornell vet school, and 85% of the young people there are women. In law school, 60% are women; in med school, 55%. My younger sister’s an ob-gyn with six kids and doing great. You know, I don’t see so much that women are downtrodden; I see women rising up and doing great things," prompting The Nation to ask, "Does Rand Paul realize that the majority of American women are not related to him?"