Congressman Jason Lewis defends questioning why he can't call women sluts

"I was paid to be provocative."

Laura Oakes
July 19, 2018 - 12:07 pm

Photo by Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA

Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis is on the hot seat today defending himself over comments he once made about women during his previous job as a conservative radio talk show host. 

CNN has a story with audio from a radio show in which Lewis rhetorically asks why he can't call a woman a "slut." Lewis told WCCO's Chad Hartman he was simply doing his job.

"I was paid to be provocative. That's the difference between a politician and a pundit. That's why going back six years, eight years, ten years, fifteen years, misses the point," said Lewis. 

Lewis told Hartman the issue is being taken out of context.

"Look, a rhetorical discussion about the cultural changes and whether we could hold anyone, male or female, to standards made for an interesting hour. Made for an interesting rhetorical discussion. That's what you're supposed to do on talk radio. And if you're provocative when you do it, well that's part of our job."

Lewis says it's the same attack he faced from opponent Angie Craig in 2016, when they ran for the open Congressional seat Lewis now holds. Craig is again his opponent this November.