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Haley Romney
Can South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley help Mitt Romney understand women? (Jim Young/Reuters)
Kirsten Kukowski, press secretary for the Republican National Committee, says the GOP knows it needs women:
“Do we realize that women are going to be a key voting bloc? Yes,” Kukowski said. “Do we need to bring them into the fold? Yes.”
And how are they going to do this?
Recently, the RNC has been reaching out to key women surrogates and women’s groups while expanding their coalition. They have also been conducting outreach meetings with Republican congresswomen and other lawmakers including Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) to learn what issues they need to be focused on to appeal to the critical demographic.
Uh, that sounds smart except for the part about how Nikki Haley actually lost the female vote in 2010. And just this week, she said that "women don’t care about contraception." Obviously, that's not the only thing women care about, and clearly it's a mistake to assume women represent a single voting bloc, but when you look at the dramatic shift among younger women toward President Obama and away from Mitt Romney, it isn't hard to see how toxic the birth control debate was for Republicans.

Amazingly, though, Republicans haven't given up on the issue. On Monday, Mitt Romney even said that he thought the contraception debate represented a marvelous opportunity for Republicans to reach out to women:

They’re concerned about the jobs that their kids are going to get. They wonder whether their future is going to be prosperous and bright, as have been our lives. And that’s what they’re talking about. And the, my goodness, what the president has done, with regards to this issue on health care, he came in and said, look, under Obamacare, we’re going to tell the Catholic church that it has to violate its religious conscience.
Meanwhile, even as Mitt Romney continues to spin denying access to contraception as an issue of freedom and liberty, President Obama on Friday will be hosting a White House Forum focused on women and the economy, offering yet another reminder which side is really fighting for freedom, liberty, and opportunity for women.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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