In this September 2007 Spartanburg Herald Journal article, Rick Beltram calls presidential candidate Fred Thompson’s wife Jeri, a “a trophy wife.”
“I got up, in a very complimentary, flowery statement that I was very happy to have the distinct honor of sitting next to Fred Thompson’s wife,” Beltram said. “Mrs. Thompson was beside me – the trophy wife. A very beautiful lady. I was honored.”
Even before the #MeToo era, the term “trophy wife” was not a compliment. Definitions.net has this:
Trophy wife is an expression used to refer to a wife, usually young and attractive, who is regarded as a status symbol for the husband, who is often older and wealthy. The use of the term also usually reflects negatively on the character or personality of the husband, and has a connotation of narcissism and desire to impress others, and that the husband would not be able to attract the sexual interest of the attractive woman but for his wealth or position. It can also be used to imply that the trophy wife in question has little personal merit besides her physical attractiveness, and is sometimes synonymous with the term “gold digger.”
One of Thompson’s campaign staff, Mike Green, had this to say:
“It’s perfectly legitimate to talk about someone as a person, Fred Thompson – whether he’s physically fit, whether he’s grumpy, his policies,” Green said. “But to attack his wife is out of bounds. There’s no way you can say that ‘trophy wife’ is not a derogatory term.”
One of Beltram’s long-time defenders had this to say:
MaryAnn Riley, an officer in the Spartanburg GOP, was at the event in question and believes Beltram’s comments were taken out of context.
“He was very proud of the fact, saying, ‘I sat next to this beautiful woman.’ Knowing Rick, the way he is, he’s a guy who can appreciate a beautiful woman. For them to be making such a big deal about it is not fair to Rick,” Riley said.
MaryAnn Riley has recently had her own issues with the Spartanburg GOP. The Spartanburg GOP Executive Committee voted in early 2018 to require her to apologize for inviting a speaker – Paul Nehlan – to one of her Republican women’s events who has proven, by his own social media posts, to be a racist and an anti-Semite. Here is something Paul Nehlan posted on his own social media about mass shooters:
Nehlan was permanently banned from Twitter for posts like the above, and also for some racist comments he made about Prince Harry’s bride, Meghan Markle. He superimposed a picture on Markle’s image of the reconstructed appearance of Cheddar Man, an ancient Briton who experts now believe was dark skinned after conducting DNA tests on his 9,000-year-old remains.
Misogyny … and welcoming racists and anti-semites into their county is not indicative of Spartanburg Republican voters.
At this time, the current Spartanburg GOP Chairman, Curtis Smith, has once again moved the party offices inside the business offices of Rick Beltram. Curtis’ decision and affiliation with Beltram is politics of the very shady past that Spartanburg Republican voters should be alarmed at.