GOP groups decry Democrats’ ‘war on women’ campaign tactic
DENVER | Some women are getting sick of the Democrats’ “war on women.”
Take Laura Carno, who became so fed up with the nonstop “war on women” political advertising campaign in Colorado that she put together a radio ad of her own. It’s aimed at Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat who’s pushing the theme in his re-election bid against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.
“I have to ask, Sen. Udall, why do you get your underwear all in a bundle about women and birth control?” Ms. Carno, who heads the conservative group I Am Created Equal, says in the spot. “Do you honestly think we need the government to make these choices for us?”
Democrats are clearly convinced that the “war on women” strategy is key to their success in 2014, but they’re facing backlash from conservative women. Ms. Carno’s ad begins running Saturday in Denver and Colorado Springs, along with a robocall aimed at women voters.
“The feedback I’m hearing from women, especially women who aren’t involved in politics, is, ‘Why do they think I only care about birth control? Don’t they realize I’m more complicated than that?’” said Ms. Carno, who lives in Colorado Springs. “Women know how to get their own birth control. We’re pretty damn smart.”
In a campaign year dominated by a lackluster economy and Obamacare, however, the “war on women” may be the Democrats’ best campaign issue. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Bannock Street Project is sinking $60 million into increasing turnout among key demographic groups, including women.
The Senate Majority PAC and other Democrat-friendly committees are targeting Republican candidates on issues like abortion, birth control and equal pay in states that could determine the balance of power in the Senate, including Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
“Take a stand immediately: Demand Republicans stop waging their disgusting War on Women,” says a petition on the DSCC website.
The DSCC played the Todd Akin card last week, comparing this year’s GOP Senate candidates to the Missouri Republican known for his “legitimate rape” comment in 2012.
“Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Terri Lynn Land and Joni Ernst are cut from the same cloth as Todd Akin and embrace the same radical positions to block birth control and roll back women’s health care rights as he does,” said DSCC spokeswoman Regan Page.
The “war on women” tactic took off in 2010 when Colorado Sen. Michael F. Bennet used it to defeat Republican Ken Buck in a pro-GOP year. Republicans have countered this year by accusing Democrats of trying to frighten women voters with false charges.
“Democrats know there is only one nasty, bitter, divisive path to victory, and they have shown they will do whatever it takes — which means lying to and scaring female voters — in order to hold onto their majority,” said Brook Hougesen, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman.
Of course, it’s tougher to sell the “war on women” when the Republican candidate is a woman.
Missy Shorey, executive director of the conservative women’s group Maggie’s List, said it’s Democrats who are waging the real war by moving to knock GOP women out of contested primaries.
She pointed to the Oregon Senate race, which saw a Democratic operative leak police files to the press on a domestic dispute involving Monica Wehby a week before the Republican primary in May.
Ms. Wehby won the five-way GOP primary despite the last-minute spate of negative publicity, but the tactic revealed that Democrats are less concerned with defending women than with protecting their own majorities, said Ms. Shorey.
“They do not want more women in Congress if they’re Republicans. That’s the reality,” said Ms. Shorey. “They would rather have a traditional male, who will follow their line of thinking and lead this country down a path of dependency, than a quality woman candidate who happens to be a Republican.”
House Republicans moved to tackle the border crisis at the source Wednesday, proposing to set up repatriation centers in Central American countries to help send back the wave of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children arriving in the U.S.
The plan called for an aggressive public relations campaign in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to discourage families from sending their children on the long journey to America, as well as establishing border security measures not just in the U.S. but in those Central American countries and Mexico.
These dramatic steps on foreign soil were part of a $1.5 billion plan drawn up by a House GOP task force.
House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, organized the task force to craft an alternative to President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion to address the crisis, which was widely criticized as excessive and pronounced dead on arrival in Congress.
Rep. Kay Granger, the Texas Republican who led the task force, called the proposed measures “common-sense, compassionate but tough solutions.”
“Our focus has been to ensure the safety of the children and it has remained a top priority throughout this process,” she said. “In our personal meetings with the presidents of Honduras and Guatemala they both stated that they wanted their children back, and we believe that is in the best interest of all the countries involved in this crisis.”
Under the plan, the U.S. also would accelerate immigration hearings for the children flooding across the Southern border, provide additional judges to hear requests for asylum, and house the children close to where they enter the country in Texas and Arizona.
The proposals have almost no chance of passing through Congress. The plan faces strong opposition in the GOP-controlled House and even stiffer resistance in the Democrat-run Senate.
Democrats railed against the task force’s proposal to change a 2008 law that delays immigration hearings for children from Central America, which is home to most