Obama, Romney seek support from women after debate

One day after their contentious, finger-pointing debate, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney vied aggressively for the support of women voters Wednesday, as they and their running mates charged across nearly a half-dozen battleground states in the close race for the White House with 20 days to run.
Associated Press
Oct 18, 2012

Not even Republicans disputed that Obama's debate performance was much stronger than the listless showing two weeks earlier that helped spark a rise in the polls for Romney. The two rivals meet one more time, next Monday in Florida.

The first post-debate polls were divided, some saying Romney won, others finding Obama did. At least some of the voters who asked the questions in the town-hall style encounter remained uncommitted. "If Gov. Romney could actually provide the jobs, that would be a good thing because we really need them," said Nina Gonzalez, a 2008 Obama voter, neatly summarizing the uncertainty confronting voters in a slow-growth, high-unemployment economy.

Obama wore a pink wristband to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month as he campaigned in Iowa and then Ohio, and reminded his audience that the first legislation he signed after becoming president made it easier for women to take pay grievances to court.

Romney took no position on that bill when it passed Congress, and his campaign says he would not seek its repeal. But Obama chided him, saying, "That shouldn't be a complicated question. Equal pay for equal work."

He also jabbed at Romney's remark during Tuesday night's debate that as Massachusetts governor, he received "whole binders full of women" after saying he wanted to appoint more of them to his administration. "We don't have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented women," he said.

"I've got two daughters and I don't want them paid less for the same job as a man," Obama said at an appearance in Athens, Ohio, later Wednesday.

Obama spoke to a crowd of about 14,000 students and supporters at Ohio University, imploring them to vote early. "I want your vote. I am not too proud to beg. I want you to vote," he said.

Romney's campaign launched a new television commercial that seemed designed to take the edge ever so slightly off his opposition to abortion — another example of his October move toward the middle — while urging women voters to keep pocketbook issues uppermost in their minds when they cast their ballots.

"In fact he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother's life," says a woman in the new ad. Pivoting quickly to economic matters, she adds, "But I'm more concerned about the debt our children will be left with. I voted for President Obama last time, but we just can't afford four more years."

That dovetailed with Romney's personal pitch to an audience in Chesapeake, Va.

"This president has failed American's women. They've suffered in terms of getting jobs," he declared, saying that 3.6 million more of them are in poverty now than when Obama took office.

With recent gains in the polls for Romney, he and the president are locked in an exceedingly close race as they shuttle from one critical state to another and dispatch surrogates ranging from former President Bill Clinton to ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to locations they cannot make on their own.

A little less than three weeks before Election Day, Obama appears on course to win states and the District of Columbia that account for 237 of the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. The same is true for Romney in states with 191 electoral votes.

The remaining 110 electoral votes are divided among the hotly contested battleground states of Florida (29), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Ohio (18) and Wisconsin (10).

As the campaign days dwindled down, the number of television commercials rose higher. According to media buyers who track ads, target voters in the area around Cleveland can expect to see an average of about 120 ads next week paid for by the two candidates and groups supporting them — more than 17 a day. There were similar, if somewhat less intense campaign-by-commercials under way across all the battleground states.

In many cases — Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Nevada among them — competitive races for the Senate and even House contests added to the bombardment. So, too, campaign brochures, piling up in mailboxes earlier than past elections because of widespread pre-election day voting.

There was little mystery in the candidates' concentration on women voters. An AP-GfK survey taken in mid-September, when Obama was leading in the opinion polls, found that 8 percent of all likely votes were women who were either undecided or said they might change their minds.

Polls since the first debate two weeks ago show gains for Romney among women voters, a shift that Obama can ill afford given the traditional Republican advantage among men.

Democrats rebutted Romney's memory of the binders he received as the newly elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

On a conference call arranged by the Democratic National Committee, a former executive director of the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project said the group provided the resumes of women qualified for appointment unprompted. "To be perfectly clear, Mitt Romney did not request" them, said Jesse Mermell.

Romney quickly countered with a combination testimonial and fundraising appeal from Kerry Healey, who was his lieutenant governor in Massachusetts. She said he had named numerous women to his administration, adding, "He sought out our counsel, and he listened to our advice. We didn't always agree, but we were always respected."

Vice President Joe Biden's first stop of the day was in Greeley, Colo., where he mocked Romney on the same topic but in terms more pungent than Obama's. "What I can't understand is how he's gotten into this sort of 1950s time warp in terms of women," Biden said. "The idea he had to go and ask where a qualified woman was. He just should have come to my house. He didn't need a binder."

