Republican efforts to restrict contraception access, as part of the larger “war on women” campaign, have taken a considerable toll on the GOP, while giving Democrats a boost with more than half the electorate. It’s not surprising, then, that Republicans would start doing some damage control.
This means making Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) a key Romney campaign surrogate; it means putting Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the only woman in the Republican leadership in either chamber, in front of reporters; and it means dispatching South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to appear on “The View.”
The line that stands out in this clip, of course, is Haley’s attempt to deflect her party’s responsibility: “Women don’t care about contraception; they care about jobs and the economy and raising their families and all those things…. The media wants to talk about contraception.”
Right, it’s the media’s fault. Remember when major news organizations got together to encourage Republican policymakers to introduce legislation – at the state and federal level – to restrict access to birth control? No?
This wasn’t the media’s fault; it wasn’t an elaborate Democratic trap; Sandra Fluke is not to blame; there is no conspiracy. Republicans picked this fight because they thought it’d be an election-year winner, but they soon discovered that women do care about contraception.
The South Carolina governor added, “All we’re saying is we don’t want government to mandate when we have to have it or when we don’t.”
What? Who, exactly, is trying to mandate when women take contraception? I can appreciate the GOP’s need to undo some of the recent damage it’s done to the party’s standing with women, but the efforts are more likely to succeed if the arguments are coherent.