Former Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays took aim at U.S. Senate frontrunner Linda McMahon and the content of WWE programming several times during an hour-long Republican debate at the University of Connecticut Thursday, saying that the wrestling organization’s stories are the real “war on women.” At two points, he referred to McMahon’s husband, Vince McMahon, making a woman—Trish Stratus—remove her clothing and bark like a dog during a skit.
“I think when you force a woman to take off all her clothes in an arena, and get down on the ground and bark like a dog, I think that’s assault on women,” said Shays.
“You can’t talk about you’re a job creator without talking about the jobs you created,” he told reporters after the debate, adding how McMahon has no answers to his criticism. Shays also referenced stories of WWE wrestlers who have died young, which have been widely attributed to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. McMahon, however, steered away from his WWE-related criticism to focus on her job plans.
“I’m very proud of the company that I have helped grow, from the point of time when my husband and I shared a desk,” said McMahon. “I’m proud of the jobs that I have created here in Connecticut, and I’m proud of the millions of dollars that we have put into the economy here in our state.”
“A job creator?” Shays responded. “Hugh Hefner is a job creator. I don’t want Hugh Hefner being there, and I don’t want Linda McMahon being there.”