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.



John Harville

Yeah. God wants people who take the name of God to follow the precepts of God/Jesus (the judaeo/Christian one not the Mormon one) to feed the poor and all that.
FACTS: 6 million US children live in poverty.
84 /745 births in Erie County in 2010 were to 15-19 year old women. In 2000 it was 124/952. In 1990 it was 137/1076

NOW TO YOU, a recent college graduate who, we must assume, used no grants, no government-backed loans, no guaranteed bank loans and no money from your parents AND attended a private rather than public college. We assume you protect your ramrod if you ever have a chance to dip it into another human being? Wouldn't want a ramrod12 popping out somewhere.


Again you are harping on a little improvement (but far from good enough)and yet it still has not occured to you who is responsible for this improvement. Hint: it most certainly wasn't the Left Wingers which continue to downplay the dangerous effects of abortion (on both mother and the unborn), which those who undergo them will face.

As to that second part..First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with a loan if one knows that they can pay it back.
Secondly, stop trying to act like people should be forced to fund programs and services and then not use them after they were forced to pay taxes to fund them. It is like a kid saying to another kid "Haha, you keep wanting to use my bike"..after you already smashed HIS bike.

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.


Nope, Ramrod, I think that providing birth control to those who cannot afford to pay for it is a wise investment of my tax dollars, which prevents unwanted children from being born and prevents abortions, helps families and singles to plan when they want to have children, giving them the opportunity to establish careers and financial stability before taking on the added responsibility of having children.

And, I have never been on government assistance, though I am still paying on student loans, in case you consider that government assistance. I don't get most of my information from biased media and I like to research almost everything. Perhaps you should do a little research and find out who the people are who are supporting the candidates and positions of Democrats.

John Harville

I agree. More birth control = Less abortions AND less unwanted children.


Congratulations. /golfclap
Now, if you can understand that Republicans are not trying to ban contraception, (no, not even the Personhood bill)..we could make some progress.


Rmoney and especially Ryan are totally out of touch with women. All they care about is imposing their personal values on all the women who live in this country...take us back to the 50's...getting rid of Planned Parenthood, making all abortions and many popular forms of birth control illegal...letting employers decide whether you can get birth control with your insurance...talking about women as if they need to have preferential treatment in order to be accepted and be able to function in the world of work and talking about women as if they can't work normal hours because they have to get home to cook dinner.
How can anyone support someone like Rmoney who switches positions constantly. His campaign rushes in behind him after he takes positions and says he didn't mean to say what he said, and what he said is not his position. What does he stand for??? I think the answer to that question is, it depends on who he is talking to and what he thinks he needs to say to get support for the moment. He would be a Tea Party puppet,who would protect only the interests of the 1%.

John Harville

But it's all changed now, dear heart. Rmoney said Tuesday night he doesn't think government or employers should make decisions for women on contraception and that all women should have access to contraception.


Yes, sir. I heard what he said. He thinks all women should have access to contraception...sounds very carefully worded by someone who wants to repeal Obamacare. Depends on how you define access. Could be that all women can go get it if they can afford it. Rmoney is very sneaky or shifty. Women need to be carefully examining what this man (Rmoney) is saying.

John Harville

I kknow. But Obamacare - and the part the Catholic bishops hate - provides a mean for all women to have access. Thus Rmoney's comment affirms Obamacares. Yes?
But he didn't MEAN to. And he didn't realize 'contraception' includes abortion. When I was a hospital worker in the 70s it was called a 'D&C'.


Hey, is the rhythm method considered a contraceptive method, or is it just an unreliable birth control method...maybe that is what he was talking about???


And there you have it, folks. In all of it's stark depravity...a Democrat comes clean finally and admits their true nature..saying that "Abortion is contraception."


In other words, they're not a lot different from the Democrats. Sure, you think they're imposing something on you with which you disagree (though you're wrong about making abortions and birth control illegal). After all, the Obama administration is insisting that those who really DO oppose contraception (and abortion) pay for it. The liberal Democrats are offending more than a few with demands that homosexuality get some kind of "minority" status (and before you start, while I AGREE with the sentiment this time around, I oppose any universal mandates on the issue).

Women DO need preferential (or special, if you prefer) treatment in the workplace. Last I checked, men don't get pregnant and give birth. And, whether we like it or not, women still outnumber men as the primary caregivers, especially for really young children.

Finally, Romney a Tea Party puppet? That's truly laughable. In any other state but Massachusetts, Romney would be considered pretty liberal!



Wrong about making abortion and birth control illegal????
Have you heard about the Personhood Amendment? It is in the Republican Party Platform. What do you think that means? No one that doesn't want to use contraception or to have an abortion would be forced to do so by any "liberal" Pro-Choice person. We are not interested in imposing how we would personally address these issues on anyone else.

