Conservatives hit back in 'war on women'
July 11th, 2012
11:42 AM ET
8 years ago

Conservatives hit back in 'war on women'

(CNN) - American Crossroads, an independent conservative group, challenged the Democratic-fueled message that Republicans have waged a "war on women," releasing a scorching web video Wednesday that turns the charge back onto Democrats.

"There is a war on women in America," a female narrator says in the ad, as words flash on the screen: "It's called the Obama economy."

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The one-minute web video lists a number of statistics about poverty and women, and blames President Barack Obama for rising unemployment rates among women.

"Under President Obama, the number of women living in poverty has skyrocketed, hit hardest in every poverty related category," the narrator says.

While the video only appears online, it could soon make it to the airwaves. The group's super PAC, Crossroads GPS, has spent tens of millions of dollars to run advocacy ads in the race for the White House that are critical of the president and in support of GOP lawmakers and candidates in crucial Senate contests.

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, said the group is testing the video in focus groups, with "an eye toward potentially creating a 30-second TV ad out of its content."

The new web ad cites a study from the National Women's Law Center saying 17 million women are now in poverty, 800,000 more than when the president took office in January 2009.

The video also argues that the poverty rate for Hispanic women is "growing faster than any other group" and that men are gaining four times as many jobs as women in the lagging economic recovery.

It further points to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from July that says three quarters of a million more women are unemployed.

"Poverty. Unemployment. Fading hopes. That's not the change we voted for," the narrator says.

"If the president wants to talk about a war on women, let's have that debate and see how many more women are unemployed or have gone into poverty on his watch," stated a press release from American Crossroads.

Obama's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the video.

The ad marks the latest development in what's been a 2012 battle over women's issues. During the Republican presidential primary, Democrats were especially vocal in pinning the GOP presidential candidates–namely Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney–for some of their socially conservative positions.

The so-called war on women charge also stemmed from fierce Republican opposition to an Obama administration ruling that would have required religiously-affiliated institutions to include contraception coverage in health insurance plans for employees.

Many in the GOP took issue with the ruling, eventually causing such an uproar that the administration amended the policy so that insurance companies–not the institutions–would be required to cover contraception costs.

Democrats also faulted Republicans for opposing reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which many in the GOP claimed had included additional provisions unnecessary for the law. The measure eventually passed the Republican-controlled House in May, though not without intense debate over the bill.

But with Election Day less than four months away, both campaigns will engage in heated competition over women voters, which make up a key voting bloc in presidential politics.

In 2008, Obama won the female vote over Sen. John McCain by a notable margin, 56% to 43%, according to CNN exit polls.

And recent polls this year again show the president with a double-digit lead over his Republican rival.

Team Romney, however, has also adopted the message that Democrats are the ones waging a "war on women."

Speaking in Delaware in April, Romney accused Obama's administration of failing working women.

"The real war on women has been the job losses as the result of the Obama economy," he told an audience in Wilmington, saying women had lost 92.3% of jobs lost under the Obama administration.

An analysis of federal labor statistics shows that the claim is technically true but is missing important context.

The number of non-farm employed women from January 2009, when Obama took office, to March 2012 did fall far more than the number of employed men in that period. The total job loss for the period for both men and women combined was 740,000. The number of women who lost non-farm jobs in that time span was 683,000, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That amounts to 92.3% – the figure Romney cites in his campaign talking point. However, the statistic does not reflect that men constituted a much larger chunk of the job loss pie in the year leading up to Obama's inauguration.

In the 2008 calendar year, men lost a total of 2.7 million non-farm jobs, compared to 895,000 jobs lost for women. Men made up 75.4% of the 3.6 million jobs lost that year.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin, Ashley Killough, Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • American Crossroads
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Ask Ann Romney or Ann Coulter how the economy effected there lives.

    Give me a break , a vote for Romney is a vote for the return of the GW Bush policy .

    July 11, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. TomInRochNY

    Uhm, The democrats are waging a "war on women"? Who started the Great Recession? Not the democrats. Who's trying to pass health laws restricting womens' rights to control their own bodies? Not the democrats.

    July 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Are we noticing that whenever the democrats land jolting real impacting accusationsto the republicans, the republicans think that all they have to do is accuse the other side of the same short sightedness! Just like in Congress. Then do this to confuse the argument so people stop listen to the messages on that subject. They are a real piece of work!

    July 11, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Jesus Christ Superstar

    I am not surprised, Obama has wage a constant war on women in the work place,, he is quick to accuse Republicans about waging war on women, which they do not, fact check has shown that. Yet if the Republicans say anything against your liberal god you all get bent out of shape. If you do not like the message then don't listen.

    Like the Republicans voting AGAINST equal pay for men and women? Is that Obama's war on woman? Or Rand Paul supporting Personhood, is that Obama's war on women?

    Scott, name ONE example of Obama's war on women.

    July 11, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Name JR

    "Jolting"" impacting" and the funniest "accussations". Hey tubba. What happened to truth. Unions and the demo partners are pathetic.

    July 11, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Jesus Christ Superstar

    The Republicans are using their famous, I'm rubber and you're glue defense, to try to steal, I mean, win the election.

