September 19th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama pitches himself to women

Obama is making a pitch to women voters.
Obama is making a pitch to women voters.

CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) – Barack Obama took his week long economic message and gave it a different spin, pitching himself to several thousand female Floridians as the candidate who best understands what women want.

“This isn’t just about politics for me this is personal because I come here today not just as a candidate for president but as a son and a grandson, as a husband and a father who’s seen first hand, throughout my life, the challenges so many women face everyday in this country,” he told a rally at the University of Miami.

Obama needs the women’s vote. The addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket and Obama’s decision to pass on Hillary Clinton for his running mate slot put some segments of the female vote up for grabs. Recent polling shows Obama winning women overall but he continues to trail McCain among white women by about 15 points. John Kerry lost that group by 11 points in 2004. This weekend, female Obama surrogates will be hosting events in all 50 states and the campaign is releasing a television ad on equal pay.

As women waved “Women for Obama,” “Moms for Obama,” and “Caregivers for Obama” signs, the Democratic presidential nominee said he understood the downturn in the economy has hit women particularly hard with the cost of child care, education and running a household getting further out of reach. As he has done all week on the economy, Obama sought to paint his Republican opponent as out-of-touch with women.

“It’s not that Senator McCain doesn’t care about what’s gong on in the lives of women in this country, I like to think that it’s just that he doesn’t know,” he said. “Why else would he oppose legislation to help women get equal pay and suggest that the reason women aren’t paid fairly isn’t because of discrimination on the job but because they need more education and training. He must not understand, he must not know.”

Obama touted Joe Biden’s authorship of the Violence Against Women’s Act, something campaign advisors hope to showcase in the ticket’s effort to win over women. While he rarely brings up the politically tricky issue of abortion on the campaign trail, Obama fully embraced it in front of this audience.

Change means a president who will stand up for choice, who understands that five men on the supreme court don’t know better than women and their families and their doctors about what’s best for their health,” he said. “I will never back down from defending a woman’s right to choose.”

Despite her popularity, Obama only mentioned Sen. Hillary Clinton only once and gave her a nod for putting “those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling.” Clinton however is a crucial part in the Obama campaign’s efforts to court the women vote. She and Biden held an Internet conversation this week on women’s issues.

soundoff (407 Responses)
  1. mrsb

    Sarah Palin is frightening. We must not put her 2nd in line to the Presidency. We need well educated, thoughtful leaders. Somehow we need to help voters get past their archaic racism.

    September 19, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  2. Obama Biggest Fan

    The world is behind your back...........OB......Hope for tommorrow USA...

    September 19, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Hispanic for Obama - Ricky

    When you people post information such as Barack pays his women staff workers such and such...please include your source. All I know you can be making this information up.

    The truth is, Obama is on record and voted for women's right more than McCain. Also if you look at his family, he was raised by his mother and grandmother, married to his wife and has two daughters...I would think he's someone who cares about women's right over the womanizer McCain who is against abortion, equal pay, and ONLY picked Palin for political gain.

    Also if you compare the issues side by side...Obama is clearly the winner. We cant afford another 4 years of the same.

    Vote Obama/Biden.

    September 19, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. PROUD AMERICAN

    Obama is a three-year Junior Senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article?

    HIS MOST MEMORABLE WORK IS A BIOGRAPHY OF HIS FAVORITE SUBJECT: “HIMSELF”.

    He worked 142 days in the senate and has spent the rest of the time running for president. If he can’t do his senate job - he certainly cannot lead our country. He has based his entire campaign on lies and has too many ties to terrorists and anti-Americans.

    I’m voting for John S. McCain in November.

    September 19, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Em Hunt

    Bush is the worst President of the U.S. in recent times, that he caused the voters to vote for anyone just to get rid of all his stupidities in the White House. This will be the worst election in the history of the U.S. I will not vote because none of them will do what they are supposed to do for the general good and for the sake of this great country. Obama just want to be Prrreeesssiddddddent of the USA.
    He will not be able to do change, he will be a puppet president. McCain in his late years, is given a chance to be powerful and to use that power for the general good and for the sake of this great country. He won't do it. He is loyal to the GOP than to the hard working taxpayers and to this country. He does not get it. The situation is too polarized. The intelligent voting public is in a huge dilemma.