In order to get in touch with how this feels for women, try to imagine the outcry from the 2nd Amendment supporters, if the leadership of this country decided to repeal that. (I know it won't happen, but try to imagine that for a moment.)

Last I heard, women don't get prostate cancer, and men are allowed to have time off from work to take care of their unique medical problems. Most women continue to do their job, without preferential treatment until they are no longer medically able to do so. Men are also allowed to take time off (FMLA) from work when their wife/partner has their baby.

Romney/Ryan/the Republican Party has been and continues to be controlled by the Tea Party. Which liberal/not liberal Romney are you referring to? He had to pretend to be liberal to get elected in MA. For a while he pretended to be an "extremely conservative" Republican to get nominated as the Republican candidate for president. Now, he has to move back toward the middle to appear less conservative in order to be accepted by the general public. My opinion is that he has no core beliefs or positions, and will be manipulated by the "extremely conservative" base of the Republican Party if he is elected.


You say that you would never force anyone to have an abortion, but..that is the very door you are opening up.
In China, where they can force you to have an abortion, the fetus is not legally defined as a "person," either..and can be destroyed, by the govt, for economic convenience.
The Heartbeat Bill still allows abortion, for any reason whatsoever, up to 8 weeks. The Personhood amendment can still co-exist with that. You should consider this, imo.

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.


Oh for crying out loud--why must you neo-cons always have to take everything up to the next "what if" level? As in the argument of gay marriage--next thing you do is spew the be able to marry your dog nonsense. Obamacare was upped to "death panels". You operate by preying on fear of those that are stupid enough to actually believe it.


Again, Personhood rights AND Abortion can co-exist. You can grant the unborn personhood without allowing their health to trump the mother's health. How do you feel about that? No jumping to the next "what if."

I am merely saying that I think real American women would not want to be responsible for making it official..that the unborn are "not people." To stand up for the victims in China (who are forced TO HAVE an abortion), if nothing else.

I think you have me all wrong. As far as gay marriage..my solution is that everyone, including heteros, should be called "domestic partnership" in the eyes of the govt for their legal contract purposes. This way, they can give everyone the same benefits without starting an ideological war about it.


As to Obamacare, it does create a panel of 15 unelected officials which could very well end up rationing care (seeing as how their primary job is to cut costs).
Even Biden changed the subject without actually denying it (in the debate with Ryan where he tried to ridicule it by mentioning that "I heard that same thing from Sarah Palin," yet he immediately changed the subject).

Also, you might want to look to the U.K. where it is already happening
130,000 elderly patients (per year) are euthanized in their end-of-life care program..read up on the doctors who give misleading advice to convince families to euthanize their grandparents, in the name of economic convenience.


Well,Risk, it seems that you want to stir up hysterical ideas about abortion (i.e., it will lead to forced abortion). Abortion has been legal in the U.S. since 1973, almost thirty years, and in some states it has been legal for longer. Nothing of the sort has happened. Those of us who believe in Pro-choice, believe in just that. It should be individual choice, not forced. Don't you suppose we would fight against any attempt to force abortions on people???


I am not saying that it WOULD lead to it..I am saying that you are setting the legal precedent for it..and I can't undestand why you would do that,in the face of potential economic collapse.

With the Republican position, there are two levels of protection..both the Mother's wishes AND the unborn child being considered a person.
With the Democrat position..it is only the Mother's wishes that matter and, being deemed incapable to afford raising a child, the legal precedent is set to deny her the right to delivery of the child (like they do in China).

It is not just about the legal precedent either..it is about the paradigm that you have set into the minds of so many young women (the "clump of cells" label being the worst part). Remember that.


Reese, where does anyone make contraception illegal in the Republican platform?
Reese, exactly how does Romney "take us back to the 50's?"
Reese, how did you conclude that Romney is insulting women just because he noted that he did some nice things for women at his office to prove that he does care about them? He would have never even had to say these things if the Obama camp wasn't running rampant with demagogues trying to spout the same rhetoric that you are now doing.

I think that it is just difficult for alot of people to see a different way to reach those same goals because they have been force-fed the Left Wing paradigm for too many decades now.

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.



It is in the Human Life Amendment/Personhood Amendment supported in the Repub. Platform that gives a fertilized egg all the rights of a United States citizen, which would mean that any woman who caused the death of a fertilized egg would be a criminal. Many forms of birth control accomplish this.
If Romney is elected, with his sidekick, Ryan, they will overturn Roe v. Wade and make women criminals who use hormonal forms of birth control and IUD's. He has publicly stated in interviews that he would support a Personhood Amendment.
He does not support equal pay for equal work. He thinks that women need to be accommodated, because they need to get home to cook dinner. When he was elected to the Governor of MA. in his 50's, he didn't know any women who had the creditials to hold a Cabinet position in his administration.