    July 11, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Even worse I think is the fact that the Obama Administration has actually negotiated with the Taliban and is creating an exit plan from Afghanistan that predictably brings the Taliban back in power in 2014. We all know how women are treated under Taliban rule. Worse than any American would treat their dog. Why does he accept this? Because they are Afghani women? It's inhumane and unacceptable."

    And Reagan gave them the guns they use to shoot women, so the GOP/Teatrolls can stuff this line of attack where the sun don't shine. Way to grossly oversimplify the realities of the situation to suit your partisan agenda, champ.

    July 11, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Pander Bear

    Oh please. People are not that stupid. And please stop referring to American Crossroads as an independent group. It's Karl Rove's mouthpiece and he's far from independent.

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. RealityBites

    The war being waged is not on women but on their children. And in that war, Obama has already laid 6+ trillion time bombs..

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    If liberalism is bad for female workers, then conservatism is bad for male workers. Look at how many men lost their jobs at the end of the Bush administration, almost double the number of women under the first year of Obama.

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. kakaraka

    Give me a break. Republicans in the senate and house blocked all jobs policies proposed by the President. And now they are complaining about the economy? Give me a break. The bad shape of the economy is due to GOP tea bagger obstructtionism in congress and the house. Simple as that.

    July 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. 1crusader

    O course the GOP is using skewed figures in the ad.If they are concerned about women's issues, they need to prove iit.When they had the chance they voted against the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that the president signed( and which Romney still hasn't said if he's for or against), they're against The Violence Against Women Act; they've fought insurance companies paying for contraceptives; against Planned Parenthood, which many women depend on for their health needs and wellness; and on down theline.

    July 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. rob

    @ Sniffit

    The Democrats were in controll of both the senate and the house from January 2007 through the end of GW's term. In Jan 2007 the unemployment rate was about 5%, the deficit was about $200 Billion (1.1TRILLION this year). While there is blame on GW's admin for financial crisis, the Dems were in a position of oversight. The Democrats were juast as guilty of ignoring the build up of the crisis of 2008.

    July 11, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Darryl

    The republicans won't be able to get the womens vote. Women want to control the health issues period, includeing abortion.The Republicans have started the war and the Demacrates will END it period.

    July 11, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Pam from Iowa

    A "war on women" ?
    Karl should ask his ol buddy Rush Limbaugh about that!!! I"ll bet Rush could come up with pretty dicey words to call all of women!!!
    Me? I will be voting for Obama this November!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Scott

    Jesus Christ Superstar you want facts here is one.

    92.3% of jobs lost under the Obama administration were jobs held by women.

    July 11, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Rick 7809

    So what exactly has the republican/conservative side done to improve womens' employment or any other womens issue? They started out Obama's presidency taking Rush's directive "I want this president to fail." and have done nothing which may be seen as supporting a solution to any of the problems. The republican/conservative side wants the president to fail, and whoever else fails at the same time does not matter.

    July 11, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Just.Another.Day

    Where are the JOBS – RNC – you had promised this in the 2010 widespread of voter attacks!! Jobs Jobs Jobs – where are they?

    July 11, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Scott

    Here are a couple of more facts for you Super star.

    Starting August 1, religious women will be forced by law, courtesy of progressive-backed Obamacare, to fund contraceptive practices that violate their consciences.

    Female employees on OBama,s staff are paid 18% less than their male peers.

    July 11, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. carly

    The GOP is totally unbelievable. if they cared about jobs for women they would stop wasting their time on continually trying to pass abortion related bills. They are just hypocrites and every intelligent American can see that. Any woman who votes for a Republican this year should have her head examined.

    July 11, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. beevee

    Women know best who is telling the truth and it will reflect in their voting in November. If I am not mistaken they can see through Romney well and are not ling what they see in him as a savior on women's jobs in the country.

    July 11, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. pc

    women are much smarter than to believe this garbage coming from the teapublicans. the only votes congress will even voteon are to make sure women can't get medical care. this lie will not fly!
    obama 2012 all the way!

    July 11, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. FlotsamJetsam

    The Republicans should consider that all their ACTIONS, not words are providing the basis for the ongoing war on women. Trans-vaginal probes and limiting access to contraceptives and putting additional limits on abortions. In all Republican controlled legislatures look at all the legislation they are trying to pass and then say seriously they aren't waging a "war on women".

    This is not some sound bite response from Anne Romney to a stupid comment by Hilary Rosen!

    July 11, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. ART

    American crossroads can fool some of the people sometimes but there are those of us out there who know the truth. Conservertives and the religious right want women bare foot and pregnant just like the good old days you want contraception hell no, you want an abortion for your personal reasons hell no, and any unemployment with women is a direct result of Bush's fail policies that almost sent us over the cliff in 2008, so we are still recovering. Romney you are thru

    July 11, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "So what exactly has the republican/conservative side done to improve womens' employment or any other womens issue? "

    Clearly, by trying to make end-runs around the Constitutional right to choose, they are trying to women the favor of making employment and a career less of an option so they don't have to worry about it.

    July 11, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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