U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Missouri and senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, on Wednesday described Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as the "Darth Vader of the financial services world" and said bankers should find a way to "neuter" her.
Luetkemeyer, who made the remarks at a meeting of the American Bankers Association, is part of a group of lawmakers identified by the Center for Public Integrity as "especially solicitous to the banking industry," Slate noted in 2014. He has raised significant campaign funds from the the finance, insurance, and real estate sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Warren, as Common Dreams has reported extensively, is considered a top advocate for stricter regulation of Wall Street and big banks.
The congressman's comments, first reported on Twitter by journalist Joseph Lawler, drew swift rebuke.
"Rep. Luetkemeyer's remarks on Senator Elizabeth Warren at the American Bar Association meeting earlier today were offensive, sexist and out-of-line," said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of national women's group UltraViolet.
"Comments like these, which sound eerily similar to something that Donald Trump would say, have no place in American politics and speak to the impact that Donald Trump is having on the discourse coming out of the Republican party," she continued. "Luetkemeyer should immediately apologize to Senator Warren for his offensive language. There is plenty of room for disagreement in Washington, but resorting to sexist name-calling should have no place in our political discourse."