Boston (CNN) - One of the president's former top economic advisers said those who blame President Barack Obama's policies for the decline in job creation among women in particular are being dishonest.
"That's someone trying to lie with numbers," Christina Romer said Wednesday.
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The former chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers said the disparity between men and women, recently seized upon by Republicans, is the result of repercussions from the economic downturn beyond the president's control.
A new web ad out Wednesday from the conservative independent group American Crossroads said the Obama economy constitutes the American "war on women."
It cited a well-regarded National Women's Law Center study that showed 17 million women are now in poverty, 800,000 more than when the president took office in 2009. The spot also pointed to a July report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that indicated three quarters of a million more women than men are unemployed.
But Romer, who left the White House in 2010 to return to teaching, explained the shift by pointing to the increase in unemployment among men earlier in the economic downturn, when they were hit in greater numbers by a decline in areas like construction. Therefore, as the economy rebounds so too will the jobs men lost at the beginning of the financial crisis, she said. In 2008 for example, men made up a much higher percentage of the jobs lost than women, at 75.4%.
The so-called "war on women" has occupied a considerable amount of chatter on the campaign trail. Republican presidential candidates, including presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, were criticized by Democrats during the primary for their more socially conservative stances. They were also targeted for opposing an Obama administration ruling that would have required religiously affiliated institutions to include contraception coverage in health care plans for employees.
But it was Republicans who adopted the narrative Thursday, appealing to the voting block then-candidate Obama won with 56% in the 2008 presidential election.
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report