The Cycle | August 24, 2012
>>> the republican party has gone too far to the right. i feel like i'm more of a moderate. i don't feel that there are many moderate republicans out there anymore. if they are they're not speaking up.
>> i think i just became more aware of the things they were saying and what that meant and how it affected me and my life.
>> it's just hard to understand. it's hard to talk to people about it and it has divided our nation.
>> that's from a new official obama campaign ad featuring six long self-identified republican women who decided to go democratic this election year. a decision they say is in part based on the gop 's recent take on social issues. earlier this year the fbi announced they would no longer use the term forcible rape but for some reason republican politicians like paul ryan keep using it in legislation. there is a plank in the gop platform that says they are antichoice with no exception even in the case of rape or incest which surely makes todd akin happy. so is the republican party antiwoman? that's the opening question in marie claire 's magazine piece "how pissed off are republican women ?" the guest spot today features director leah goldman who worked on the piece, the september issue of " marie claire " is on sale now. do you really think gop is antiwoman?
>> i think they are themselves making a strong case for that. certainly there are people in the party i'm sure s.e. can speak to this who disagree entirely and say this is a manufactured, political ploy by the democrats. but if it is the republicans are providing no shortage of fuel to stoke that theory. the problem is that there is a good chunk of the republican female base that has a real issue with this being not necessarily the, you know, the platform, 66% of the republican women in the republican party are in fact pro life . this is not a negotiable issue for them. but they didn't want this to be the talking point this year. they didn't anticipate this would be the talking point this year. they don't like that it's the issue because it is divisive. it's retro. it's straight out of the 1950s and there are a lot of other issues they can win female voters on that have nothing to do with this. so that's what we're hearing from our readers in particular.
>> it is kind of interesting you say that two-thirds of republican women are antichoice but they don't want that to be discussed or to be the issue.
>> well, it's not -- consider it like this. marie claire for example we consider ourselves the bible of working women . you have more women in the work force than ever before. historically we're doing better than we ever have. women are getting married later. we're making more money, more household decisions. money is a big deal to us and a bigger deal than it's ever been. we're interested in taxes. we're interested in employment. we're interested in health care . we're interested in small business initiatives. all the things that the republicans could leverage the heck out of and yet you don't hear anything about this from them because it's all about women 's issues. and so if you're a moderate republican who agrees with that side on fiscal policy you're sort of, you know, backed into a corner because you're saying socially why is this the -- of all the things going on in this country, why is this the priority? and that's what the message is, out of all the issues this has become the priority and a lot of republican women are saying it's not my priority.
>> i have long said that i'm not a republican because of reproductive issues. my daily life is affected a lot more than by taxes.
>> than reproductive issues. certainly there is an aspect that is media -- an aspect that is democratic talking points and then the real aspect of some republicans not all republicans coming out and making social issues and women 's issues part of their platform. but it's not the whole of the party and certainly romney has been working very hard to talk about the economy. i think what is really interesting is when you look at the gender gap this is a 30-year trend. and in fact if you look back on the last year during the contraception debate mitt romney and rick santorum 's numbers went up during that time and president obama and congressional democrats' numbers flat lined. so it wasn't because of a pro life or a contraception debate. this has been happening for 30 years. i think if we can put up a pew poll from 2011 i came upon what i think is the most sort of obvious answer to this. it's not the gap between women and men on abortion and contraception. it's that women prefer big government solutions today more than men by a margin of nine points in 2011 . when you think back to 1985 when the mantra was sisters are doing it for themselves , now you seem to have the idea of, well the government is my sister's keeper. i think that might also help explain the movement of some women to the democratic party , this embrace of a more activist government.
>> you know, i have to be honest with you. i'm not sure i entirely agree because you have republican senators like olympia snowe who might be identified by the party as more left leaning of the right side. but these are moderate republicans who, you know, find they have no latitude to say, you know, you can be pro life or pro choice but there are other issues on the table that are more pressing. so what we hear from a lot of our readers who interestingly, i mean, women 's magazines often get tarred and feathered as sort of devices of the left. but in fact more and more of our readers are identifying themselves as republican and they're saying i don't understand why this is the issue this season. i don't get it. i don't buy into it. this is not what i want to be talking about. i want to be talking about why i can't pay tuition into my -- i'm still paying tuition and health care and unemployment and why am i still struggling to find a job two years after i have graduated? those are the issues they want to talk about.
>> of course.
>> isn't there also an image issue here where you have the image of a predominantly male party presuming to know and legislate a woman's body and a woman's decisions? isn't it partly not just the policy but also a sort of image problem that the republican party has?
>> sure. nobody wants to be told by a guy how much she should pay for birth control, whether she should have it. those are the kind of conversations you don't want to hear from your dad about. one of the figures lost in this discussion, we talk about this in the office, condi rice a model for a lot of republican women . she is unabashadly conservative, pro choice , doesn't wear it on her sleeve. that is not a talking point of hers. yet she feels she is against late-term abortion and, you know, these are pretty run of the mill positions for a republican to have. and yet she's not part of the conversation. instead it's wright, todd akin .
>> in all fairness condi rice will speak at the rnc and is certainly part of the conversation and has been embraced.
>> well you could say that when she has been named to the lineup for the speakers but where has she been for the last months?
>> she is a very private person.
>> well fine. she makes for a very good icon for a moderate republican woman.
>> all right. thanks, leah goldman.