As Mitt Romney moves into the position of defacto GOP nominee for president, the fight for the votes of women continues to wage in polling, pundit comments and attacks from both parties about who is the best candidate for women’s issues. Earlier campaign fighting focused on healthcare and the debate over contraception, with some labeling the GOP legislative agenda as a “war on women.”
This past week that fight took on an economic twist. Fact checkers quickly pounced on Romney’s statement in a speech to a women’s owned business that 92.3% of jobs lost since Obama took office were held by women. Later in the week, Romney paused when asked if he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which makes it easier workers to sue over gender pay disparity (earlier in the week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who Romney has expressed past support for, repealed the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act.) Romney’s campaign later said he “supports pay equity and is not looking to change current law.”
But Democrats had their own share of fumbles with women this week, despite polls that show President Obama leading Romeny with female voters by double digit margins. Democratic strategist and former Obama adivsor Hilary Rosen criticized Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, as not being in touch with the economic issues facing women because she “never worked a day in her life.” Later, Bill Maher took the sentiment a step further, saying on his HBO show “What she meant to say, I think, was that Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house to work.” Maher recently donated $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC.
Mrs. Romney referred to the Rosen’s statement as an “early birthday gift” and was quick to retort that staying home to raise her five children was her own choice. President Obama included a statement in a campaign speech saying there is no tougher job than being a mom. Democatic operatives also put distance between the party of Rosen, who later retracted her “poorly chosen” words.
Want more about women’s role in the campaign this week? Check out these other sources:
- NPR: “Can Romney Appeal to Women, Minority Voters?”
- POLITICO: “Opinion: A war of words, not a war on women“
- Huffington Post: “Wage Equality: Is Money ‘more important for men’ in the U.S.?”
- U.S. News and World Report: “The Primaries Hurt Mitt Romney with women and Hispanics“
- Fox News: “The Truth About the War on Women“