Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, charged in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV that the so-called war on women is nothing more than a “myth” started by Democrats to distract voters from President Barack Obama’s failed policies and his disappointing record.
“The myth that the Republicans are waging a war on women is nothing more than a distraction by the Democrats from the real issues,” the Washington Republican insisted Monday. “The Democrats are trying to distract women, and all Americans, really, from the real issues — and the real issues are the economy; it’s healthcare; and it’s the debt — the record debt that this president has accumulated.”
McMorris Rodgers, who serves as vice chair of the Republican Conference, also charged that the real war on women is being waged by the Obama White House.
“There’s no war on women other than the policies that President Obama has been promoting that are not making it easier for women that want to start businesses,” she explained. “Women that are scared — frightened by the idea of the federal government actually interfering with their ability to make healthcare decisions for themselves, their families — that is what is most concerning to women in America right now.”
See our exclusive video interview below:
While recent polls suggest that there is a gender gap between presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Obama with respect to female voters, McMorris Rodgers said that the polls tell only part of the story. “It really depends on what poll you look at,” she explained, pointing to the success of the GOP in attracting female voters during the 2010 elections.
“Republicans won the women’s vote in 2010. It didn’t get a lot of headlines out of the mainstream media. It was the first time since Reagan that the Republicans had won the women’s vote, and the Democrats know that in order to win the presidency — win the House, and the Senate — that they have to do better with women than they did in 2010.”
The issues in that election are remarkably similar to the issues that will resonate with female voters in 2012. “When I look at 2010, one of the key drivers in that election was the president’s healthcare bill,” she insisted.
“The opposition to the president’s healthcare bill has only increased over the last two years, from the day that it was signed into law to today — and women oppose that healthcare bill more than men. Women make 85 percent of the healthcare decisions in this country. They understand firsthand the importance of being able to make those decisions, and they don’t like the idea of the federal government interfering with their ability to make those decisions.”
She believes that the much-anticipated Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare — and the individual mandate in particular — will “reset the table” on the healthcare debate. “It’s really an opportunity for the Republicans once again to put forward their solutions on healthcare in a way that will appeal to all Americans, but especially the women,” she declared.
That also means voters will be looking to Romney for an alternative.
“There’s recognition among Republicans and Democrats that we need healthcare reform in America. We need to be moving forward on policies that are going to make sure that there are more options, that there are more affordable plans that are made available, ensure that the individual maintains ownership of their own healthcare plans, and their own healthcare decisions,” she said. “It’s going to bring healthcare to the forefront again, and it’s going to be important that our nominee, Gov. Romney, as well as our candidates, are talking about healthcare solutions, and that there’s a better way than the approach that Obama took, and the Democrats took two years ago.”
McMorris Rodgers was one of the most vocal supporters of the Small Business Tax Cut bill that passed in the House last week and she said that, too, should be well received by female voters. “Women Republicans wanted to make sure that Americans recognize that this was also very important to women entrepreneurs,” she maintained. “Two out of three businesses right now are being started by women. It could be argued they’re the fastest growing segment within our economy. It’s a great story to tell, and this is one bill that would help make it easier for everyone, including those women entrepreneurs across this country.”
She said that she is hopeful that the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass the measure. “I think this is a great proposal to show where the Republicans believe in pro-growth, pro-free market, pro small-business solutions that will help get our economy going, and to show that by lowering tax rates in this country, we could actually spur economic growth and actually have more tax revenue coming into the federal government if we would really get the economy going. So it’s a part of a larger debate that we’re going to be having over tax reform.”
Another factor in the ability of the GOP to attract female voters in November is Romney’s potential running mate. Though McMorris Rodgers wasn’t willing to say whether she would like to see another woman on the GOP ticket, she mentioned Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. Ron Portman as two candidates on a “long list” of possibilities.
“He has a lot to consider. It’s going to be a very important decision and I think there’s pros and cons to everybody — and to each demographic group,” she said. “I believe that Gov. Romney is really going to resonate with women and all Americans, and that you are going to see that gap close, and that women are going to be among the many that are seeking the great leadership that Gov. Romney can bring as president of the United States.”
The Washington legislator also warned that a “day of reckoning” may be even closer for Europeans as the International Monetary Fund announced recently that it has secured an additional $430 billion in response to the European debt crisis.
“There’s a day of reckoning coming. And everything that they’ve been doing so far is a delay tactic that is not addressing the heart of the issue,” she predicted. “We’re certainly aware that there’s this crisis in the European Union, but we have not necessarily heard as much about the money from the IMF that has been put into the European Union bailout, and how much money the U.S. taxpayers contribute to the IMF.”
McMorris Rodgers added that Americans need to be aware of any commitments the U.S. Treasury Department has made to the IMF before America gets involved in a European Union bailout. “We need to have a debate here in this country as to whether or not we should be involved,” she added.
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