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan was in Berea, Ohio, where he said women were suffering under the economy as the end of Obama's term nears. "Twenty-six million women are trapped in poverty today. That's the highest rate in 17 years," he said. "We need to get people back to work."

In a lighter moment, he stopped by the football practice facility of the Cleveland Browns and lamented missing out on hunting season this fall. "I've got this election thing going on," he told Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas.




You will soon realize that Romney cares nothing about women or their issues, nothing about working people or their issues and is only interested in furthering the portfolios of the rich (including his).

John Harville

Latest poll says Ohio women are turning even more to Obama...


Not fair reporter--- Mutton does care about my uterus and all of it's goings-on......

John Harville

Mr. (no longer Governor) Romney doesn't 'care' about your uterus. He just wants to control what you do with it - and let you leave work early to go home and cook for your kids.


How many times are you going to speak lies and half-truths to try to drown out the fact that your party had a bigger hand in the recession than the Republicans did?

How does Romney want to control what you do with your body? Let us see how plausible you make this sound.
I am sure your answer will pretend that women are so mentally inferior that they, not being able to make up their mind in the first 8 weeks, need to be able to destroy their unborn all the way up to the moment of delivery. Typical of a Democrat whose party has been known, historically, to view women as inferior.

And how does mentioning that he was able to allow women at his office to go home equate to making it a law that everyone must do the same? You are not even being close to realistic.

Note definition #1 and #3. It is what one has to do when trying to cover up their past, and the subtlety of what they are doing now.

John Harville

Did he allow men in his office to go home early to fix dinner and take care of the kids? Obviously her work wasn't as important - or got pushed to some unmarried woman.


Nearly 2,000 pro-lifers called local Planned Parenthood clinics Oct. 18 to schedule mammograms, after President Obama implied the organization offers the service.

"When Gov. Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms,” said Obama Oct. 16 during the second presidential debate.

Planned Parenthood does not actually provide women with mammograms, but refers patients out to other facilities for the exam.

“Call it for what it is … if you're not doing mammograms, don't say that you do them,” Kate Bryan, communications director for Live Action, told EWTN News Oct. 19.

In response to the implication that the organization provides mammograms, the pro-life groups And Then There Were None and Live Action organized “Call Planned Parenthood to Schedule Your Imaginary Mammogram Day.”

Bryan said the idea was generated by And Then There Were None, and that Live Action “thought it was a great idea, to get to the bottom of it and expose the truth.”

Participants called the organization's national toll-free number to be connected to their local center, and were instructed to “tell Planned Parenthood you would like to schedule a mammogram,” according to Live Action's website.

The event's Facebook page asserted that “President Obama, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, celebrities in Hollywood and countless Planned Parenthood supporters claim over and over that they” provide mammograms.

It also showed that 1,975 persons confirmed that they were participating in the event to “call out” Planned Parenthood, a turnout that Bryan deemed “a great success.”

In a February episode of The Joy Behar Show, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said that “ if this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, (but) to basic family planning. You know, mammograms, cancer screenings,” referring to a GOP-backed bill that would have cut funding to the organization.

Bryan characterized Richards' and Obama's comments as claiming Planned Parenthood is “doing all these live-saving treatments,” and “taking credit for” mammograms.

A statement released by Planned Parenthood on Oct. 17 said that “like the vast majority of primary care physicians and ob-gyns, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses refer patients to other facilities for mammograms based on breast exams, age, or family history.”

The organization does provide clinical breast exams at their facilities. However any woman can also do this herself in her own home.

“For many women, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider they will see all year, and thus the only way they will get a referral for a mammogram.”

According to the statement, women “rely on Planned Parenthood for referrals for and financial help with mammograms and specialized diagnostic follow-up tests (like ultrasounds and biopsies).”

The claim that Planned Parenthood improves access to mammograms and other health services is often used to maintain taxpayer funding for the group.

John Harville

My mother and sister both got mammograms from PP - who referred them and paid for the procedure.

And you used Eternal Word Television Network - that bastion of Catholic political doublespeak - as your main reference?

real talk

Any woman or minority, or anyone friends or family with them, is an idiot if they vote for Romney


You only say that because you have not considered the likelihood that the Democrat leaders have been setting an economic trap for women and minorities (ever since their predecessors lost the Civil War and the Dems could not publicly call for policies to keep women and minorities down any longer), even as that trap seems to be finally closing shut.

