A New York Democrat running for Congress to unseat Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y) said he "deserved" to be called a sexist during a candidate forum event on Wednesday while discussing his previous criticism of the incumbent.
"I have been accused of being a sexist for calling Elise a little girl, and I probably deserved to be called a sexist," Steve Krieg said in remarks first reported by Politico. "I think most of us, if we admit it, have some sexist in us, some of the racist in us. It's something if we are decent people, we recognize in ourselves and we struggle with it all of our lives."
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Krieg, a member of the Plattsburgh City School Board, then turned to Stefanik, describing her as "a child" who cannot think for herself.
"But Elise, I recognize her—I'm not going to say a little girl. I recognize her as a child, and it has nothing to do with her age," Krieg said. "I see her as a child because she's a child. She thinks like a child. She has people set things up for her. She has people put their words in her mouth and she happily repeats them. And I think recognizing her, I would go after her in that way. And I apologize if that's mean, but that's how I would do it."
Stefanik is 33 years old and is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress; she was elected in 2014 at age 30.
The press secretary for America Rising PAC, a conservative organization that conducts opposition research on Democrats, slammed Krieg for his comments and demanded an apology.
"The only thing Steve Krieg should be doing right now is apologizing," Scott Sloofman said. "And [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi needs to make it immediately clear that Steve Krieg has no place in the Democratic Party. That's the only acceptable response to this shocking display of sexism."
UPDATE: Friday, 7:00 A.M.: This article was updated to reflect the comments were first reported by Politico.