These are issues that are important to women.


He was merely making a statement of his personal wishes. It is not even realistic to think that women will be allowed to leave work to cook dinner. C'mon. Just think about it for a minute.
Nevertheless, tho..you have a problem with being allowed to re-arrange your work schedule to cook for your kids? Why does this not exactly shock me?

Anyway, you are completely misrepresenting the Personhood amendment. It merely sets a principle, not any policy.
And Ryan has made clear that the Romney administration supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother. IF they did anything about it (highly doubtful), it would probably be the Heartbeat Bill, rather than the Personhood amendment.

However, even the Personhood amendment states that the fetus' health does not trump the mother's health. It seems like you are reading propaganda.

I give up, tho. People are too far gone. It reminds me of the end of that movie "Carriers." He says "How did we get here?" His brother replies, "I dunno." Then he says to his brother, "You know...you knooow. We both know."



I am sorry you do not get this. The problem with what he said is that he asserted that employers have to be more flexible with "women", because they have to get home to cook dinner. It is an old stereotype of the roles of women. Flexibility in the workplace should be thought of as a benefit for both men and women, if it is going to be discussed and accommodations are going to be considered and should not be based on old-fashioned stereotypes.

I am not misrespresenting the proposed Personhood Amendment. Google it. It would change the constitution (constitutional amendment)to say that a single cell, a fertilized egg would be recognized as a person, therefore having all the rights that any other citizen would have. Any attempt to destroy that egg would be murder. It is in the Republican Party Platform and is supported by the Right to Life organizations, and those are the websites where I have researched this information. This goes far beyond any Heartbeat bill. Single cell humans do not have a heartbeat.

Ryan supports the Personhood Amendment. Romney has taken positions on abortion, right to life and Roe v. Wade that are all over the board...depends on whether or not he thinks the position will get him elected. He is a man without principles, therefore, a man who cannot be trusted.

"Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) told Fox News host Mike Huckabee this weekend that he would support an amendment to his state’s constitution to define life as beginning at conception, which would outlaw abortion and potentially many forms of contraception as well. Noting that the state supreme court forced the inclusion of abortion coverage in Romney’s universal health care law, the GOP presidential front-runner said the only way to undo the decision would be a constitutional amendment. Asked if he would support such a move, Romney replied, “absolutely”:

HUCKABEE: Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established definition of life beginning of life at conception?

ROMNEY: Absolutely."


I recall Romney saying it as an "I feel that it SHOULD be that way" type of thing, not an "I will make it law" type of way. "That way," meaning that IF a woman needs to go home to take care of her kids, THEN she SHOULD be allowed to, in situations where it is reasonable to ALLOW her (the option) to.

And, again..I doubt it is realistic to even consider implementing such an idea. He is saying this in response to people who characterize him as a womanizer. In his mind, saying those things are his way of showing how he feels for the concerns of women.
You are taking it too far, assuming that he feels that ALL women should have kids instead of having a job. Waaay out of context.

And as for the personhood ammendment, for the last time..it, by itself, does not set policy..just a principle. And it says that the health of the fetus would not trump the health of the mother, in any case.
Anyone who claims that it automatically overrides any existing laws, is merely telling you what they HOPE it would do..or, in the case of those against it, what they want people to THINK it automatically does..(not because it will, but because they do not want to face any future debate whether, at all, on whether or not it should override those laws).


Risk, I am sorry. I am just going to have to give up on you understanding any of this.

But, just one last thing...this is simple...a change in our U.S. Constitution (i.e., a constitutional AMENDMENT) overrides any other existing laws that pertain to the subject matter addressed in that change in our Constitution.


So you are basically saying that you think they would ban contracepton and unleash an epidemic of STD's on America? Who is stirring up hysterical ideas now?


Actually cardiac cells, even a single cell, beats. Clumps of cardiac cells taken out of an animal will continue to beat until ATP is depleted. Kind of nullifies the entire premise of Hartbeat legislation.


Comparing receiving student loans, which are paid back and then some, to go to college and try to become a productive member of society to receiving contraception, because you can't exhibit personal responsibility, paid for by others.

Wow, what an accurate comparison. If you think that makes sense there's no point in continuing this.


The consequences of not providing contraception leads to a future tax payer cost that far exceeds the cost of contraception.


The only way that taxpayers NOT paying for other peoples' contraception could ever far outweigh the cost of paying for them...is if we keep letting the Left Wing act as an enabling force, to run us into the ground, both economically and socially. (Don't get me started on how the Dems have held control of Congress for most of the last century, as well as enjoying the benefit of the schools and Hollywood overwhelmingly pushing their views on us).

All of these Left Wing policies crushing us with debt and you want us to pay for your condoms, too? Please, just stop.