Robert Foster said he put his wife and Christian beliefs above everything and "couldn't risk" spending time alone with another woman
We can all agree that Republicans’ faith is firmly rooted in Christian values but the spectrum is so wide, it’s starting to get confusing. On one hand, there’s Mississippi lawmaker, Doug McLeod, who punched his wife for not undressing quickly enough and then on the other, there’s Robert Foster, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, who refused to sit for an interview with a female reporter claiming it went against his Christian values.
Yes, you heard that right! Robert Foster claimed he is unable to spend time alone with a woman because he can’t help but view women as sex objects. He claimed it went against his “Christian values” and found it disrespectful to his wife.
Larrison Campbell, a reporter from Mississippi Today, contacted Robert Foster and requested a ride along with the Republican to follow him on his campaign trail. Campbell was aiming to do a profile on all the GOP candidates but was taken aback when Foster, who aspires to be the next Mississippi governor, turned down the offer and said she could join him on his campaign trail only on the condition that she bring along a male colleague, according to NPR.
“How can I degrade both a professional woman and movement at once?.. wait, I’ve got it”— Max Storm (@mackswell_13) July 12, 2019
After facing backlash, Foster defended himself, “I put my wife and my Christian beliefs above anyone else's feelings or opinions ... and I did not want there to be a perception that I was riding with another female and that something promiscuous was going on or anything like that.”
Foster claimed he was only following the Billy Graham rule, a Christian practice popularized by the Christian evangelist who refused to spend time alone with any woman other than his wife.
US VP Mike Pence & Mississippi gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster "bond" over their mutual distrust of single females and their unpredictable hormonal surges. pic.twitter.com/MzWt0HKLI7— Belarus News (Eng.) (@BelarusMiniInfo) July 11, 2019
The first-term Republican state representative is one of the GOP candidates vying for a win in the Republican primary on August 6. Robert Foster’s team had initially agreed to the interview but as the interview got closer, he sent an email to Campbell, stating his terms that she bring along a man to accompany her on the 15-hour trip.
Larrison Campbell said she would have her press badge on display to ensure there wasn’t any confusion and also said she’ll avoid appearing in pictures with Foster but he refused to budge. The Republican claimed that having Campbell sit in the front seat of his truck, someone “who wasn’t his wife”, would jeopardize his political career. This came despite Larrison Campbell having already covered many stories including that of Foster over the phone and at events.
Before our decision to run, my wife and I made a commitment to follow the “Billy Graham Rule”, which is to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage. I am sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these views, but my decision was out of respect of my wife. https://t.co/5tjH2x2g65— Robert Foster (@RobertFoster4MS) July 10, 2019
Campbell called out the candidate’s team. “The only reason you think that people will assume I’m having an improper relationship with your candidate, is because I am a woman,” said Campell. Robison responded saying he couldn’t “risk it.”
Mississippi Today found Foster’s demands incredibly sexist and decided to make it the subject of their story. "My editor and I agreed the request was sexist and unnecessary use of resources given this reporter's experience covering Mississippi politics," said Campbell. The story has now gained national attention.
“This is my truck, and in my truck we go by my rules,” Mississippi State Rep. Robert Foster says to reporter Larrison Campbell after not allowing her to ride with him on a trip unless there was a male colleague present.— New Day (@NewDay) July 11, 2019
“It's just the perception. It's a very professional rule.”
Even after the story went viral, Foster is holding on to his “Christian values, “Perception is everything. We are so close to the primary. If trackers were to get a picture and they put a mailer out, we wouldn’t have time to dispute it. And that’s why we have to be careful,” claimed Robinson.
He also blamed the #Metoo movement for his actions, “I'm not going to ever put myself in a position where a female could come back and say that I made advances on her, I tried to assault her and there's no witness there to say that did not happen."
Yes...yes I can. If exclusion is the only way he can control his d•ck, he's not in control. pic.twitter.com/IMDtX9Zbhv— Twin & her Hubs! (@CLE_SHONUFF) July 11, 2019
Larrison Campbell called out the sexism, “You're only going to assume that it's an improper relationship if, when you look at me, you don't see a woman doing her job, you see a woman who is a sexual object," she said.