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.




Risk, I stand by my statement that paying for contraception is much cheaper than paying for unwanted children or children whose parent can't afford to support them. I want everyone to have access to contraception, including those who can't afford it. This isn't about me. I can afford contraception.


I disagree that it will help, because most people do not want to use contraception. I feel that it will be mostly wasted money for the taxpayer. The Health Dept. already offers free condoms..at least, I think they still do.
I WOULD support handing out free contraception ONLY if they regulate Abortion so that it is only allowed in the cases of rape (which we will eventually eliminate from society) and in cases of the physical health of the mother.

So, in effect, we would be giving out free protection, and saying that Abortion is NOT contraception..so be careful and responsible, and use the free protection that is available.



Where did you come up with "most people do not want to use contraception"? 99% of women and 98% of Catholic women have used birth control. 69% of sexually active women and 68% of sexually active Catholic women, use a highly effective method of birth control(i.e., sterilization, the pill or another hormonal method, or the IUD).


We are really not talking about handing out free condoms or other forms of contraception. The issue is whether insurance companies should be required to include this in the preventative care package without a co-pay that is part of the insurance that people pay for or that companies contribute to or that is included in Medicaid.

I believe that condoms and other OTC methods of birth control would not be included in this, because you don't use your insurance to pay for these items. And, as far as I know, you do have to pay a nominal fee to get condoms from the Health Dept., at least that was the way it was when I used to work with disadvantaged older teens...they had to pay a couple of bucks to get a bag of 12 condoms.


Why would any woman vote for Romney?


I sure can't figure that one out.


Maybe they see thru the mischaracterizations.
Maybe they know that the equal pay act is just a "Paycheck for Lawyers Act" which our President, who is a lawyer (allegedly), is trying to spin into a "war on women" issue.
Maybe they know we already have plenty of laws that prohibit gender disrimination in the workplace, and they do not want to burden the economy any further with rhetorical Acts which change nothing, except forcing employers to waste more money on Lawyers instead of expanding their business to hire more people.



Romney was a bully in high school. He assaulted a kid in high school who would not conform to the elite ways of Romney. People don't really change much from their high school days. Romney is not for the middle class and neither is Obama. My vote goes to Gary Johnson.


Just when you think Mitt cannot possibly be more out of touch with Middle Class America. Isn't it stunning how every few days, he finds himself having to explain the latest new, stupid thing that he said? With Mitt, it's not "Open Mouth, Insert Foot". It's "Open Mouth, Switch Feet". It's humorous watching him try to relate to everyday Americans - could he POSSIBLY look any more fake than he does in those moments when he tries to get us to believe that he actually cares about Middle Class Americans? What a stiff shirt...


Says the person who doesn't even focus on the true implications of what the candidates are saying, let alone studying their kinesics.


Here is some food for thought (and I do tie this in to the topic, btw).
Say Obama gets re-elected. Say, also, that the dollar crashes and we end up having to replace Capitalism with Marxism or something similar (which probably will not happen, since a Corporatist state would most likely move into power..but for argument's sake). Then what?

You would still have BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) who are some of the fastest growing economies in the world...and who are all Capitalist countries now..calling, as they are now, for a new Reserve Currency to replace the Dollar..and here we, Americans, sit..collapsed.

What if it gets even worse (and possibly even before any potential collapse even occurs)?..What if all of these rich people that we are "moving forward" against..decide to leave to one of those Capitalist countries in the BRICS organization. Russian chicks are pretty hot, ya know.
Where would that leave US, tho? Think about whose mercy we would then be at. And you want to risk all of that based on these blatantly false MIScharacterizations of Republican views that are relevant to women? Maybe we should leave the Left Wing demagogues' rhetoric at the door and get down to business.

It would appear, to some, that not only are some of these Left Wingers anti-American..they are suicidal as well. I would submit, however, that maybe they are just overwhelmed with soundbytes racing back and forth thru their heads..and have been fed the Left Wing paradigm for too many decades now, leaving them unable to see another way to reach the same goals.

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.

Swamp Fox

Obama’s female debate coach complained about “hostile workplace” at The White House

“Coverage in the Washington Post and a new book by Ron Suskind has focused attention on the frustration of Obama’s female advisers. But the problem has been obvious almost since Obama took office. And while the explanations so far have blamed members of the mostly-departed boys club–Robert Gibbs, Rahm Emanuel–Obama himself is responsible for a work atmosphere that marginalizes and ignores women,” wrote Time.

And Obama’s own staff is mostly made up of males, who, as the Washington Free Beacon reported, get paid more than their female counterparts".

Swamp Fox

Centarui, "Romney was a bully in high school." now we are bringing up school days? That's like me asking why Obama's mother listed his religion on a school admissions form as a muslin or how he qualified for a Furbright scholarship that is limited to "foreign" born students. Your other gem "People don't really change much from their high school days." Really does anyone on either side of the poltical debate agree with that? I think we should limit the discussion on the present but just saying if it good for one candidate's student years to be important, its good for both.