Note definition #1 and #3. It is what one has to do when trying to cover up their past, and the subtlety of what they are doing now.


Excellent Meow.... But on everything else, reporter is right on the mark.


Agreed sanduskysteve.. Can't understand how any woman can support Mutt. Sheer phoney.


Huh. Sort of like I can't understand how anybody with an IQ above room temperature could support Obumbles, I guess...

As a woman, I must also point out that I think Planned Parenthood is a decent organization that happens to be utilized by a lot of women. What it ISN'T is a government agency, nor should it be. I resent paying for my birth control AND yours, thank you, and I strenuously object to paying any part of your abortion fees. Try fewer government funds and more personal responsibility, why don't you?

It might also be germane to note here that the President, for all of his much-vaunted bill signings and sympathies with women pays the females on his staff an average of 18% LESS than he pays the men on his staff. How...FAIR of him!

John Harville

Oh Sam... ya gotta support that last paragraph with a source and proof... oh, and please note the President does not pay the females on his staff. That would be set by...the House of Representatives with its heavily Republican majority.

About PP. You're right, it's NOT a government agency but Mr. Romney would 'kill it' anyway. OR would he? Tuesday night he expressed his belief that EVERY woman should have access to contraception (did he forget abortion is contraception?) And personal responsibility? I assume since you use birth control you also use condoms to guard against STDs? US Health Dept determined married women often contract uterine cancer from husbands who bring it home from their casual liaisons.



See the Forbes article "White House Record On Women Should Be Better" at http://www.forbes.com/sites/rick...


"Obama's record on paying women White House aides not stellar" at

As for who determines the salaries in the White House, you're wrong there. Congress approves only the President's salary and then a TOTAL salary budget for the White House Staff.

See http://www.slate.com/articles/ne...

How would Gov. Romney "kill" Planned Parenthood? He'd stop their government subsidies, yes. But they're a private organization (non profit, too, as I recall) with other funding sources (including payment for services on a sliding scale).

"Access to contraception?" Yes. Taxpayer funded FREE contraception? Why? Abortion, by the way, is a surgical procedure. It is NOT a preventive measure. As for my own birth control, well, that's none of your business. I will tell you, though, that I've never been unintentionally pregnant, and I've never suffered an STD. It frankly doesn't take much to avoid either if you bother to take a little responsibility (up to and including keeping your clothes on if you're not otherwise "prepared" — which, I'd point out, costs NOTHING).

John Harville

Sama so. you give me Forbes, Washington Times and Slate as your champion sources.

Rmoney is the one who said he will kill PP.


Sam-- first off, I can't remember you ever paying for my contraceptives. That's like saying I resent paying for roads that YOU drive on. I don't understand the talk-out-of-both-sides-of-your-mouth theorum. You don't want low income women to have access to affordable birth control yet object to abortion and THEN complain about them being on public assistance. Ridiculous!

As far as equal pay goes-- in every job I have been in that a man was MY equal--we both received the same pay. My current job however is largely held by females and I know I don't earn the wages I should! The pay would be much higher if my profession was held by more men. However, this type of job discrimination will always be around. I think a waitress should earn more than the guy that sits in a toll booth but that will never happen. There will always be a disparity between jobs that are generally held by women as opposed to the "man jobs".


"I can't remember you ever paying for my contraceptives. That's like saying I resent paying for roads that YOU drive on. "
How many bars do you have to go to to become a public thourofare? Must be one worn out road to be complaining about potholes left by not having contraceptives.


Well you answered your own question didn`t ya?
It takes an IQ above room temperature!!!



A non partisin good read.


"Huffington Post" and "non-partisan" are, I'm afraid, mutually exclusive... Sort of like suggesting you refer to Rush Limbaugh for unbiased political reporting, only from 180 degrees the other way!

John Harville

HuffPost reports what others say. Faux News just gives you your opinion. And Rush has mostly become irrelevant.

Erie Countian

I have binders full of reasons I won't be voting for Romney.


Sam, do you object to paying for men's Viagra as well?




Then tell me where is your outrage about insurance? Because your premium is paying for someone else's Viagra.


Most insurance companies are no longer paying for Viagra.

John Harville

59... you need to support that with facts.

John Harville

Sam... how about vasectomies? That's definitely birth control - and virtuallyy every insurance company pays for it. Or are you just anti-woman?

John Harville

Sam./.. do you just resent PP paying for it? Cuz the county health dept. dispenses birth control and condoms and does HIV tests - all coming out of your pocket...