The refusal of a US political candidate to ride with a female reporter unless a man was present has sparked a social media storm .
Reporter Larrison Campbell asked to ride with Mississippi Republican Robert Foster on a 15-hour campaign trip on Wednesday but was told that a male colleague would have to accompany her.
Foster is running for governor in the conservative southern state.
Campbell wrote on news site Mississippi Today, that she was told by campaign staff “the optics of the candidate with a woman, even a working reporter, could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate an extramarital affair.”
“My editor and I agreed the request was sexist” and opted not to comply, Campbell wrote.
Foster took to social media in response posting on Twitter: “As I anticipated, the liberal left lost their minds over the fact I choose not to be alone with another woman.”
“They can’t believe, that even in 2019, someone still values their relationship with their wife and upholds their Christian Faith.”
A torrent of Twitter writers quickly fired back, most of them denouncing Foster’s position.
“Maybe Robert Foster shouldn’t be in public office if he has such extreme religious views and/or can’t control himself around women?” wrote one.
Foster’s position was reminiscent of Vice President Mike Pence, who has stated in interviews he would not eat alone with a woman other than his wife.