Women have been hit the hardest by the massive job losses under President Barack Obama — a fact that gives lie to the allegation that Republicans have launched a "war on women," GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said Wednesday.
Women have lost nine out of every 10 jobs that have disappeared during the Obama administration, said Romney, who now looks to be the president's opponent in the November elections. Female unemployment has risen by 16 percent since Obama entered the White House in 2009, up from 5 million to 5.8 million, he said.
“Women in particular have been hurt by this president,” Romney told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.
“He’s lost 800,000 jobs during his presidency and, by the way, do you know what percentage of those jobs lost were lost by women? Over 92 percent.
“His policies have been really a war on women,” said Romney, co-opting a phrase that Democrats have used to attack Republicans on social issues such as abortion and contraception.
“People want jobs,” he said. “If they want bigger checks, they can go vote for him. If they want jobs and a bright future and an opportunity, they can vote for me. I am in the race because I understand what it takes to make America strong again economically, culturally and militarily.”
Romney acknowledged that Wednesday marked the first full day of the general election campaign, and from now on he and Obama will be going at it head-to-head for seven months leading up to Nov. 6.
Democrats have used the healthcare battles to claim that Republicans are anti-female and Romney was keen Wednesday to make them the focus of his first TV interview since the withdrawal of rival Rick Santorum on Tuesday.
MacCallum pointed out that Obama will almost certainly try to paint Romney as rich and out-of-touch.
Romney responded: “The person I’m out of touch with is Barack Obama. I’m in touch with the American people. They want to see good jobs and rising incomes. They recognize this president has failed them.”
He then quoted the tea party’s eminence grise, Dick Armey. “He said the American Dream has to be redefined. It’s no longer owning a home. It’s owning a home where your kids are not living in it. We’re going to have to make sure that people understand that my job is to get people working, get America strong again, creating the jobs, creating the engine that creates a brighter future for the American people.”
Romney said he now expects Santorum to come over to his side and support him, even after the hostile words the two have slung at each other during almost a year of debates, campaigns and primaries.
“Sen. Santorum, throughout the campaign, has been speaking about issues that we care about very deeply so we’re on the same page on those issues and you’ll see us all come together in a very powerful way.
“But the time for that will happen down the road as we spend more time together, hit the trail together," Romney said.
“We share very much the same beliefs about the course the nation must take and the fact that under this president America is not going in the right direction," Romney added. "There are just too many people out of work and really feeling economic stress under a series of failed economic policies.”
Romney insisted the GOP will be more united than it has been in years, saying that Republicans are as one in opposing Obama’s policies that have “taken America in such a different course than we have ever gone as a nation before.
“We’re becoming far more like a European social welfare state and people don’t want to see that and we will get behind our nominee as a party and work very, very hard to get America creating jobs again, leading the world economically," Romney told Fox.
“President Obama, in some respects, is one of the reasons our party will be so united."
The one issue that Romney was not prepared to go into during his 13-minute chat with MacCallum is his choice for running mate. “Sorry, Martha, I haven’t got a list for you,” he said.
“We’ll begin sorting through the possibilities, but there’s a large number of people in the Republican Party who are extraordinary leaders, including some of those who have run in this last contest with me. So we’ll go through that list and decide who could potentially become a president, if that were necessary.
“That’s a process that has not begun yet but will begin pretty soon.”
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.