On Sunday, Kara McCullough won the Miss USA pageant, but most of the focus from her victory were her responses during the Q&A portion of the pageant.
McCullough, a physical scientist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was lauded by conservatives for her brave responses to controversial topics like healthcare where she said it’s a privilege and not a right.
When asked specifically during the Q&A about whether healthcare is a privilege or a right, McCullough said, “I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege. As a government employee, I am granted healthcare and I see firsthand that for one to have healthcare you need to have jobs. So, therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunity to have healthcare as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.”
Finally, there’s a female figure in pop culture advancing conservative views.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Michael Strahan asked McCullough if she was surprised by the online reaction to her comments.
“Not at all,” McCullough replied. “I believe that’s what America is based on, like having opinions and views. But I would like to take this moment to truly just clarify, because I am a woman. I’m gonna own what I said. I am privileged to have healthcare, and I do believe that it should be a right, and I hope and pray moving forward that healthcare is a right for all worldwide.”
Strahan continued. “Because healthcare is a complicated topic, and you get thirty seconds, you’re put on the spot to answer that… would you change anything that you said?”
“I would love to clarify, really hone in on a couple of those suffixes and everything. Let them know, ‘Hey, I am privileged to have healthcare.’ And I just want people to see where I was coming from. Having a job, I have to look at healthcare like it is a privilege,” said McCullough.
McCullough’s rejection of liberal feminism, however, only added fuel to the fire.
During the Miss USA Q&A, McCullough was asked, “What do you consider feminism to be, and do you consider yourself a feminist?”
McCullough responded explaining what she calls “equalism” and that she’s not the type to reject men altogether.
“We are just as equal to men when it comes opportunity in the workplace. And I say firsthand, I have witnessed the impact that women have in leadership in the medical sciences as well as just in the office environment. So as Miss USA, I would hope to promote that type of leadership responsibility globally to so many women worldwide.”
Strahan asked her what she meant by her use of the word “equalism” as opposed to feminism.
“Equalism is more of a term of understanding no matter your gender,” McCullough said. “You are still kind of just given the same accolades on your work. I believe if a person does a good job, they should be credited for that. But I don’t want anyone to look at it as if I’m not all about women’s rights because I am. We deserve a lot when it comes to opportunity in the workplace, as well as just like leadership positions. And I’ve seen and witnessed first-hand the impact that women have.”
On Wednesday, McCullough appeared on Fox & Friends and doubled down on her comments, saying, “I’m just going to be a woman and just really tell people that, ‘Hey, I stand behind what I said.’ We’ve been given this opportunity to live in America and I’m extremely thankful…It’s definitely a good aspect to have affordable healthcare for people. But I definitely am not taking my healthcare for granted and that’s why I said it’s a privilege.”
Watch McCullough’s interview below: