Barbara Mikulski: Rebuking Elizabeth Warren will have 'a long-lasting effect'

Mikulski retires after 3 decades in Senate
Mikulski retires after 3 decades in Senate


    Mikulski retires after 3 decades in Senate


Mikulski retires after 3 decades in Senate 03:48

Story highlights

  • Rule 19 is selectively enforced, Mikulski said
  • "Elizabeth Warren was not out of order," she said

(CNN)The rebuke of Sen. Elizabeth Warren is going to have a "long-lasting effect" to women's rights activists, said the longest serving woman in the history of the Senate on Thursday.

"This is going to have a long-lasting effect because the people who marched watched this and I will tell you the women are tired that different rules are applied to us in a different way when we claim our power," former Sen. Barbara Mikulski told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."
Hundreds of thousands of women and men marched around the world the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration in protest.
    Warren was rebuked Tuesday while attempting to read a letter written 30 years ago by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked Rule 19, which prohibits a senator from impugning another while on the floor, accusing Warren of attacking Sessions' character.
    Mikulski said senators selectively employ the rule. The rule was not invoked when McConnell was called "a liar" or when former Sen. Harry Reid was called "a cancer on the nation," she said.
    "Elizabeth Warren was not out of order. The attack on her by using Rule 19 was out of order," she said.
    The incident was not an isolated event, Mikulsi said, but "a pattern."
    "I see this as a pattern of behavior," she said. "Women stand up in the boardroom, the workplace and now even on the Senate floor, where we have the same job, and the rules, they're applied differently to us and they were applied differently to Elizabeth Warren."
    Mikulski said she was not surprised that Hillary Clinton weighed in on the situation.
    "Once you're a woman in the Senate, you know that you have to square your shoulders, put your lipstick on and fight on," said Mikulski, who supported Clinton's failed 2016 presidential bid. "And I believe that Hillary is analyzing how she can once again make best use of her incredible talents, encourage others to be part of the political process."
    But White House adviser Kellyanne Conway criticized Mikulski's shortly after.
    "Lipstick? Had no idea this is the key to female empowerment and leadership. Imagine if a @GOP had said this," she tweeted.