Rachel Maddow tore into Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on her show Thursday night for comparing what Democrats charged as the GOP's "war on women" to an imaginary war on caterpillars.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Priebus said, "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is, it’s a fiction."
Critics attacked Priebus for comparing women and women's health to caterpillars and caterpillars' health. President Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter said, "Reince Priebus' comparison of Republican attempts to limit women's access to mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and contraception to a 'war on caterpillars' shows how little regard leading Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have for women's health."
Maddow piled on the criticism during her MSNBC show.
"I think there’s just one piece missing from what otherwise is obviously a perfect analogy of women as caterpillars," Maddow said sarcastically. "If Democrats said that Republicans had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet said Republicans had a war on caterpillars, the Republican party would not then just automatically have a problem with caterpillars. There is a missing piece of this analogy here, right?"
Maddow continued, "In this analogy what Reince Priebus is missing is the part where the Republican party introduces hundreds of pieces of legislation all over the country attacking the rights of caterpillars, which in his analogy is in fact what the Republican party has been doing. The Republican party in this analogy has to be seen as a radically, what, anti-cocoon party? Anti-caterpillar, pro-cocoon? Sacrifice the caterpillar? Save the cocoon? Metamorphosis?"
Maddow referred to the amount of anti-abortion legislation that Republicans sought to pass while controlling the House of Representatives. After reviewing all that Republicans have done to use their time to legislate women's health, Maddow said it was not hard to see why Democrats charged that Republicans were waging a war on women, or why President Obama was polling well among female voters.
"All four remaining Republican presidential candidates are pledging to eliminate federal funding for family planning. All four of them say they support so-called personhood measures, that define life as beginning roughly at the time of the twinkle in your eye and that would have the practical effect of banning all abortion and probably also banning the pill," she said. "You don't have a problem with caterpillars because caterpillars have been misled by your intentions, you're the Orkin man, dude," Maddow quipped, referring to the termite exterminator.
She later added, "You don’t need the Democrats or the media to help give you a reputation for that. Dude, you have earned it," Maddow said. "You guys are earning it every single day. Either own it, don’t be afraid to run on your record, or stop doing it. Those are your choices."