    September 19, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. KG

    Obama should have let Bill Clinton to the pitching to the women. I hear cigar companies could use a few more sales.

    But seriously, if Obama really cared about the women's vote, he would have Hillary running as his VP candidate instead of that moron Biden. Biden got a grand total of about 7000 votes during his run for Pres this time around. Why on earth would you put someone on your ticket who has proven to have very little support from your own party's constituents?

    September 19, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. S. Boatman

    Every Woman That I Know Is Voting For Obama! We Are Trying To Turn Missouri Blue!

    September 19, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. ABG

    Since McCain opposed the latest vote for women to have equal pay with men because he thought it would cause more lawsuits, I hope if he is elected, he immediately cuts Palin's pay 30%.

    Obama/Biden in 2008!

    September 19, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. STU_PID_F_ING_REPUBS

    Obama #1 September 19th, 2008 6:34 pm ET

    Obama if you support equal pay, why do the women working on your campaign early 83 cents for every dollar a man earns? (FYI it's $1.03 for McCain staffers). If you cared about the women why did you run a sexists campaign against Hillary. If you respect women why did you belittle Governor Palin dissing her as a small town Mayor after she was announced and failing to acknowledge she is Governor of a state. Your actions speak much louder than your words!

    September 19, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  10. Olivia

    He's unleashed an army of women against Palin.
    He wants women to think he has a better understanding of females than Palin or any other woman. If that's the case, why doesn't he pay his female staff the same as the men, as was pointed out on one of the networks. Most of all, why was Hillary not on his list for vp? He gave the impression she was on his short list.
    He chose a man as vp....one who doesn't threaten him and one who only rcvd 1% of the votes as a candidate for president.

    Where is the fairness in his treatment of Hillary, and now Sarah?
    Don't buy a pig in a poke, ladies. Look past the charm and you will see nothing spectacular. And please, it's hard enough being a woman in this country....don't turn on your own gender, don't make it harder.

    September 19, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. OK

    PLEASE!!! Say something!!!

    I have a grandmother, mother, wife and daughter too. So does McCain. Why does that make Obama such a advocate for women?

    Substance people... substance.....................

    September 19, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. Pitbull without lipstick

    NIGHTINGALE WHO SINGS IN BERKLEY SQUARE : YOU ARE THE DISGRACE TO WOMEN IN THIS NATION. YOU HAVE BEEN BLOGGING SO MUCH HATRED. AND THREATENING TO VOTE FOR THE MOST IDIOTIC PAIR PALIN/MC CAIN.

    JUST SHUT UP!

    September 19, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  13. Wondering Where Hillary Is

    I heard a great speech by Hillary praising Obama at the convention but I havent seen any coverage of her campaigning for him. Whats going on here? Does she or doesn't she want to get Barack Obama elected this fall? If anything, the democrats need her now more than ever since Palin is taking up so much of the media coverage in favor of the republicans. We need Clinton on camera talking to women and pleading with them to vote on the issues that matter to them and not get caught up in the hype that is Palin.

    September 19, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. STU_PID_F_ING_REPUBS

    Obama #1 September 19th, 2008 6:34 pm ET

    Obama if you support equal pay, why do the women working on your campaign early 83 cents for every dollar a man earns? (FYI it's $1.03 for McCain staffers). If you cared about the women why did you run a sexists campaign against Hillary. If you respect women why did you belittle Governor Palin dissing her as a small town Mayor after she was announced and failing to acknowledge she is Governor of a state. Your actions speak much louder than your words!

    ____

    Your a blatant idiot full of lies!

