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. oz

    obama's a socialist dufuss

    September 19, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. TRUTH

    obama is not for women except he is Democrat. Thanks oprah & caroline(sad excuse for a) kenedy written by a man

    September 19, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. notoobama

    Dont you clowns know what will happen when Obama raises taxes on companies and such? It goes right back to you the consumer. Morons.

    September 19, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Rodger

    Women will vote for Obama for many reasons, pro-choice, equal pay,
    protecting woman's rights...beside being raised by a single mother and having a close relationship with his grandmother, he has two daughters. Womens issues have always been on his "must do" list.
    Unlike like McCain, he talks the talk, but also walks the walk!!!

    September 19, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Gail

    Angela, when did Obama say this:
    I can win your supoporters, but you cannot win mine."

    Provide some proof or perhaps you're just like the GOP, making things up.....

    September 19, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Said it once, oh hell saying it again for the 10,000th time

    Women who claim they love Hillary SO MUCH but are voting for McCain and Palin only shows your voting for gender. Obama mirrors Hillary on womens rights and many other issues. McCain and Palin will set you back 40 years. Before you cast your vote for the Republican ticket I suggest you do a little research on what rights you could possibly lose and also chek the economy, healthcare, Iraq, Afgan, eduction, etc.

    Then if you feel Obama is sexist and only cares for himself then you cast your vote for the Republican ticket and try explaining to your daughter, sister, cousin, friend why the can't have control of their own body and make sure you tell them who you voted for.

    September 19, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Gail

    I think Obama fills out his suit very nicely, thank you.

    Obama/Biden 'till 2024

    September 19, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. James, Pittsburg PA

    WHY should HILLARY help OBAMBI now, when MICHELLE OBAMA said she "wasn't sure" if she would even vote for Hillary in the general election if Hillary won the Democratic nomination???????

    September 19, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. mitchell

    president obama just sounds better than president mccain. sorry.

    September 19, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |



    September 19, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. James, Pittsburg PA

    WHY in the world would HILLARY help OBAMBI now, when MICHELLE OBAMA said she "wasn't sure" if she would even vote for Hillary in the general election if Hillary won the Democratic nomination???????
    R-E-S-P-E-C-T .... Hillary got NONE from the Obamas!!

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. Gail

    Think about your retirement – your 401K.

    Do you want your money in the Stock Market? That's what McCain will do – privatise Social Security,

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    I am not a woman ,but I certianly don't want the goverment telling me what I can and can not do with my body.

    Someone should tell John McCain the the melinoma he had on his face was living tissue too.

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. Amy

    I can't wait until election day because I think the polls have been skewed in McCain's favor. The underreported truth is I know lots of white mothers supporting Obama. We're fed up with 8 years of lip service about helping us and will give someone else a chance... anything is better than where we're at now.

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Women of America. Watch this guy who hides in a wood pile.

    He has insulted you by referring to you lip stick wearers as residing in a pig pen.

    Now he wants your vote. Tell this skunk NO. NO NO you can't have it

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Carol O

    I think Barack Obama should ask Biden to step down, as he is aggravating ohioans . And he should appoint Hillary to take his place.
    This will give him a winning ticket for sure and give him back the Hillary voters to tie up this election ticket.
    He made a mistake , about not appointing Hillary and he should step up to the plate, admit he was wrong and get her in there before it is too late.

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. notoobama

    Hmm so this comment section has moderators. Figures.

    WIll you sheep please do your research. For God's sake, Obama is dangerous PERIOD.
    How's is that Democratic, I live vacations, Congress doing? Oh that's right, the worst ever.
    If you people support the dragon lady, Pelosi, I guess it doesnt surprise me that you support Obama, friend to racist preachers, friend to unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers....
    I could go on and on, and you people still dont get a clue.
    The same man you support now, trashed your beloved Hillary Clinton. His tactics were downright dirty. And you dont care?

