More Mitt Romney surrogates hit back on "war on women" rhetoric

All day long, press releases have poured into my inbox from the Mitt Romney camp with subject lines like these: “Kelly Ayotte: Women hardest hit by failed Obama policies” and “Cathy McMorris Rodgers: President Obama’s policies are not working for women.”

Such releases confirm: We are now officially in the throes of Barack Obama’s war with GOP women. I’ve gotta say: I’m relieved to see we’re defending ourselves. At some point, enough was enough. Scarcely anything has so angered me as the suggestion — implicit in the phrase “GOP war on women” — that we as Republican women are somehow less capable of recognizing and working for what is best for ourselves than are Democratic women. It seems never to have occurred to President Obama or to liberal women that to say the GOP is waging a war on women is to say that GOP women are waging a war on themselves. Why, why, why would we do that?

As Ayotte, McMorris Rodgers and others have pointed out today, we have good reasons to be Republicans — and they don’t all have to do with reproduction, which is an important part but not the whole of our lives as women. I’m republishing their statements in full here. Excuse the outright shilling for Mitt Romney and focus on what these women highlight about Obama’s damaging effect on women’s economic prospects.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte:

President Obama refuses to address the fact that women have been hit hardest by his failed economic policies. The poverty rate among women is the highest it has been in nearly two decades, and women have seen massive job losses during his presidency. President Obama’s proposals for higher taxes and more regulation will do nothing to bring our economy back. Women deserve a president who will ensure that they have the opportunity to prosper. Mitt Romney will create an economic environment where women, and all Americans, will be able to find lasting employment.

Former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey:

If President Obama wants to talk about a ‘war on women,’ he should start by looking at his own economic policies. It is clear that women have become the biggest casualty of the Obama economy. Women account for more than 92 percent of the jobs that have been lost on President Obama’s watch. That is simply inexcusable. We need a president who will make sure that women have the opportunity to prosper. The Obama presidency has set women’s economic security back twenty years. No amount of political spin or sideshows can hide that fact.

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

For more than three years, President Obama’s disastrous economic policies have wreaked havoc on women in the workplace with record levels of unemployment and the highest poverty rate in nearly two decades. Now the President has doubled down on his record of failure by proposing even more regulations and more taxes that will make it more difficult for women to find jobs. Mitt Romney supports pay equity for women and, as president, will do what President Obama has not – implement pro-growth economic policies that will allow women and all Americans to finally get back to work.

California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack:

Barack Obama talks a good game on women in the economy, but the facts don’t back him up. Women in the Obama economy are facing hardships of historical proportions. Unemployment among women is at record levels and the number of women in poverty has risen to a near-two decade high. Everyone knows that President Obama has presided over massive job losses during his term. What they may not know is that women account for the vast majority of those lost jobs. All the Obama Administration has to offer is more of the same. Simply put, women cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama.

Now, having done my PR duty and with all due gratitude for and agreement with these statements, I offer this caveat: It’s great to see GOP women defending themselves, but it’s not necessarily as great to see Romney use this as a campaign strategy. As long as Romney is hitting Obama on the economy within the “war on women” context, he’s still playing defense — but he’s going to have to act like the next president if he wants the American people to recognize him as the next president. What does he want to talk about? What’s first on his agenda? That’s what he needs to play up — and not with any transitional phrases like, “Obama wants to talk about a war on women … “