If the GOP maintains a majority in the House, and the Democrats maintain a majority in the Senate, in many respects it almost doesn't matter who gets elected President. The rancor and partisanship is at a level where a GOP-controlled House and a Democrat-controlled Senate will set up the next President to be constantly battling the opposition party in attempting to get his policies enacted. As David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times so aptly put it in his October 15th op-ed column (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/1...), ",,,primary campaigns are won by the candidate who can most convincingly champion the party’s agenda, but general election campaigns are won by the candidate who can most plausibly fix the political system."

Unfortunately for Obama, the GOP said at the start of his term they would refuse to compromise with him in any way. To be fair, even though I voted for Obama, I'm not impressed with what he's done in his first term. Other than ramming through the Affordable Care Act, he's pretty much kept GW Bush's policies in place. But still, we elect people to represent our best interests and move our country forward. Obama hasn't lived up to that promise, but the GOP-controlled house is right there with him. And given the fight the Democrats have brought to this presidential election, should Romney win and should the Democrats maintain control of the Senate, I fear the Senate will take a stance of "It's payback time, baby!" when it comes to anything Romney wants to do.

I'm worried the next 4 years will be worse than the current administration's, if that's even possible.


well said. when neither side is willing to give an inch there will be problems!


Nothing to see here. Just VOTE.


Nothing to see here? Strange..I thought there was a pretty productive debate going on in the comment section of this article.
Just vote and not discuss it, huh? I see. Why does this not surprise me, either?



Have to disagree. Some of the dialogue and debate has been interesting and informative.


Just a couple things--Birth control pills are also used as hormone treatments in many disorders that women may have, like endometriosis and abnormal cycles, etc. Is that anyone's business? No. Are contraceptive/hormones medical treatments for medical conditions? Yes. And another thing--many insurance companies prior to "Obamacare" (actually The Affordable Care Act) did not cover screening for cancers and conditions that only women would have. And if God forbid, they previously had one of these conditions, they could be turned down for insurance. I think these are all important things to consider, since Romney wants to take away the Affordable Care Act. And it really is becoming sickening to hear people blab about "my tax dollars" paying for blah blah blah. Federal income taxes for the low and middle income folks are at an all-time low under Obama. They won't be for long if Romney gets in. He has contradicted himself so many times that it is just impossible to believe he is anything but self-serving.


federal income taxes are at an all time low because less people are working. also, just wondering how the lowering of tax collection of monies that go to social security is working out?? lmao..social security on the faster track to financial he!! thanks to that


True, S.S. probably took a hit because of it, I believe it was 2% lower. However, a few other things to consider: The ceiling could be raised (I think it is now at around $110,000 when they stop taking it out of wages),minimum wage raised (more will be paid in), and let these corporations that outsource all the jobs pay 6.2% ( and 1.45% for Medicare) per foreign worker, into OUR system, or bring the jobs back. And another thing, Mitt and friends with solely investment income, aren't paying into it either!


From all discourse previously (weeks)it is pretty clear most have their minds made up, hence my comment. VOTE.


Isn't it funny that the whole start of this Romney hates women fallacy started with DNC lies and spins and Sandra Fluke versus Rush Limbaugh. How ironic is the fact that Sandra Fluke drew 10 people to a Reno Nevada campaign stop. Rush Limbaugh probably had over a million listening to his Friday radio show!!!!


hmmm...this can't be true that prezo is actually taking illegal campaign contributions and the democrap party is not all over it??

"The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.

Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens."

thanks to the romney campaign for being honest enough to reject these illegal contributions!!



This is an allegation. Where is your link to support this allegation?

The Big Dog's back

reese, you have to remember the Repubs are looking for some kind of scandal to pin on Obama. That's because bush and cheney and rmoney have so many REAL scandals to cover up.


for goodness sakes do i have to do all of the work? you have plenty of time for other searches. but anyways, go to ny post and it will be in there.


Yeah, Big Dog, I know. They just shiver with excitement when they think they have finally found something.


All of the attempts by Romney-supporters to deflect their candidate's obvious misogynistic leanings, are as weak as Romney's claims that he supports women. The only thing more silly, of course, is his contention that he supports the middle class. It's amazing that some people actually believe him, since the ONLY thing he has proven during the campaign is that he will continually change his stance on every possible issue, depending on whom he is speaking with.


Pick any campaign issue that is even remotely related to women's rights. Republicans and Romney oppose every single issue that would make things better for women. From cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, to opposing the Lily Ledbetter (equal pay) act, vaginal probes, opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest, not to mention the silly discussion on "legitimate rape", there couldn't POSSIBLY be a more anti-woman platform than the ultra-conservative Republican platform of 2012.

The only surprise is that only about 60% of women vote Democrat. The other 40% apparently are stuck in the 1950's "Father Knows Best" mindset. I'm proud to say that the women I hang around with actually think for themselves...


I am totally amazed about the 40%. Can't figure out who they are listening to. Maybe they just want their Barbie and Ken dolls to lead us. I actually do not know any women who are for Romney, at least not any that will admit it.