POLITICS

Morning Examiner: The war on women has legs

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

If you were hoping that the Democrat-created “Republican War on Women” would silently fade away as the Republican primary ended and the general election began, guess again. Yesterday, the White House, the Romney campaign, and allies on both sides made the battle of the sexes the focus of the day.

“When he says there is a war on women, let’s bring him back to the fact that it is the real war on women that has been waged by his economic policies,” Romney told a crowd at Alpha Graphics, a woman-owned business in Hartford, Conn. “Let’s hammer day in and day out what has happened under his policies.” His campaign even circulated a statistic purporting to show that 92.3 percent of the job losses during the Obama years have hit women. Multiple media organizations have looked into the number and found that while it is technically true, they believe it is misleading.

Pressed to defend the number on a conference call with supporters, the Romney campaign was unable to identify which specific Obama policies were causing women to lose so many jobs. And when a liberal reporter asked the campaign aides if Romney supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which made it easier for women to sue their employers, they were caught flat-footed. They later issued a statement saying Romney supports “pay equity for women” but by that time the Obama campaign had already produced a statement from Lilly Ledbetter condemning the Romney campaign for even having to think about the question.

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee advisor Hillary Rosen attacked Ann Romney on CNN last night, saying, ““Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life.” Ann Romney immediately fired back on twitter, responding, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

The Obama campaign immediately recognized the damage Rosen had done, wasting no time in throwing her under the bus. “I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina tweeted. Obama advisor David Axelrod added, “Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Free Beacon posted an analysis of White House pay records finding that Obama’s rhetoric about fair pay aside, he personally pays his female employees 18 percent less than the men he employs. “It is not known whether any female employees at the White House have filed lawsuits under the Ledbetter Act,” the Beacon noted.

The Romney campaign appears to believe this is a productive fight for them to take on and Democrats exist to play identity politics. The “War on Women” looks like it is just beginning.

Campaign 2012
U.S. Senate: The National Republican Senatorial Committee placed a $25 million ad buy in six states yesterday, including Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Indiana Senate: Sen. Richard Lugar defended his support for ethanol in a debate last night with his primary opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. After Mourdock blamed government regulation for high gas prices, including Lugar’s support for the ethanol mandate, Lugar argued that “the price of gasoline is much lower because of the addition of corn ethanol.”

Wisconsin Senate: Former-Gov. Tommy Thompson went to an out of state fundraiser instead of participating in last night’s Republican debate. His main challenger, former congressman Mark Neumann, shared the stage with Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and entrepreneur Eric Hovde instead.

Veepstakes: According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, Gov. Chris Christie has a 59 percent job approval rating in New Jersey.

Around the Bigs
Nasdaq, March 2012 Outlays Highest Monthly Spending Ever: The U.S. government spent more in March, $369.37 billion, than it had in any prior month on record.

The Wall Street Journal, DOJ Sues Apple, Publishers Over E-Book Price Fixing: The Obama Justice Department sued Apple and five of the nation’s largest publishers Wednesday of conspiring to raise e-book prices.

The Wall Street Journal, School Vouchers Gain Ground: Thanks to Gov. Bibby Jindal, Louisiana is poised to establish the nation’s most expansive system of school choice by adopting a package of vouchers and other tools that would give many parents control over the use of tax dollars to educate their children.

The New York Times, Obama Won’t Order Ban on Gay Bias by Employers: Obama declined to issue an executive order yesterday that would have banned discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender people working for or seeking employment from federal contractors.

The Los Angeles Times, North Korea rocket launch appears imminent: Despite warnings from the United States, as well as China and Russia, Pyongyang said Wednesday that it was fueling a three-stage rocket for imminent launch, depending on weather conditions.

Righty Playbook
The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Brownfield lists Obama’s Top Ten Worst Energy Policies.

AEI‘s James Pethokoukis highlights a new study that undercuts Obama’s claim that tax cuts have caused income inequality.

CNBC‘s Rick Santelli rants against the Buffett Rule.

Lefty Playbook
To help push the Buffett Rule, the Obama campaign has created an online calculator that lets you compare your effective tax rate with Romney’s.

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein notes that the Buffett Rule doesn’t even do what Obama says it does.

Firedoglake’s David Dayen notes that labor is on the edge of creating a Democratic “Civil War” ahead of their recall election against Gov. Scott Walker.

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