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. Undecided

    I heard a BIG rumor that may give some women what they want. Is this true?

    On or about October 5th, Biden will excuse himself from the ticket, citing health problems, and he will be replaced by Hillary. This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2.

    If it is true it must be a last ditch effort to make a come back!

    September 19, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Paige

    Hey McCain~~~~ I can see a Taco Bell from my kitchen window, can I be your Foreign Policy Advisor?

    September 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |

    G O,,,,,,,,, G O V E R N O R,,,,,,,,,,P A L I N,,,,,,,,, Y OU ' R E,,,,,,,D O I N G,,,,,

    G R E AT,,,,,,,,,R E P R E S E N T I N G,,,,,,,,U S,,,,,,,,,B Y,,,,,,,,,B EI N G,,,,,,,

    Y OU R S E L F,,,,,,,,,,,W I T H,,,,,,,,,,O R,,,,,,,,,,W I T H OU T,,,,L I P S T I C K

    September 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Clinton Supporter

    With the looming specter of a McCain presidency, complete with likes of Sarah Palin, I am trying very hard to put aside my distrust and powerful aversion to this man.

    After what he and his pal Howard Dean did to Hillary Clinton and by extension to every American woman, I had decided that I would either vote for McCain or just leave that slot blank on the ballot.

    Now, when it's safe, he decides to try to win the women's vote. One thing is for sure, this guy is now on his own, no Hillary to vouch for him. The one thing he could have done would be to set aside his childish fear of actually working with Hillary to get things done.

    If she were on the ticket, we wouldn't have Palin, and we WOULD have an unbeatable team. I like Biden, but as he himself admits, he's no Hillary Clinton.

    I guess I, and the many women I know, have 44 days to make a decision. The lesser of two evils, as we chosen so many times before, or sit this one out?

    I do know I cannot cast a vote for John McCain.

    September 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Brooke

    Obama would pitch himself to gravel if he thought that would win him the election. He is nothing more than a mirage. He has shown no vision and no plan except to win the White House. I don't feel the need for government to take even more of my money to spend it on government programs. I don't feel the need to let Obama tell me what to do or think. Vote McCain.

    September 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. Palin is "failin" women

    Pailin is "failin" women

    Always has, always will.

    If you vote for John,

    then women's rights will be long gone!!!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Marvelous

    Now that we're over the lipstick, I think it's safe to say we are moving forward.

    Obama is sounding wonderful and Joe's doing a terrific job. It's great that they can seperate and talk to different parts of the country. Unlike John and Sarah who have to stay together a little longer to prepare Sarah for the world outside of Alaska.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Beth

    It's scary, but do you realize that in four years the United States could be doomed? Vote for OBAMA for a new direction.

    September 19, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. Nguyen

    Ready to lead the U.S to get back on track= McCain+Palin.
    Ready to lead the U.S to get off track like "Derail"= Obama+Biden.
    Business cycle is always up and down. You can't blame on President Bush or Republican Administration. Obama knows that but still take advantage on this to mislead American people on McCain economy plans. That means Cheat, Lie, Fool. Who do you vote?

    September 19, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Christian

    I think Americans are listening to the canidates talk about issues far better than the press who keeps giving us Non-news-stories.
    I am so sick of hearing Palin. And what is up with her refusual to cooperate with the investigation that was began before she was selected to be VP? Obama/Biden is the only serious choice, most educated and most relevant experience

    September 19, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Hillary 2012

    Look like funny
    Mrs.Obama saying Palin is cute don’t vote for her
    Obama is counting women vote

    September 19, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. NG in DC

    This gay man is going to hold my nose and vote for Obama. Hillary Clinton told me to.

    September 19, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. Leanne

    OBAMA is the common folks only hope.
    God Speed OBAMA!

    September 19, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. CA chick on the left coast

    So? Good. It's about time.

    September 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Mack

    Women vote on many issues...not just one or two. I would also like to comment on the Biden/Ohio remarks..yes that story is silly and no one should base their vote on a joke..However, I think Obama supporters would have attacked viciously if Palin had made the same remarks..

    September 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. G W B




    K--–O B A M A' S--L A V O L I E R---H U R T I N G ?

    September 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. EDW

    Fact is – McCain said the same thing at least 3 times since January:

    "I still believe our fundamental underpinnings of our economy are strong."
    -Sen. John McCain (1/23/08)

    "I still believe the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
    -Sen. John McCain (8/20/08)

    "Our economy, I believe, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong…"
    -Sen. John McCain (9/15/08)

    We Won't Get Fooled Again!

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

    "Obama knows what women want……NOT!
    Every speech Obama gives he has to Bash McCain. If his message is what he thinks we want to hear, then he should stick to that and give us credit to make our own decision. His same old lines against McCain is getting very tired."

    I was at the rally today and he didn't mention much of what McCain was spewing which was to blame Obama for the financial mess. McCain is a tired old man without ideas or vision and is just spewing nonsense and offering no solutions for a situation of deregulation that he supported for YEARS while he was in the Senate.

    September 19, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Ron Paul Supporter

    McCain made the blackberry imagine what else he'll make up the next 4 years! LOL

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

    President Obama and Vice President Biden all the wayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!
    Women of America unite and make a difference.

    September 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Cyrus K.

    Put your country Obama/Biden!!

    If you vote for Republicans, you can kiss your freedom goodbye, and prepare yourself and your kids to go to war on the Persian and Russian front.

    September 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Sarah

    I am an independent person. I don't understand why Americans do not reason for this election. Seems like they hate McCain and Palin simply because of Bush and they love Obama simply because he is opposite party member of Bush. I don't think they see person by person with reason. Wow, it's amazing that Americans don't think...

    September 19, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. A Disgrunted Democrat

    If the past is any example, with Hillary, Obama is just paying lip service where he has to, and telling other's like Palin comments about lipstick and pigs.

    Any true woman worth her salt would see this remark for what it is, an Obomination of a man.

    September 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. nate

    The polls have swung TEN points in a wk. Thats called OVER. O/08.

    September 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. anyonmous

    how is missouri a lean state i thought you only take ten point lead you are unfair cnn

    September 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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