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. Sara

    McCain supports Viagra being covered by health insurance but not the birth control pill.....

    How can any woman in their right mind vote for him?

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 19, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. Chris in Va.

    Troy, I can't speak for other states but I'm from Virginia and I can promise the cities are going for Obama, it's when you get out in the sticks the racist redneck crowd with their confederate flags on their high rise pick 'em up trucks will be the problem. They would rather see the whole nation laid waste than vote for an African-American. Sad thing is THEY are the one's who would benefit the MOST from an Obama administration in the White House. Bigotry is a disease of the mind.

    September 19, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. Sandy

    I can';t believe any free thinking woman would vote for McCain. He only picked Palin to appease us. Her views are so far off from Hilary's.

    Obama 2008!

    September 19, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    HE DOESN'T HAVE TO PITCH HIMSELF TO ME.

    HE HAS SUPPORTED WOMEN'S & CHILDREN'S

    LEGISLATION A 100% OF THE TIME & MCSENILE HAS

    VOTED NO 95% OF THE TIM. NO WOMAN IN HER RIGHT

    MIND WOULD VOTE FOR THE PROVERBIAL SLUG. HE

    IS ANTI FUTURE, ANTI CHILDREN, ANTI MINORITIES & JUST

    ANTI ANYONE THAT DOESN'T NET HIM ANOTHER HOUSE.

    September 19, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. REAL Change

    WE will be the ones that have to live with a mistake used as a STRONG lesson to Obama if McCain/Palin get in the White House.

    She will only care about herself, her family members, the woman in Alaska, she will move to Washington on OUR tax dollars, while we struggle to provide for our families while her and her family continue to live a lavish life on the tax payers dollars.

    Be mad at Obama...that's fine....BUT really think about what you will be giving up for ALL woman.

    September 19, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Kim

    Palin can see Alaska from her house and is 'Like Totally Ready to Lead' America with the old Dude.

    September 19, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Allen

    Even if you don't know what Sen. Obama's positions of matters affecting women are, you do know how Sen. McCain treated his first wife and how he treated the women he had affairs with. Gov. Palin's positions on women's issues are pretty plain by her stands on social issues.

    If I were a woman, I'd be doing my best to get Sen. Obama elected.

    September 19, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  8. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Good evening,

    not only does Obama knows what it was like to be raised by a single mother...he remembers it well and he still shows respect, dignity and pride! He can actually offer real solutions to advance womens living and prosperity conditions!

    September 19, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. Vote gender and further push this country in the ground

    John McCain was brilliant for picking Sara Palin because he knows how STUPID WOMEN CAN BE. I'm and educated women who can think for myself and knows a hockey mom from Alaska can not be 2nd in command of the free world with no experience.

    I'm all for women rights but I have two kids, was part of the PTA and doing all the budgeting for my family and I can Identify with Sara but in no way shape or form will I vote for her just because she is woman.

    I want my daughters to have control of their own bodies, get equal pay for equal work and be looked upon as equals in this country.

    Hillary is that woman and she says vote for Barack Obama and he has my vote.

    September 19, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. Marlo Mazur

    I really wish every one, on both sides would stop talking about Palin.She is no Hilary and she has already proven to be just another politcian by claiming to be a open book and now Macains people are trying to put a halt to the investigation of her abuse of power. I want to hear facts,what you plan on doing to help get our country out of the hole Bush put our country in. I think its sad that we are so quick to bail out ING and other companies, yet real people have been loosing thier homes for the last two years !!! Where was the emergency meetings for all those people ??? When was the last time Palin,Macain or any one of the Republcan party went to the store to find milks 4.00 a gallon or bread almost 3.00 ! Start keeping it real. As a women my concern is seeing other women having to choose to feed thier kids or pay the rent ! Start giving answers insteadof telling me how long it takes Palin to skin a dam deer!

    September 19, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Ashamed

    I will never vote for you Obama. I am a black woman and I am ashamed of the kind of campaign you are running. I am really sorry that you decided to run for the presidency. You are making this election as dirty as it can possibly be. It took a black man to bring the presidential election to the lowest level it can get to and thats why we will never achieve anything if this is the only way we can win a race. You should be ashamed of yourself and you call yourself a christian. I know for sure that you are no christian or you would not be stepping so low in your attacks on a WOMAN. You and your people did the same thing to Hillary Clinton and now you have started on Palin.

    All you Obama supporters are also the lowest you can be. I suppose you all have just dug yourselves out of your holes and so you don't know any better. When I read some of your blogs, I have to tell myself that these people are not real human beings. They are the most nasty, vindictive people around and if these are the kind of people who might be involved in running our presidency, then America has definitely lost its way. We have really lowered our standards on who can run for president.

    September 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. texas democrat

    I look at the women who support Mccain and they are so different from me. I had 2 daughters and a husband with bi-polar,chronic psychosis and I had to basically be the breadwinner in my family. He has been in a healthcare facility most of our married life and I could not receive disability because it would stop my salary cap at work. I am surviving but it has been so hard. Now I have health problems and I still find some small amount of money to support Barack Obama. We need a change and sometimes it's up to the women to say "I get it".

    September 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  13. Patriot

    It's so good had to be posted one more time!

    National Organization for Women PAC Endorses Obama-Biden

    STATEMENT OF KIM GANDY
    Chair, National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC)

    September 16, 2008

    It is with great enthusiasm that I announce today, on behalf of the nation's oldest and largest women's rights organization, that the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) proudly endorses Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States.

