CBS: Pat Schroeder on Hillary: ‘We Thought the Salem Witch Trials Were Over’

On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith talked about Hillary Clinton dropping out of the presidential race with liberal blogger Arianna Huffington and former Democratic Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, who commented on sexism during the campaign: "It troubles me a lot what we saw. It was like they made a witch out of her [Hillary Clinton], some people. You know we thought the Salem witch trials were over. But some people, no matter what she said, it was 'don't believe it. She's really evil.' This is -- I've never seen anyone do that to a candidate." [audio available here]

That comment was sparked by Smith asking about Clinton: "Did she -- did she get a fair shake? Smith followed by telling Schroeder: "Talk to me from your gut." The former Congresswoman needed no encouragement:

I'm telling you I feel there's a tremendous amount of sexism still out there. And this is not a society that deals with sexism. You know, racism, we now recognize and we all stand up. Anti-Semitism, the same thing. Good for us. That's wonderful...But the sexism that we saw in some of the media really troubled me. And we didn't have party leaders standing up. You know, If you're the woman and you stand up and say, 'Wait a minute I believe that's sexist.'...Then everybody says, 'oh, there they go. They're whining, they can't take it.' And I really think we have a lot of ground to cover on sexism.

At the beginning of the segment, Schroeder also said to Smith: "I was the one who said the White House was the ultimate treehouse with the big "no girls allowed" on it." Smith then asked: "Do you think they can take the sign down?," Schroeder replied: "No, not yet." Schroeder shared similar feelings on National Public Radio’s May 22 All Things Considered with Michele Norris.

Smith asked Huffington about the sexism question quoting from Clinton’s Saturday concession speech: "‘18 million cracks in this glass ceiling,’ is your sense the glass ceiling is about to be ultimately broken?" Huffington agreed with Schroder: "Oh, it will definitely be broken. You know, we broke one ceiling with the nomination of Barack Obama and, as Pat said, there is residual sexism, there is residual racism."

Huffington went on to add how Clinton had "transformed" herself and Smith agreed:

HUFFINGTON: ...also what is amazing is the way she was herself transformed through the campaign.

SMITH: Right.

HUFFINGTON: She's now the keeper of the Clinton brand. And she has changed the Clinton brand. It's much more popular and --

SMITH: Absolutely. Because she started as a celebrity candidate. She transcended that, by the end she was her own person.

This segment is not the first time that Smith has shown his feminist streak, as he did when he welcomed Katie Couric to CBS: "This is one old CBS hand who can't wait till she starts. Couric, for my money, is the best live television interviewer, period...And as for a woman as the solo network anchor? What took them so long?"

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:08AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton officially suspended her presidential campaign, endorsing former rival Barack Obama and uttering these historic words:

HILLARY CLINTON: When we first started, people everywhere asked the same questions, could a woman really serve as commander in chief? Well, I think we answered that one. To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all the way, especially the young people who put so much into this campaign, it would break my heart if in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours. Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And when you stumble, keep faith. And when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on. Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it.

SMITH: Joining us now, Pat Schroeder, former congresswoman from Colorado, herself a one-time presidential hopeful. And Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post. Good morning to you both.

PAT SCHROEDER: Good morning.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: Good morning.

SMITH: Congresswoman, I can't help but remember first meeting you in the '70s when you were working for the Equal Rights Amendment back in those days.

SCHROEDER: Yes. Which still hasn't passed but --

SMITH: And yourself a presidential hopeful. I can't help but wonder what you were thinking when you listened to Hillary's speech on Saturday?

SCHROEDER: Oh, I thought it was a brilliant speech. It was a wonderful speech. And the wonderful thing about it was she encouraged everybody to keep trying, you know, 'Let's make this a celebration and let's say we moved the ball down the field, we didn't quite get over the goal line, but that's okay.' It's turned out to be much more evolutionary than revolutionary, let me say, this whole women's movement.

SMITH: Right, right.

SCHROEDER: But as you know, I was the one who said the White House was the ultimate treehouse with the big "no girls allowed" on it and --

SMITH: Do you think they can take the sign down?

SCHROEDER: No, not yet.

SMITH: Not yet. Arianna Huffington, what did you think about Saturday's speech?

HUFFINGTON: I thought it was an incredibly powerful message for all women and the next generation of young women and young men. Because the thing that stops people from fulfilling their dreams, pursuing their dreams is the fear of failure. And Hillary Clinton dealt with that head on during her speech when she said 'don't play the game of might have beens.' You know, 'every moment,' she said, 'wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.' The stakes are too high. And that is like a very powerful message which I want to have framed, put on my desk, and give to my teenage daughters.

SMITH: Did she -- did she get a fair shake, Pat Schroeder?

SCHROEDER: Oh, my goodness. Well I really--

SMITH: Talk to me from your gut, not from --

SCHROEDER: I'm talking to you from my gut, I'm telling you I feel there's a tremendous amount of sexism still out there. And this is not a society that deals with sexism. You know, racism, we now recognize and we all stand up. Anti-Semitism, the same thing. Good for us. That's wonderful.

SMITH: Right.

SCHROEDER: But the sexism that we saw in some of the media really troubled me. And we didn't have party leaders standing up. You know, If you're the woman and you stand up and say, 'Wait a minute I believe that's sexist.'

SMITH: Right.

SCHROEDER: Then everybody says, 'oh, there they go. They're whining, they can't take it.' And I really think we have a lot of ground to cover on sexism. It troubles me a lot what we saw. It was like they made a witch out of her, some people. You know we thought the Salem witch trials were over. But some people, no matter what she said, it was 'don't believe it. She's really evil.' This is -- I've never seen anyone do that to a candidate.

SMITH: Arianna Huffington, '18 million cracks in this glass ceiling,' is your sense the glass ceiling is about to be ultimately broken?

HUFFINGTON: Oh, it will definitely be broken. You know, we broke one ceiling with the nomination of Barack Obama and, as Pat said, there is residual sexism, there is residual racism. But it was clear that in Hillary Clinton's case this is a game changing defeat, both for the people who are going to follow her for the next generation, and also what is amazing is the way she was herself transformed through the campaign.

SMITH: Right.

HUFFINGTON: She's now the keeper of the Clinton brand. And she has changed the Clinton brand. It's much more popular and --

SMITH: Absolutely. Because she started as a celebrity candidate. She transcended that, by the end she was her own person.

SCHROEDER: She is her own person and Bill is the tail of the kite.

SMITH: Yeah.

SCHROEDER: Which is really an interesting thing, isn't it.

SMITH: Arianna Huffington, Pat Schroeder, great to see you both. Thank you very much for being with us this morning.

SCHROEDER: Thank you.

HUFFINGTON: Thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC