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

Obama pitches himself to women

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. ltd1974 ohio for obama

    its lookin good in ohio were at uc getting young students to register. I register 552 students alone in 5hrs. obama/biden '08

    September 19, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Hillary Supporter, now Biden. GO OBAMA!

    Vote OBAMA....the SANE choice.

    September 19, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Ron

    I live in a small Indiana town, less than 10,000 people. There are Obama signs all over this town. They are everywhere, in yards, on trees, buildings, everywhere. Three signs on the street I live on and there are only 8 houses on my street.

    I have only found one McCain sign. I have yet to talk to one person who plans to vote McCain.

    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Sarah

    If Obama is for women, why didn't he pick Hillary Clinton?

    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. PUMA Gal

    "Women have made great strides." Since when is having the right to get knocked up and then have insurance or the government pay for an abortion a great stride?

    Why does Obama want us all to pity him for coming from a broken home and being black? Why can't he just sell me on his merits?

    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Tracey

    Florida, a toss up! Wow! some people just don't learn. Are they not gluttens for punishment? Socrates, the great philosphy said, "Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on ME!

    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. Melissa

    I am a women who doesn't make even one hundred thousand a year with 5 boys to support and I will not be voting for Obama. I don't believe he has my best interest at heart nor that of my family. I want to take care of my family through MY HARD WORK AND INGENUITY, not someone else's. I have great pride in my country but do NOT what my country to take care of me so that I become reliant on a government.

    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. Mary

    I'm a white, educated, older female from Ohio. ONLY OBAMA in '08!

    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |


    September 19, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Not Very Nice

    All I have to say is ANY woman who votes for Palin/McCain gets what they deserve. I hope their sons and daughters come home feet first.

    I'm for Obama but this is below the belt. I don't wish this on anyone. If you vote for McCain and Palin, I will PRAY harder for your sons and daughters.

    September 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Republican in OHIO!

    Sorry, I can't vote for a Republican this year. I'm voting for OBAMA...the SANE choice!

    September 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. McCain #1

    This Hillary supporter is supporting McCain – and I'm in CO – we may look purple, but come November we'll be RED!!!!

    September 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Sarah Bell

    WASP!!! WomenAgainstSarahPalin

    September 19, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. Jennie

    EVERYBODY SING~~~~~~~~~~~the party's over.......literally!
    GO OBAMA!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. Marc PDX

    LOL... "Obama pitches himself to women"... ummm, think you might want to re-word that headline? Or were you trying to make it sound comical?

    September 19, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Anjum

    Hey John in D.C. – read his book and you'll find out about his "grandmother" in Kenya that you're referring too (actually his step-grandmother that he has no bilogical relation to other than she was married to his dad who he met once in his life). Learn your facts before making ignorant and un-educated statements.

    September 19, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Kenda

    What a mess the Republican ticket has become.

    September 19, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. Scott L

    @Listen Up...

    There is ONLY ONE REASON I am voting for McCain.

    I HATE TAXES. You can talk about all the other crap, but Democrats want to raise taxes period. I don't care about anyone else but my pocketbook. You guys go ahead and pay for all the illegals, all the welfare folks, give losers health insurance who don't do squat all day.

    Me, I want my hard earned money to come to ME. PERIOD. If you want to donate money to the government, just ADD IT TO YOUR TAXES WHEN YOU FILE. Do NOT force it on me.

    So that is your answer.

    September 19, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. Olivia

    People are suffering. It will be interesting to see if they vote for what got them there or will be they step out for a new direction. . . . . .

    September 19, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Nancy, NH

    Obama did more than give Hillary a nod. The Clintons had TWO days of the Dem Convention. He seated all of the delegates and let Michigan and Florida vote. He had a fundraiser for her. Obama has tried to meet the Hillary voters half way. They seem to think that their wishes are more important than Obama supporters wishes, and that's just not true, he won.

    So I'm over it, I have accepted Hillary and Bill and I'm ready to move on. The McCain camp is floundering and it's time for us to speed forward, full throttle.

    September 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. GIGI IN LA

    T R Y





    September 19, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. tiffany in ohio

    i just wanna know why do we get nothing an the rich get everything? can we all get are debt erased so we can all start over, now that would be patriotic. WE THE PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER!!!!!! OBAMA/BIDEN 08 AN FOREVER

    September 19, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |

    Forever 3.....leave The Intimidator out of this! If you plan to vote McShame and are a woman your moniker should be Dumb White Chick.

    September 19, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Scott L

    You people have lost your mind. WHY would you pay higher taxes? I just don't get it. Who cares about abortion, iraq, gasoline prices. Even in light of all those things, you think the solution is to raise taxes.

    It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life.

    You people rah rah rah for Obama to take more of your cash. Take $$ from the executives making 250k+ a year and they will raise their prices to offset their losses. The guy at the pizza shop? Oh man, my taxes went up, so I have to raise the slice of pizza by $.50 cents to pay my kids college tuition.

    You people just don't get it. If you people want to help the government out, just ADD MORE $$ to your taxes when you file in April. But DO NOT force that on me!

    September 19, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. Jillian

    McCain thought that any ole woman would do. He should have chosen one with a measurable IQ. I'm voting for OBAMA..the SANE choice.

    September 19, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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