- March 14: Pew Research Center:
Women favor Obama over Romney by 20 points – virtually unchanged from a month ago – while men are divided almost evenly (49% Obama, 46% Romney). This gender gap is particularly wide among voters under age 50. Women ages 18-49 favor Obama over Romney by nearly two-to-one (64% to 33%), while men the same age are split (50% Obama, 46% Romney).
- March 17: The Republican National Committee releases an ad called Obama's War on Women. Most of it is about Bill Maher.
- March 17: An Open Letter on Obama's War on Women, signed by Sharon Day, co-chairman of the Republican National Committee:
One of the more ridiculous statements offered by President Obama and his minions is that a war on women is being waged. However, on second thought, he may have actually stumbled upon the truth. There is a war on women going on, but it is actually the Obama War on Women. [...]
His campaign's unprecedented and insincere outreach to women, including the charge of a GOP war on women, has not halted his dive in approval among women from 2008 levels. Today, less than 50 percent of women say they would vote for Obama's re-election. [...]
Together, we will fight Obama's war on women and our weapon of choice will be our ballot [...]
Together we must share the true story of Obama's War on Women.
- March 20: Republican Sen. John McCain on Meet the Press:
GREGORY: Do you think that there is something of a war on women among Republicans?
McCAIN: I think we have to fix that. I think that there is a perception out there because of how this whole contraception issue played out — ah, we need to get off of that issue, in my view.
- March 23: Public Policy Polling shows a 20-point gender gap.
- April 5: Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee:
If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars [...] It’s a fiction.
- April 5: Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski:
It makes no sense to make this attack on women [...] If you don’t feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters.
- April 6: Sean Spicer, spokesman for the Republican National Committee:
I find it offensive that the Democratic National Committee is using a term like that to describe policy differences [...] It's not only bad, but it's downright pathetic they would use a term like "war" when there are millions of Americans who actually have engaged in a real war. To use a term like that borders on unpatriotic.
- April 9: Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
Talk about a manufactured issue. There is no issue. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say — and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — ‘we don’t see any evidence of this.’
- April 10: Mitt Romney:
There’s been some talk about a war on women [...] The real war on women has been waged by the Obama administration’s failure on the economy.
- April 10: Republican Gov. Nikki Haley:
This is a president that is trying to create distractions [...] There is no war on women. Women are doing well.
- April 10: ABC/Washington Post poll shows a 19-point gender gap.
Is there a war on women? What does that mean? Who started it? Did the media invent it? Who's to blame?
Republicans can say whatever they want. Make fancy videos, write angry letters, talk about caterpillars, insist that women are doing well. Or not. But there's one simple fact they can't escape:
We recently saw two polls showing Obama with a 20-point advantage over Mitt Romney with women this year.There is a reason women are ditching the Republican Party, and it's not because they think President Obama is waging a war on them. It doesn't matter how many times they insist that "women don't care about contraception," or the perception of an assault on their basic health care is "a fiction" and "a manufactured issue" or that Ann Romney has reported to her husband what women really care about so he can develop the right "three-pronged strategy" to overcome the gender gap. It doesn't even matter whether Democratic "strategists" ask if "can we just get rid of this word 'war on women'" and DNC communications directors say they are "not a fan of the term." It doesn't matter how many writers declare (wrongly) that it's nothing more than a "talking point" invented by Democratic women in Congress, that "the talking point is dead," and Democrats will have to "find another zinger."
The War on Women isn't about zingers. It's about a constant legislative assault by the Republican Party, at the state and federal level, on women's equality and basic rights, from health care to equal pay to funding programs to combat violence against women. Women aren't stupid, even if Republicans, like Herman Cain, insist that "men are much more familiar with the failed policies than a lot of other people."
Women know what they care about and whose policies they think are better for them. Republicans can't deny that away, and they know it. And they're scared. And they should be.
Tell the Republican National Committee: We know who's waging a war on women. And as long as they wage war on us, we'll wage war on them—at the ballot box.