President Obama and Democrats have sought to make their argument that Republicans are waging a “war on women” a top focus on the 2012 campaign trail.
Now, it seems Mitt Romney’s camp is working to turn the tables.
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Bay Buchanan, the former treasurer of the United States and a top Romney backer, contended that the Obama administration’s policies have had a detrimental effect on the country – and that the economic downturn has overwhelmingly affected women.
“The number of unemployed women have increased by nearly a million under Barack Obama,” Buchanan said, citing a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. “Ninety-two percent of the jobs lost since he took office are women.”
She added that as a result, the Obama administration’s policies have “set us back 20 years.”
Buchanan was speaking on a Romney campaign call along with former senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.), Florida state Sen. John Thrasher (R) and Florida state House speaker-designate Will Weatherford (R). The call came as Obama was slated to hold three events in Florida on Tuesday.
Romney’s camp later Tuesday released an infographic on the BLS data stating that of any president, Obama “has the worst record on female labor force participation.”
The offensive by the Romney camp comes as the Republican National Committee has been making a similar push; the committee issued a memo by co-chair Sharon Day this week arguing that “of the 740,000 jobs lost since Obama took office, 683,000 of them were held by women.”
Our colleague Glenn Kessler took a closer look this morning at that claim, on which the Romney camp’s 92 percent figure is based.
In a statement, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith swung back at the Romney camp, arguing that the former Massachusetts governor’s team has resorted to “misleading attacks” in light of “the growing gender gap and how women voters are increasingly turning their backs on Mitt Romney’s extreme agenda.”
Smith noted that Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and contended that over the last 25 months – rather than the last 38 months since Obama took office -- women have gained more than 1 million private-sector jobs.
“We already know that Mitt Romney believes we should turn back the clock on women’s health care and that he has been suspiciously silent on his hero – Governor Scott Walker – restricting Wisconsin women’s ability to enforce in court their right to equal pay,” she said. “Having his surrogates launch discredited attacks against the President won’t give him any credibility on the issues that matter most to women.”