So obviously, the lady editor from the Des Moines Register is super grateful that Romney so graciously explained to her what women care about. She's probably eating bon-bons and watching made-for-TV movies right now, what with all that free time Mitt gave her.
Here was her question:
Governor, as a woman in Iowa, but also as a woman and a mother of two daughters, I have been watching with interest the election when it comes to women's issues. [...] Is there any legislation that you plan to actively pursue in regards to women's issues?Poor Mitt. Usually, he prefers to outsource his lady-talkin' to his wife, because she is so good at it. But since she wasn't there to protect him from those mean editors, he had no choice but to try to do it on his own:
Well, there are a number—it depends on which issues you refer to as women's issues. So you're going to have to help me describe which ones you're referring to.Pretty coy of the Mittster to try to play dumb and pretend that he doesn't know what constitutes "women's issues," eh? But of course he forges ahead with his answer—without waiting for the nice lady editor lady to clarify:
The ones that I hear most from women on the campaign trail relate to education and jobs. And women are very concerned about the fact that they feel their kids are not getting the education they need to succeed, that half the kids graduating from college can't find work, or college-level work. That's probably the issue that I hear most.This is something of a switch because the Romney campaign has been insisting for months that the only thing women care about is the economy and the deficit. So tossing in some empty education rhetoric is a new strategy. And an interesting one, considering that Romney's advice to those college graduates who can't find work was to just borrow money from their parents—say, $20,000 or so—and start their own business.
But please, Mitt, tell us what else women care about:
And then one I hear more from women than men is about the deficit. Women are frequently asking about the massive amount of debt we're passing on to the next generation.Interesting that the Romney campaign, via its chief lady adviser Ann, has asserted that lady voters usually don't consider the economy in elections, but:
[A] lot of women may be voting, this cycle around, in a different way than they usually are: that is, thinking about the economy, thinking about their own jobs, thinking about their husbands' jobs, but also thinking about the future.All of a sudden, lady voters are total deficit hawks! And that, according to Romney, is what "women's issues" really mean. Too bad the lady editor didn't let him off the hook that easily:
Do you intend to pursue any legislation specifically regarding abortion?And that question, as we know, got Mitt into a tad bit of trouble when he got all confused about what his position on abortion is this week:
There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.Heck, Romney even threw in some faux outrage that the Obama campaign dared to run ads pointing out Romney's extreme positions on women's reproductive rights:
There's an ad—I don't know whether it's here in Iowa right now, but I've seen it in Virginia, or heard of it being shown in Virginia, rather, there on a regular basis—which says that I'm opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. Well, that's not true. That's not my position.Oh sure. That's not his position—this exact, precise second. But Romney did pick one of the most extreme anti-abortion activists in Congress as his running mate*. And last year, he did endorse a constitutional amendment banning all abortion. And in 2007, he did say he'd be "delighted" to sign a federal ban on all abortions. But that was all several flip-flops ago, so obviously he can't be held to account for those positions he no longer holds. Damn you, Obama, and your ads!
Thankfully, Romney was able to explain all of this to the silly lady editor, so hopefully she's quite clear now that, as a woman and mother of two daughters, the thing that matters to her most is the deficit, Romney will not pursue an anti-abortion legislative agenda but his campaign will, and those severely conservative positions he's been trying to claim for the past several years totally do not apply right now.
Glad we cleared that up. The Lady-Americans of America thank you.
*Footnote: Paul Ryan insisted today that "our position’s unified" on abortion and "is consistent and hasn’t changed." Who wants to bet $10,000 that will need to be clarified by the campaign in 3 ... 2 ...