The highest-ranked woman elected offical, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, bashed her own party — the Republican Party — for being so concerned with legislative efforts aimed at female body parts “south of the waistline.”
In an interview with the Washington Times on Wednesday, Combs said Republicans need to change their party’s strategy for courting women voters in their state, echoing the same sentiments from a Republican National Committee-conducted study earlier this year that the party needs a makeover with their policy stances, strategies and their messaging.
“Tell me that you give a flip about women’s interests,” she said. “If all you want to talk about is my biology, ‘Gee what happened to my brain?’ That is my point. It is not all south of the waistline.”
Saying the Republican party should not be focused on restricting women’s health, Combs also outlined the four priorities her party should be focusing on.
“Women care about their children, their families, their jobs, their future,” the second term comptroller said. “Real core stuff.”
After the devastating results for the party in the 2012 election, the RNC conducted an autopsy report titled the “Growth and Opportunity Project” that ultimately showed the party’s outreach dilemma and its inability to connect with young, minority, and women voters. But since the study, Texas has passed legislation which imposes sweeping new restrictions on reproductive rights. The legislation includes a ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and regulations that could close the doors of one-third of Texas abortion clinics.
The comptroller’s interview follows Election Day 2013 results where tea party candidate Ken Cuccinelli, whose platform of anti-abortion and anti-marriage equality did not resonate with Virginia voters. In fact, women voters had a critical role in Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s win in Virginia, with his 9 point lead over Cuccinelli among women, 51% to 42%.
Texas’ abortion law has been widely protested, even launching State Sen. Wendy Davis to political stardom and a champion for women’s abortion rights after her day-long filibuster against the legislation. Davis is trailing six points behind Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in the race for governor, according to a recent poll.