    It is no coincidence that I am joined in this announcement by so many allied organizations that collectively represent a broad and diverse cross-section of U.S. women. From teachers to social workers, from business owners to college students, women in this country are lining up behind the candidate who is out there every day standing up — clearly and consistently — for women. Women of all ages, races and ethnicities are coming together in support of Sen. Obama and his pledge to fulfill this country's promise of equal opportunity for our daughters as well as all our sons.

    Although it is very unusual for us to endorse in a presidential election, this is an unprecedented candidate and an unprecedented time for our country. The NOW PAC reviewed Sen. Obama's record and public statements on issues that disproportionately affect the women of this nation, and I spoke with him at length about his commitment to women's equality. For example:

    On pay equity. Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to end wage discrimination against women.

    On reproductive rights. Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, to strengthen access to contraception and reproductive health care, and prevent unwanted pregnancies. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade and will oppose any efforts to overturn it.

    On violence against women. Sen. Obama supports the continued reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act — of which Sen. Joe Biden is the chief sponsor — as well as the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act, which is legislation to provide legal, medical and financial support to victims of domestic violence.

    On the Supreme Court. Sen. Obama opposed the nominations of George Bush's extreme right-wing nominees to the Supreme Court, who have consistently ruled against women's rights,

    For more than a decade, Barack Obama has said "yes" to women's rights, while John McCain has consistently said "no" – NO to pay equity, NO to contraceptive access and reproductive rights, NO to appointing Supreme Court judges who will uphold women's rights and civil rights, NO to funding shelters and other anti-violence programs, and NO to supporting working moms and dads with policies that support work/life balance.

    NOW supported Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primary, and now we join with her in saying "NO" — No Way, No How, No McCain! And we proudly stand arm-in-arm with her in putting our hopes and our dreams, our hard work and our hard-earned money, behind the next President of the United States — Barack Obama, and his running mate, longtime friend and ally of women, Sen. Joe Biden.

    September 19, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. a southern bell for OBAMA

    I'LL TAKE HIM.

    I AM NOT MUCH IMPRESSED WITH PITCHES.

    BUT I AM IMPRESSED WITH OBAMA'S RECORD OF

    SUPPORT FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN A 100% OF THE TIME.

    AS A WOMAN I WOULD VOTE TWICE FOR BUSH BEFORE VOTING

    FOR ANTI WOMAN, ANTI CHILDREN, WARMONGERING MCMORON.

    September 19, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Copperfield

    I do like how this story follows the "fact check" about McCain disagreeing with equal pay for equal work, haha.

    September 19, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Laughing at Democrats

    I LOVE how when protesters interrupt McCain's speech, you Dems are all giddy and joyful, but whoa! When black protesters interrupt an Obama speech, all of a sudden it is a right wing conspiracy that they were paid off. Surely no blacks in this country are against Obama's plans to raise taxes which will put them out of jobs!?!?!?!?!?!

    It is gonna be awesome when you wake up on November 5th and realize that there is no conspiracy and that yes in fact there are truly unpaid blacks who are against Obama. Sure Oprah supports him, but she can afford the tax hikes. These guys are smart.

    And I bet you that Jesse Jackson followers do not trust Obama. Go ahead Democrats, vote to increase your taxes. Dumb dumb dumb...when you push that button, just leave a $100 Ben Franklin sitting on the voting booth machine for the next guy.

    September 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. voter

    Pennsylvania

    you are not voting for Obama because he said the word bitter to discuss people's frustrations with the country. You will vote for McCain whose economic advisor called you a nation of whiners and have a mental recession. Wow so you are voting for the guy who insulted you. Well, the makes sense. Not!

    September 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. go away mongers-Ventura ca

    The women of this Nation wants to be paid equally, have freedom of choice with THEIR reprodutive body parts, and want to be treated with equal respect...not like Barbie or a less-than-equal.
    Obama will win the women's vote BIG- wait and see.
    All they have to do is check the voting record on Women's issues – NO HOW- NO WAY- NO McCain/Palin!

    September 19, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. McShame go retire

    For once I have to agree. Wrong VP pick!!

    Bill and Hillary could be out there campaigning friously and we wouldn't have close polls at all.

    Sure, Biden has the experience and wisdom by far over Sarah Palin,
    but Hillary would shredd her to peaces.

    And absolutely right, with Hillary as VO it could have been a blow out.

    Obama / Biden 09

    September 19, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. Low

    After all that happened this week, Obama should win by a landslide!

    September 19, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. A NATION OF WINERS for OBAMA

    WE WILL TAKE HIS AS IS.

    OBAMA WILL BE THE BEST THING THAT HAPPEN

    TO WOMEN & CHILDREN SINCE THE DISCOVERY

    OF A POLIO VACCINE. HE IS ALWAYS IN THEIR CORNER.

    September 19, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. John from LA

    Sad, sad, sad Barack-you should've courted this vote long before your numbers began to dip-

    NO WAY NO HOW NOBAMA!!!!

    September 19, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. Ohio Female Democrat for McCain

    Although he would not be my first choice, I am gladly voting for McCain over Obama in November. The nomination was stolen from Hillary and I was one of those voices that shouted out, we will not forget this travesty come November and I am keeping to my word.

    September 19, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Patty

    Woman in Caiforniafor Obama: That is a very horrible thing to say – what is wrong with you? I would not even be proud to be an American woman if I were you – which I am glad I am not you. You are an insult to women and mothers.

    September 19, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Griff

    The! Dim-O-crat's??

    September 19, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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