TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – State Sen. Nathan Dahm implied Vice President Kamala Harris provided sexual favors to get ahead in politics.
The leader of the Senate condemned his colleague's comments, calling them "misogynistic, disrespectful, (and) immature."
Dahm, a Republican from Broken Arrow, has a history of introducing controversial bills. His latest was a ban on paper straws – the bill filed, he said, “in honor of Earth Day.”
Dahm contends the bill was really about free markets.
But it was a statement Dahm made in his news release announcing his bill that got NewsChannel 8’s Tyler Butler seeking an explanation of what the state lawmaker was implying about the vice president.
Dahm said in the news release:
“Hatred of paper straws is nearly universal. I’ve never met a single person who enjoys using a paper straw. They fall apart and turn to mush quicker than Joe Biden trying to string together a coherent sentence. They collapse like Mitt Romney under the slightest amount of pressure, and even with Kamala Harris ...well, never mind.”
So, what did he mean to say about the vice president?
Butler spoke with Dahm Friday, and this was his response:
“There's a lot of different things that could be said about that, with her vast experience and how she got her start into politics. In talking with some people one thing that could be said is that you know you can't use a paper straw for a milkshake but maybe Kamala Harris could because of her vast experience. Maybe she would be able to get that accomplished ... people can do their research.”
Dahm chuckled as he finished his explanation.
Dahm did not try to correct himself when Butler asked him directly why he made an oral sex implication about the vice president.
Dahm gave this response:
“Well, with the media, as you very well know, a lot of times they will focus on things that can be attention-grabbers.”
Dahm was apparently referring to Harris’ romantic relationship with the California assembly speaker who appointed her to two state boards. When she ran for her first elected office, the relationship was over, and she told media outlets that it was damaging to her campaign in 2003.
Dahm’s party leader, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, issued a statement Friday afternoon condemning the comments.
“I am disappointed in Nathan Dahm’s comments about the vice president of the United States. His comments were misogynistic, disrespectful, immature, and undermine the good work of the staff and other members of the Oklahoma Senate. As the leader of the Senate, I hold senators to a high standard of conduct and decorum, and Senator Dahm completely failed to live up to that standard.”
Dahm appears to be sticking to his guns. He tweeted Friday afternoon:
“BREAKING: if you think I’m going to be ‘politically correct’ you need to realize a few things.
1) you obviously know nothing about me
2) you’re in for a bad time
3) I’ve been assured my jokes are hilarious
4) your emotional opinions are irrelevant