Interview: Condi Rice Condones Voter-ID Laws, Disputes GOP ‘War on Women’

KQED’s Belva Davis sat down with Condoleezza Rice last week after the former secretary of state’s speech to the Republican National Convention. Rice shared her thoughts on a range of hot-button issues, including the spate of state voter-identification laws enacted by Republicans. Rice said she’s sympathetic to attempts to ensure there’s no voter fraud, and disputed the contention that minorities would be especially burdened.

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. (Image: KQED "This Week in Northern California")

“I don’t like very much the argument that minorities can’t get an ID,” she said. “That seems to infantilize [them]. We can do this, but people have to be given time. We have to find a way to make it easy. The states are reacting because the federal government has not and we do need to solve this problem. But let’s give people time and doesn’t make it difficult for people to exercise their franchise.”

Davis also asked Rice about the so-called “war on women” that Democrats are claiming the GOP is waging. Rice promptly shot that down…

“There’s no war against women. This is hyperbole of the worst sort. We shouldn’t caricature each other this way. There are people who have strong beliefs about issues of abortion, about life, about choice, strong issues. Let’s respect each other. This is a party that has a lot of powerful and strong women within it, many of them who have views that may be different from my own, but let’s respect each other. I feel welcome in this party and I think it’s time to stop this caricature and hyperbole.”

There’s no war against women. This is hyperbole of the worst sort.

Davis also asked Rice about her prior statements that education is a civil rights issue. On this point, too, Rice was emphatic.

“It is a civil rights issue because you cannot take advantage of the benefits of being American — whether you came here from another place or you were born here — if you do not have a quality education. And I think it’s especially a civil rights issue for the poorest kids who are trapped in the worst schools. The truth is people opt out of schools if they have the means. People who are trapped there are the poorest, and that is the height of inequality.”

Rice talked about the need for comprehensive immigration reform and mentioned the economic benefits that immigrants bring to the country, including to high-tech areas like Silicon Valley.

You can watch the interview here:

  • kelo

    Condoleeza Rice,

    I respect your intelligence, but i still cannot understand or agree with you. The day is coming when the GOP strings you out, predictably. Then you will look like the tool you sound like