Mitt Romney Fumbles on Women’s Issues
Mitt Romney took one of his first swings at eliminating a daunting gender gap with President Barack Obama here today, and missed.
Wielding a flier and standing before three dozen Connecticut businesswomen, Romney highlighted what he said is Obama’s terrible record on getting jobs for women.
“I was disappointed in listening to the president as he’s saying, ‘Oh, Republicans are waging a war on women,’” Romney told a crowd in a cramped printing company warehouse here. “The real war on women is being waged by the president’s failed economic policies.”
Romney then read from one of his glossy fliers titled, “Women & the Obama economy,” that his team had distributed before his arrival.
“This is an amazing statistic,” Romney said. “The percentage of jobs lost by women in the president’s three, three and a half years, 92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women. Ninety-two point three percent!”
That figure, first introduced by Romney’s press staff earlier this month and repeated by Romney surrogate Bay Buchanan during a Tuesday afternoon conference call with reporters, was dubbed “mostly false” by PolitiFact.
And during a Wednesday morning call with reporters, Romney policy chief Lanhee Chen and other surrogates were asked three separate times how the Obama administration has been worse for women than men and provided no specifics.
(Also on POLITICO: Romney camp grilled on 92% stat)
The 20-minute Wednesday morning call illustrated the speed bumps the Romney operation faces as it transitions from a primary campaign to a far larger general election operation after Rick Santorum dropped out of the race on Tuesday.
One of Romney’s biggest hurdles is his 20-point lag behind Obama with female voters, according to recent polling, which could decide the election. The campaign has tried to start compensating for the gap by spotlighting Ann Romney, who is generally thought to provide a softer and more approachable contrast to Romney’s stiffer persona.