Obama Imposes Sex Quota on Townhall Questions

July 16, 2012 - 6:07 PM

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama speaking at the Cincinnati Music Hall on July 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) - At an event in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama imposed a sex quota on questions from the audience, insisting he would only take questions alternately from a female and then a male, and not two in a row from people of the same gender.

He also vowed to keep his answers short--but then managed to take only six questions with one of his answers (according to the White House transcript) extending to over 1,000 words.

“There are only a couple of rules here,” Obama said before he began to take questions. “Rule number one is you’ve got to raise your hand if you have a question. I’m going to call girl-boy, girl-boy, just to make sure that it’s fair.”

“My only other request, because I want to try to get in as many questions as I can--at least six or seven--so if people can keep their questions short, I’ll try to keep my answers short,” said Obama.

When a woman tried to ask a question she said her husband was interested in hearing the answer to, Obama begrudgingly allowed the husband's question, but only after insisting that he would then take two questions in a row from women.

Obama first took a question from a woman who said “my son is openly gay” and wanted to know of the president: “Since you are for the LGBT, what’s your next steps? What are you going to do for us?”

Then Obama took a question from a man, Jim O’Reilly, who identified himself as “an elected city official,” who asked: “Is there more the administration can do to protect us from the adverse effects of drilling for natural gas?”

After he answered that question, according to the White House transcript, President Obama said: “All right, it's a woman's turn. That young lady in the white t-shirt right there. Hold on, hold on, wait for the mic.”

“My name is Delisha White and I and my husband, we're small business owners,” she said. “And he actually has a question that he needs to answer.”

Obama interrupted her. “Well, wait,” he said. “No, no, you can't do that now.

“I called on the young lady and that's what's called a bait and switch,” the president explained. “That is what's called a bait and switch. No, the rule is that I'm going to make sure that women get equal time with men.”

“Well, we would like--,” said the women, presumably speaking for herself (a woman) and her business-partner husband (a man).

“Oh, no, no, no, no,” said the president.

“Okay, his question was, he is a small business owner and he wanted to know what can you do for the self-employed--for self-employed businesses with less than 10 employees working with him,” said the woman.

But the president was serious about alternating the sex of people allowed to ask him questions.

“Okay, here's what I'm going to do,” he said.  “I'm going to let him go ahead and ask his question. And then, I'm going to call on two women in a row. Because this is--we got cheated here. Go ahead.  Next time, you stand up.  Don't send your wife out first.”

“Okay, I'm Tony White and hello, Mr. President,” said the husband.

“Good to see you, Tony.  What kind of business do you have?” said Obama.

“A barbershop and beauty salon,” said White.

“There you go,” said Obama.

“I've been in business for over 10 years now,” said White.

“That's great,” said Obama.

“And what I'm trying to find out is what will you be doing, or if there's anything you'll be doing, for the self-employed and businesses with employees, with less than 10 employees,” said White.

“Absolutely,” said Obama.

“And also, when can I cut your hair?” asked White.

After Obama joked that “you would not want a President who is disloyal to his barber,” he gave a very long response to the man’s question.

In fact, from the point where Mr. White asks Obama whether he can cut Obama’s hair to the point where Obama calls on the next questioner, there are 1,150 words in the White House transcript (including notations of laughter and applause and brief interjections from people in the crowd and the questioner).

True to his word, Obama made sure the next questioner was a female.

“I'm going to call on this young lady right here,” said Obama. “She seems like she has an urgent question.  Hold on, wait for your mic.  Wait for your microphone.  We're getting the next generation involved in this.  Right here, right there.  Yes.”

The young lady asks: “What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?”

“I'm going with the mint,” Obama said after entertaining some shouted advice from the audience.

Now, in keeping with his quota system, Obama had to ask a second consecutive female to ask a question.

“All right,” said Obama. “Remember I said I was going to go two ladies right now.  So here, right here.  Right here.  Here we go.  Whoops, don't fall, now.  Go ahead.”

“My name is Susan,” said this female questioner.  “Welcome to Cincinnati.”

“Thank you,” said Obama.

“Given how divided the country is, if elected, how do you plan to try to unite everyone?” said Susan.