Morning Joe | March 08, 2013
>>> joining us now is the president of emily 's list, stephanie schriock. mike barnicle and nicole wallis also with us. stephanie , great to have you onboard.
>> thank you. great to be here.
>> since the inception of emily 's list, it's had a great impact. tell us first of all, what it is for those who don't know.
>> absolutely. emily 's list, a 28-year-old organization is a network of now 2 million women and men across the country that support pro-choice democratic women for office, and our sole goal is to change who's representing us in congress at the state level and governorships and ultimately someday in the white house .
>> well, this past election cycle there were i think some huge opportunities for emily 's list given some of the republican candidates. were you all able to take advantage of it?
>> it was incredible, in fact for us, it was a historic cycle. we ended up looking at a united states senate where we had 20 women now in the united states senate , the first time in our nation's history. 16 women to the house of representatives , and we know we've got a lot more work to do but we're getting there.
>> mike barnicle .
>> does emily 's list select candidates? obviously there's a litmus test?
>> we only support democratic pro-choice women . and then we look at what's going on in the state and the dynamics of the situation before we put a full-throated endorsement behind somebody.
>> have you had any races where another woman is opposing another woman for the same office?
>> we have, we have. sadly, it doesn't happen as nearly as often as it should, because it seems to be always the case with the men. but we are seeing that more and more and in some situations we stay out. if it's a democratic primary and there's two women , sometimes we stay out. we continue to run against republican women because we are democrats and we believe we have to keep growing those democratic numbers in congress as well.
>> have you ever felt tempted to get involved and help a pro-choice republican woman when there's no better alternative in the race?
>> organizationally when we seth it up 28 years ago, the mission was clear that it was pro-choice democratic women , and actually the reason that was set up is particularly at the time, it was hard to get support from the party structure for women . you think about when emily 's list started, no democratic woman had won a seat in the united states senate ever, and then barbara mckulski was the first one. there's this great story where she talks about there wasn't a women 's bathroom in the united states senate when she got to the senate in 1986 .
>> so recent.
>> we had mtv before there was a bathroom for women in the united states senate i would love to see a pro-choice counterpart organization to do the same thing for women in the republican party .
>> what would you had done though, this is a hypothetical, obviously, had you a republicanng in a primary against a neanderthal like todd akin .
>> personally, i would cringe, but again, i would hope in that case that the republicans would choose the right way. but the truth is they're not, they're choosing the todd achens. in 2010 , which was a huge republican year, huge swing, they had a record number of women running in the party that year, but less than a third of those women made it through their primaries. the republican party is moving very far to the right. maybe they'll change as time goes on, but right now we haven't seen it, and i think it's hard for pro-choice republican moderate women to make it through those primaries. and those that are there are slipping away.
>> what do you make of the support among women for kansas city -- chris christie in new jersey?
>> the first majority leader in the senate there in new jersey has done some great work both in supporting women 's issues but also in cutting out government waste, $4.5 billion that she has pulled out of waste in new jersey. we recognize we're not getting in this lightly. we know this is a tough race. he's very popular right now. but if you look underneath the numbers, his polling is upside down on economy, jobs and taxes. this campaign is going to be about economic issues. we have to make the case and we've got the time to do it.
>> all right. thanks very much for coming in. stephanie schriock, president of emily 's list. it's very good to have you on the show. more " morning joe " in just a moment.