Mitchell Reports | May 22, 2012
>> a thing or two about the gender gap . she's the first and only woman elected to represent the state of texas in the u.s. senate . arguing in a recent op-ed for the " houston chronicle " women can rely on mitt romney . but can the romney campaign rely on women to come vote for him in the upcoming election? joining me now is republican senator kay bailey hutchison of texas. great to see you. thanks so much.
>> thank you.
>> let's talk about the gender gap , the new "the washington post " poll has a gender gap with mitt romney on the losing side of that and that's a big issue as we get closer to election day . continuing to be a big issue is whether or not he can close that gap. why do you argue that mitt romney actually is a good bet for women ?
>> because i think his record in the private sector is so good and because he's been a successful governor and a successful manager of the olympics. he's taken tough issues in all of those jobs and he has done a good job of turning it around. and that's what this country needs right now, is a turnaround.
>> you write in the " houston chronicle ," your op-ed, the democrats and white house are talking a great deal about a republican quote war on women , color me highly skeptical. you write all such talk makes me wonder do the major problems have that much to do with gender? as a woman fighting to banish the ignorance women are incapable of engaging issues of the day i can tell you the answer to all those questions is now. some of your republican colleagues, lisa murkowski said, i think you're sensing a fear, concern that women feel threatened that a long settled issue might not be so settled talking about contraception. it makes no sense to make this attack on women . if you don't feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters. that's what she wrote in april. and owe blilympia snowe said i feel like it's a retro debate in the 1950s . it's back to the future, isn't it? it's surprising in the 21st century we'd be revisiting this issue. there are certainly in texas as you know, state laws that roll back access to planned parenthood , to contraceptive screening. so why don't you feel that there is something going on in the republican party state by state when 30 states now that do attack women 's rights?
>> well, i think the issue of contraception is settled. obviously women can get contraception and they should have right and the freedom to do so. it was a religious freedom issue, the catholic church has now sued on that issue. and i think that it was miscashized. what i do think women care about are jobs. 23 million americans are not working or they're underemployed. and women understand that. and they want their families to have a solid foundation and to be able to do the things that the quality of life that they have had would suggest that they should be able to do. and mitt romney is the one who can do that and, frankly, andrea, president obama has had 3 1/2 years to do something about the jobless rate and he has failed. so bain capital is not on trial here. it is president obama 's record that is on trial and i think by every conceivable measure he has failed to get this economy going again.
>> having served in the senate as lon as you have, and you became the highest ranking woman in leadership in the senate, have you experienced gender problems there with the dominance of men in the senate and the long history there? history ther e?
>> well, you know, we all have one vote, and i would say that big states are at a disadvantage, and i was in leadership, i was elected to leadership, and i think that we all have the equal voice . i'm ranking member of a committee. i have the same voice that a male ranking member would have. i think we have our policies and our goals, and right now it should be a jobs policy, and i believe the way to get jobs created is to let the private sector run, let it go. take the nerous regulations off.
>> kate bailey hitchson, thank you very much.
>> thank you, andrea.