Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, on Friday castigated a New York Democrat running for Congress who made comments about Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) that critics are decrying as sexist, calling him a "loser."
Steve Krieg, a member of the Plattsburgh, N.Y. City School Board vying to unseat Stefanik, came under fire after calling Stefanik a "child" who cannot think for herself on Wednesday. He had previously called the congresswoman a "little girl."
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Stivers praised Stefanik's record in Congress and criticized the Democratic Party for not sufficiently condemning Krieg during an appearance on Fox News with host Dana Perino. Stivers also called on Krieg to apologize.
"Elise Stefanik has a distinguished record on the Armed Services Committee, on the Intelligence Committee of keeping America safe," Stivers said. "His [Krieg's] comments are not sexist; they're disgusting. They're not mean; they're sexist."
"He needs to apologize, and I think the Democratic leadership should disavow his comments," Stivers added.
Krieg was widely criticized for comments he made at a candidate forum event. He first said that he "deserved" to be called a "sexist" for labeling Stefanik a "little girl."
"I have been accused of being a sexist for calling Elise a little girl, and I probably deserved to be called a sexist," 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."
Krieg then insulted Stefanik, calling her a "child"
"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."
Stivers continued to praise Stefanik's record, saying she has accomplished more than Krieg, who he called a "loser," ever will.
"Elise Stefanik has an incredible record," Stivers said. "She's done more in her young age than this loser ever will do."
Stefanik is 33 years old and is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress; she was elected in 2014 at age 30.
As chair of the NRCC, it is Stivers' job to win seats in the House of Representatives for Republicans and to help Republican lawmakers whose seats may be in danger.