“‘It’s a ridiculous argument. Ridiculous. It’s been largely debunked this week by the people who have looked at it,’ said Geithner. ‘It’s a ridiculous way to look at the problem. And this is a political moment and you’re going to be seeing — just to borrow a line from Mario Cuomo — ‘you’re going to see a lot of politicians choose to campaign in fiction. But we have to govern in fact.”

“Geithner was responding to recent allegations by Romney that the Obama administration had waged a ‘war’ on women. Romney said earlier this week that the ‘real war on women has been waged by the policies of the Obama administration … did you know that of all the jobs lost during the Obama years, 92.3 percent of them are women. During the Obama years, women have suffered.’

“I asked Geithner about the technical accuracy of the Romney claim and he explained ‘this crisis was a very damaging crisis, hurt everybody. And it began in, as you know, in early 2008. And a lot of the early job losses in 2008 affected men, because they affected construction and manufacturing. And as the crisis spread and state and local governments were forced to cut back on services and fire a lot of teachers, that caused a lot of damage to women, too.'”

***

“Republican Sen. John McCain on Sunday said Mitt Romney will be able to bridge the gender gap in the next election given that women, as the candidate’s wife said, care most about the economy.

“‘I do believe that Ann Romney was right when she said the women she talks to and the women I talk to, traveling around my state, are interested in jobs and the economy,’ McCain, a Romney backer, said on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation.’ ‘There’s no doubt that a lot of women have been hurt very badly in this recession. And jobs and the economy is their number one priority.'”

***

“On Sunday, Bachmann defended Ann Romney and accused the Obama administration of neglecting women struggling in the recession.

“‘The one thing I know when women are home full time they probably have a better pulse on the economy than even their husbands have, because they are the ones who are directly impacted by the prices of groceries, by the price of gasoline, but the price of dealing with banking and all the other factors of running a home,’ she said.

“‘Ann Romney certainly understood the economy and I think women all across the country were highly insulted and they should be because women have borne the brunt of the failed economic policies under Barack Obama. Just as one example, they are paying $2,000 a year more for gasoline than they did the day Barack Obama came into office,’ Bachmann added.”

***

“Mr. Romney’s advantage lies in explaining to women why fat-boy government in general disproportionately hurts them, and how better policies are the path to genuine liberation…

“Mr. Romney might note the damage done to women by antiquated but still operative labor law, such as a provision in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act that requires hourly workers who put in more than 40 hours a week to get overtime. While some women like overtime, a 1990s poll found that 81% said they’d rather pack more hours into fewer days and receive compensatory time off. The phrase for this is ‘flex time,’ an invaluable option for many mothers attempting to juggle work and family. Not in this Democratic war…

Government creates myriad roadblocks for women’s economic progress, but Republicans largely have failed to make that case. They’ve instead let themselves be dragged into the tired debate over ‘equal pay’ and ‘women’s rights’ and ‘gender equality.’ Democrats love competing on these terms because it allows them to argue that the remedy always lies with more government, no matter the adverse consequences. It’s no accident that the first piece of legislation Mr. Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Purporting to snuff out wage discrimination, this is mostly a litigation bonanza for trial lawyers.

“Mr. Romney, and women, would be better off if the Republican brought this debate into the 21st century. What women need most in the economy we’ve got now is choice, opportunity and ownership. The Democrats want a war. Most women want a living.”

***

“Poor women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and ‘have the dignity of work,’ Mitt Romney said in January, undercutting the sense of extreme umbrage he showed when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen quipped last week that Ann Romney had not ‘worked a day in her life.’…

“On Sunday, Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told The Huffington Post in an email, “Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed into law. The sad fact is that under President Obama the poverty rate among women rose to 14.5 percent in 2011, the highest rate in 17 years. The Obama administration’s economic policies have been devastating to women and families.’

“Mitt Romney, however, judging by his January remark, views stay-at-home moms who are supported by federal assistance much differently than those backed by hundreds of millions in private equity income. Poor women, he said, shouldn’t be given a choice, but instead should be required to work outside the home to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits.”

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“Maher, who gave a $1 million to the Super PAC aligned with President Obama, defended Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney on HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher,’ saying ‘what she (Rosen) meant to say, I think, was that Ann Romney has never gotten her a** out of the house to work.’

“ABC News’ Cokie Roberts added that Maher’s comments, like Rosen’s, hurt the Democratic image.

“‘The fact is, is that it plays into an image of the Democrats as this out of — out of touch with regular people and — and elitist and kind of snooty,’ said Roberts.”

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