After Wednesday night’s Commander-In-Chief Forum, in which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both discussed their qualifications to lead the U.S. military, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus had one criticism of Hillary Clinton: She didn’t smile enough.
After the forum, Priebus tweeted the following message, criticizing Clinton for being “angry” and “defensive” and having “no smile.”
@HillaryClinton was angry + defensive the entire time – no smile and uncomfortable – upset that she was caught wrongly sending our secrets.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 8, 2016
Shortly after Priebus’s tweet, Clinton responded with a tweet of her own, calling him out for criticizing her for taking the evening seriously.
Actually, that’s just what taking the office of President seriously looks like. https://t.co/Pyn92mesom
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 8, 2016
Clinton responded further during a press conference Thursday morning.
‘We were talking about serious issues last night… Donald Trump chose to talk about his deep admiration and support for Vladimir Putin. Maybe he did it with a smile and the RNC appreciated that.’
Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, also discussed Priebus’s tweet Thursday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, saying it is telling that Clinton’s lack of a smile was the most important thing to Priebus.
‘The fact that the only criticism they could have for Hillary Clinton is that she didn’t smile enough at a very serious forum on our veterans, on our national security and on the job of commander in chief just tells you everything you need to know.’
Plenty of other people were unimpressed with Priebus’s criticism of Clinton and took to Twitter to let him know. Some of the responses to his tweet can be seen below:
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) September 8, 2016
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 8, 2016
— Jason Bailey (@jasondashbailey) September 8, 2016
This isn’t the first time that Clinton has been criticized for not smiling enough. For most of her political career, not just during her time as the Democratic nominee, Clinton has been called cold. People on both sides of the aisle have expressed their desire for Clinton to smile more and be more personable, but Republican men, in particular, have a history of asking for more smiles from Clinton.
For example, Joe Scarborough told Clinton to smile after her Super Tuesday wins during the primary election.
Smile. You just had a big night. #PrimaryDay
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 16, 2016
Just like Priebus, Scarborough received plenty of backlash for his tweet, including this response from Samantha Bee of TBS’s Full Frontal.
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) March 16, 2016
For those who are confused about what the big deal is with telling Hillary Clinton — or any woman, for that matter — to smile, The Huffington Post’s Emma Gray sums it up perfectly:
‘When you tell a woman to smile, it sends a very particular message: Her face is for public consumption. Her face should be pleasing to you, for your benefit.
‘When powerful men tell a woman who might just become the most powerful in the world to smile, it reminds the rest of us that no matter how well we play the game, it is ultimately rigged against us. Because even becoming the Democratic frontrunner for president of the United States doesn’t exempt you from the bullshit any woman with a body and a face has to deal with.’
Featured image via Getty Images.