During the 11AM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer discussed open mic comments made by senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina with Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim and remarked that the California Republican has "the 'Mean Girls' mentality" and "comes off like that Lindsay Lohan movie 'Mean Girls.'"
Hall was referring to Fiorina making fun of Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer's hairstyle on air before a television interview on Wednesday. Grim completely agreed with Hall's assessment: "Oh yeah, absolutely. It makes her look terrible. It doesn't put her in a very good light." Though he added: "But it's not something so extreme that it's going to annihilate her."
Earlier, Grim actually observed that Fiorina "really did dodge a bullet here." He explained: "...what she said isn't going to disqualify her from election. It makes her look a little bit silly, a little bit petty, but it's not going to be something that destroys her candidacy or her career like you had with somebody like Helen Thomas a week or so ago."
Hall also pointed out Fiorina questioning her Republican colleague, California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, holding her first post-primary interview with FNC's Sean Hannity. Hall noted it was "something that may hurt her at least with a big name over at Fox" and asked Grim if Fiorina had started a "blood fight with Sean Hannity." Grim responded by arguing that Fiorina had made a "reasonable assessment" but concluded "...to see her make the assessment shows her to be calculating. Everybody calculates. But to have it put in front of your face like that, again, just doesn't put you in the best of light."
Here is a full transcript of the June 10 segment:
TAMRON HALL: And back to politics. It has happened again. Another politician caught speaking candidly into an open mic, but not realizing that that mic was on. This time it's Carly Fiorina, who just won the Republican primary in California's Senate race. Yesterday morning, fresh off her celebration, Fiorina was miked for an interview with a local station in Sacramento. Here's what she had to say about her opponent, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.
FIORINA: Lauda saw Barbara Boxer briefly on television this morning and said what everyone says, 'God, what is that hair?' [Laughs] So yesterday.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Open Mic Blunder; Fiorina Mocks Barbara Boxer's Hairstyle]
HALL: Well, what is she saying today? Ryan Grim is with the Huffington Post. And Ryan, by all accounts Fiorina and her team are trying to dismiss this as not a big deal. So is it?
RYAN GRIM: Well, in a big way, Fiorina really did dodge a bullet here. She was, you know, talking completely candidly with the camera on her that was going to get out. And what she said isn't going to disqualify her from election. It makes her look a little bit silly, a little bit petty, but it's not going to be something that destroys her candidacy or her career like you had with somebody like Helen Thomas a week or so ago.
What this is, is kind of a warning shot to candidates across the country. Now think about this, any Senate candidate who's running in 2010, last ran in 2004. That was a year before YouTube came out. So each of these candidates running for re-election needs to think about Fiorina when they're at fundraisers, that they think are private, when they're at their town hall meetings, everything that they do in their life is going to be filmed, and it's only one press of a button away from going up on YouTube and circulating around the country, so-
HALL: Ryan, this is a talker, though, for a lot of reasons, I think because here you have a woman kind of dissing another woman's hairstyle, mocking her hair, when if a guy had said that, she of course would say 'it's about my brain, it's about my accomplishments, how dare you go to the lowest common denominator and talk about me,' and it made me think about the 'Mean Girls' mentality. Here's this powerful, political voice, and it kind of comes off like that Lindsay Lohan movie 'Mean Girls' where this person doesn't look like I think she should look.
GRIM: Oh yeah, absolutely. It makes her look terrible. It doesn't put her in a very good light. But it's not something so extreme that it's going to annihilate her. If a male candidate had said that about Barbara Boxer, you know, it's unclear exactly, you know, what effect that would have. I'm sure the conversation would be a different one, you're right.
HALL: Well, people would be saying he's sexist. But I want to play something that may hurt her at least with a big name over at Fox. Let's play what she said about or alluded to, regarding Sean Hannity.
FIORINA: I think it's bizarre. I mean, she's never been on Sean Hannity. I think it's a very bad choice, actually. You know how he is....But why, after saying no to all these people, would you go on Sean Hannity?
HALL: She's talking about Meg Whitman making an appearance on Sean Hannity. So does this put her in a blood fight with Sean Hannity, then?
GRIM: Well, we're all going to be looking forward to the next interview that she does with Sean Hannity, that's for sure. What this also does is it shows her making political calculations. It's what every politician does, but they do it behind closed doors and they do it with their advisers. And even though this is politics, there's something bizarrely unseemly about playing politics in it. You know, she's saying, look, the politics of the day after the primary going on TV with Sean Hannity, that doesn't look good. You know, and that probably is a reasonable assessment. But to see her make the assessment shows her to be calculating. Everybody calculates. But to have it put in front of your face like that, again, just doesn't put you in the best of light.
HALL: Alright, Ryan, greatly appreciate you coming on, talking about it. See you later.
GRIM: Thanks for having me.
HALL: Thank you.