The Last Word | May 30, 2012
>>> today i'm proud to make it official. the plan parenthood action fund is endorsing president barack obama for re-election.
>> today's endorsement by planned parenthood action fund for president obama comes just as the group rolled out its largest campaign ad ever. more than 1.1 million ad against mitt romney calling him wrong for women .
>> when mitt romney says --
>> planned parenthood , we'll get rid of that.
>> he'll deny the birth control women depend on.
>> -- he's saying he'll deny women the right to make his own medical decisions. and when his campaign can't say if he can support equal pay protections, romney is putting your paycheck at risk.
>> planned harnthood's campaign against mitt romney comes just as the senate is gearing up to push for the paycheck fairness act that would combat wage discrimination against women . it's an issue romney has been silent on. according to the conservative newspaper, the " washington times ", mitt romney 's campaign didn't respond to five messages left over the last week seeking his stance on the paycheck fairness act. despite his silence on this issue, mitt romney is sounding better to some women voters. a new " washington post " poll shows romney 's favorability improving with women . in april, 58% of women said they had a favorable view of president obama , compared to just 27%, who then said they had a favorable view of mitt romney . today 51% of women say they have a favorable view of president obama . and now 40% of women in the " washington post " poll say they have a favorable view of mitt romney . but still, 44% of women say they have an unfavorable view of plopz. mitt romney . romney has seen the greatest improvement among republican women . last month 59% of women had a favorable view of romney . today 80% do. a 21-point gain. joining me now, judith grey, contributing writer for the daily beast , and karen finney, former dnc communications director and msnbc analyst. judith , in your piece in the daily beast , titled gop to
women: obama is your guilty pleasure , you explain how republicans are trying to win the women voters. how are they doing it?
>> well, what they're doing, and i think they're being extremely clever, is they're painting barack obama as a guilty pleasure that you indulged in 2008 . he made you feel wonderful. he made you feel euphoric. you were moved by his lofty speeches. but now given your economic situation, it's time to atone for that indulgence. it's time to consider a candidate like mitt romney , someone who doesn't feel very good right now. someone who isn't as instantly as gratifying as barack obama felt in 2008 , but in the long term, if you vote for someone like him, your life will be much, much better. i think that's what they're doing. and it seems to be working, according to new polls that are coming out.
>> karen , now as we know, i'm not a woman. but i am a feminist. and pardon me, but i felt condescended, too, when i was hearing judith 's explanation of the way they want to appeal to women voters you know, you were so superficial in your assessment. you fell for his smile. you fell for the fancy words.
>> that's right. you wanted that pint of chocolate ice cream and you took it, didn't you? in a political context he's making a great point. the way we would talk about it from a political strategy is voters don't like to be told they were wrong. we know that. so you have to make it okay. part of the way you make it okay is in part this idea that it's okay, you were seduced. it was the smile. it was the lofty rhetoric. but you know, now we've got to get down to brass tax. so part of this is about showing women who look like the women articulating the decision that, gee, maybe, and also it's not just you made a bad decision. he fooled you with his rhetoric. he made you believe his promises. it's a way to go after his character without doing so so directly as you'll see in some of the other ads he'll do.
>> let's listen to an add last year that is using some of the elements that judith identified in her piece.
>> lately i worry a lot about my kids. what is their future going to be like? i supported president obama because he spoke so beautifully. since then things have gone from bad to much worse.
>> judith , they're now releasing longer versions of that, but that kind of ad, but it still includes that thing about he spoke so beautifully. saying i supported him because he spoke so beautifully. and no other reason. that's the only one they identify.
>> yeah, when i heard it the first time, i had a very negative response to it. i thought, how could this be working? but it seems to be working. you see this woman. her gaze is downcast. she's full of self reproach , self-blame. what the republicans have found is that women are very comfortable with this. they're comfortable with the idea that if you indulge in something, you have to atone for it shortly afterwards. they're really taking advantage of that. they are poring so much money into running the ads. they've done various itirations of the same ads.
>> i don't know yet that they're working. part of what we saw in the last round of polling is there was still room for romney to begin to define himself. if this was august i would be more concerned. you can't win without winning women voters. obviously they cannot afford to let up on the pressure on their messaging on romney on all the reasons why romney is not good for women . i'm not sure if i'm convinced he's closed the deal with women voters.
>> if you think about the negative press he's been getting. the bullying story that came out a couple weeks ago. i thought it would have had a lot, you know, the repercussions would have been a lot worse. i'm thinking, in light of all the negative press that's been coming out, the numbers are rising.
>> we have seen the favorability movement in the " washington post " poll in mitt romney 's direction. judith grey and karen finney. thank you both very much for joining me tonight.
>> coming up, barney frank joins me on the 25th anniversary of his coming out as our first openly gay member of congress. how 25 years later we still live in a country where children are taught to sing hate songs about gay people in church. you will hear a 5-year-old spewing hatred in church to the rapturous joy of all in attendance.
>>> and the lies of newt gingrich about the lies of donald trump are in tonight's rewrite. and later, emmy winning writer joins me to try to talk about some serious