    September 19, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Average Joe

    Empty vessels sound much! People (read elitists) who never really did anything, and probably never will, spend lots of time talking about change, vision, and other bs. Fight for our country, get hurt, never leave friends in distress and feel pain, then you will know what it feels like to serve this great country. People like McCain understand and fathom what is the meaning of change. People like him uses their career to make change – and there are others who want make their career by using "change" mantra. I have seen time and again, in every walk of life, there will be few people who will be working hard to get something done, and then there are some who will come, talk flashy, smile at people and pat the workers' back and takes the credit – so I know a phony when I see him. Bleed for the country and then come back and say "I love this country" – and then only it means something.
    I have hope that American people will not be easily duped – please judge properly and vote – do not elect somebody based on just promise... see the track record and experience. In one interview, BO says he agrees with the students who did not want to join military and then in a sec he promises he will create a stronger America by inspiring and attracting the strongest students – and the interviewer asks how he can do that when he agreed other way.. then he started deviating from the point in question. It clearly shows that he wants to please every body and make everybody happy to get their vote and actually contradicts himself and stands for nothing – there I realized that he is a phoney, and not strong enough to stand up. Women, do you really want to vote for somebody like that?

    September 19, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. BJ

    Wishful thinking by Obama to paint McCain as "anti-woman", when McCain PICKED A WOMAN FOR VP!!!

    Obama had Hillary, but he took women's votes for granted, even saying: "I'm not worried, they'll come back to the fold in November".

    Actions speak louder than words, Barack Obambi!

    September 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. mike

    NObama is nothing but an empty suit – and his wife is more of the same. He will fail miserably during the debates. You know why? No teleprompter and he has nothing to say of substance.

    September 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |

    Oh please!

    Obama you are a joke – This blogs so so full of hate but the good thing is the more the Obama Zombie dish out McCain gains ground. Look at the electorate map today.

    HA HA HA – your Golden boy has lost quite some ground.

    September 19, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  22. notoobama


    Womens rights? I guess you mean the right to have sex without having to worry about the obvious of what may happen. Hello? Baby? Hello? Having sex is how we reproduce so of course a baby can happen. And your answer for yourself and your daughter is killing the baby.
    So let me get this straight. democrat stands for killing an unborn child (or born if you are on Obama's level of thinking), and sparing the life of a murderer who actually had a choice)

    September 19, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. linda from South Dakota

    im voting for obama/biden because i believe they can change this country for the good,, those of you who are ignornat and are goin to vote for mccain,, im sure ill seee u here in a year or so complaining about your pick,,lol,, well, just goes to show,, listen,, and listen well, because those who sway you the wrong dirction WILL bite you a big one and that doesnt mean another check from the government,,, obama/biden..08 and beyond

    September 19, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. sandee in Portland

    I can't believe more women will vote for McCain over Obama. What has McCain ever done to further the rights of women in the 26 years he's been in office. I would also like to know where Arthur James got his facts on salaries in both offices. Instead of making statements that are unproven, cite where your information comes from. I love the fact check site. It has opened my eyes to many of the false statements not only given by people blogging but by the candidates as well. And, CNN thank you for adding your own fact check to the political ticker as well.

    66 and voting for Obama/Biden

    September 19, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  25. Judy

    First; it appears that McCain is unaware of all the single mothers out there who are not getting one cent of child support. When that mother goes out to work she is the primary breadwinner for the home, for that woman to make less than a man (who may or may not be paying child support if he owes it) makes no sense. With the cost of goods going up more and more women are having to go to work, a person should be paid according to their work and not their sex.
    Also; Palin should stop telling the public that Obama wanted sex education taught to kindergarden children; what he wanted was for these children to understand "good touching and bad touching" and for these children to know that it is ok to tell if someone is touching them in a bad way. For those who has never worked with a sexually abused child, this could be one of the most important things that a child in kindergarden could learn. The damage that is done to these children is something that lasts a lifetime and anything that can be done to pervent this EVERYONE should be for it rather than making it look like something dirty. SHAME ON YOU PALIN

    September 19, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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