After state Rep. Robert Foster, one of three GOP gubernatorial candidates in the state, denied Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell’s request to shadow him on a 15-hour trip, his campaign said Thursday it is selling bumper ticket with the phrase he used in his defense: “My truck. My rules.”
On July 14, Foster posted a status on his Facebook account as a strike to Alyssa Milano’s tweet as well as critics who are upset and are calling the “Billy Graham Rule” sexist.
His campaign manager told Campbell that a “male colleague would need to accompany her” because even with a working reporter, the “optics of the candidate with a woman,” he said “could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate an extramarital affair,” according to The Hill.
State Rep. Robert Foster told The Hill that, he and his wife engaged in the “Billy Graham rule” before deciding to run in order to avoid any situation that would provoke “suspicion or compromise of our marriage.”
“I am sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these same views, but my decision was out of respect of my wife, character, and our Christian faith,” Foster said. “We don’t mind granting Ms. Campbell an interview. We just want it to be in an appropriate and professional setting that wouldn’t provide opportunities for us to be alone.”
Foster again claimed his point of view by saying “in my truck, we go by my rules. And that’s my rule.”
Similarly, a second Mississippi GOP gubernatorial candidate, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. told Campbell in a video tweeted Monday “I just think in this day and time, appearances are important and transparency’s important, and people need to have the comfort of what’s going on in government between employees and people. I just think it’s common sense.”
The third GOP candidate, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, told The Associated Press that “we’re not going to engage with a statement on the whole Billy Graham thing.” retaining his neutrality on whether he had a similar rule.
The Republican primary election will take place on Aug. 6.