    September 19, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. Christine El Paso

    People who are going to vote for McCain just because of the Hilary thing really need to think twice or maybe 3 times. If Obama would have picked her, he would have recieved so much flack, people would have precieved it as political pandering, postering, buying votes. I knew before he picked Biden he was in a NO win situation with this thing. So you would pick a man who wants to take your rights away from you, suck away the rest of our future, I guess 8 years of Bush and Co. hasn't done enough to sway people away from this whole thing.
    McCain is a hot head, he reminded me of a Bull in a China shop today when he was speaking, not reasuring not at all! Obama was calm and didn't want to speckulate on a course of action without further information. THANK GOD how refreshing someone who thinks before he acts!
    If McCain wins this due to a Gender Card, people deserve what they get... Sad!

    September 19, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  16. Pitbull without lipstick

    HEY IDIOTS VOTING FOR MCPALIN, : MCCAIN DIDN'T EVEN VOTE FOR EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN. WHY WOULD U VOTE FOR THIS CHAUVINIST???

    PALIN DOESN'T WANT TO HELP WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN RAPED THAT IS WHY SHE FIRED THE POLICE COMMISIONER AND MAKES WOMEN PAY FOR THEIR OWN RAPE KITS. ALASKA HAS THE HIGHEST RAPE CASES IN ALL 50 STATES.

    September 19, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  17. JC

    There is no way Obama could get my vote. Unless he started preaching tax cuts, a decrease in the size of government, and a free-market economy... but this is about as likely as our economy surviving an Obama administration. Obama is exactly what women are beginning to suspect he is; a know-nothing pretender instead of an advocate of real change. Remember; change is not always positive.

    September 19, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Sandy Fouche

    I will definately support Obama! I certainly hope that women will realize that Palin and McCain do not stand for womens issues. They don't stand for anyone's issues.

    September 19, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. Ronda

    Shame, SHAME on you McCain!!! Sorry, but I just saw his latest attack ad with a feeble attempt to link Obama to Rains (untrue of course). But what is shocking is the racist undertones that are purposively placed to appeal to the worst of human nature: bigotry, racism, fear.

    Not the first McCain attack to do this either.

    And he claims to be a "uniter." Go crawl under a rock and lets work to better our country....Country first means getting rid of McCain.

    September 19, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. nate

    Tanya...you and your accountant are stupid...You are clearly lying as anyone who is really paying attention knows that our 401k's are safe and secure..Your attempt to discredit a republican in favor of Obama is silly and not needed while people work through this crisis..Please people, have some facts....

    September 19, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. Fort Collins, CO

    McCain is more of the same, elect Barack Obama.

    September 19, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. Tim in Canada

    Sarah can never, ever walk in Hillary's pant suit.

    September 19, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. paula

    Palin; yet another lie:
    Palin Lies ...Again ... She approved Monegan's trip to DC !!abcnews.go.com — Palin on Monday argued in a legal filing that she fired Monegan because he had a "rogue mentality" and was bucking her administration's directives and went on an "unauthorised trip to DC for securing funding for anti-sexual-violence program .... The problem ..... SHE approved it !!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  24. Griff

    John McCain will be Elected! In November. President of The USA.... Call me if youi dare!!!
    I will be the Winner!. I am the little one, You know! The Icon, the : World Forgot...

    A few million Toto`s , will also have a fuiture

    September 19, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. Former Hillary supporter now for Obama!

    Obama is for womens rights!!! McCain is not! Its simple ladies!! Think about your reproductive rights, think about helathcare for your children!!!!

    Vote on the issues, not on emotion. There is to much at stake this year! I know some of you are upset that Hillary did not win, but to vote for McCain cause he is pandering for your vote is silly. Palin is against everyhting Hillary stands for! Plus if you love Hillary you wont want to put another woman in the office when we all know its Hillarys dream to be the first woman in office! Dont take that dream away from her, let her win in 2016. We can have 16 years between the 2 and take back our country!!!

    Obama/Biden 08 12 Hillary 16 and 20

    September 19, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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