Women Voters Won the Second Presidential Debate

Both candidates lurched onto the campaign trail Wednesday with new appeals to shore up support among a key demographic that may decide the outcome in key swing states.

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A woman supports U.S. President Barack Obama outside Hofstra University prior to the second presidential debate on October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York

Athens, Ohio

A day later, there was no doubt about the winner of the second Presidential debate: Women.

Both candidates lurched onto the campaign trail Wednesday with new appeals to shore up support among a key demographic that may decide the outcome in key swing states. “You can choose to turn back the clock 50 years for women and for immigrants and for gays and for lesbians — or you can stand up and say, we want to move forward,” President Obama said at a rally in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, an appearance marked by repeated mentions of policies that impact women, from the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay act to health insurance reforms that prevent surcharges for female patients.

“I’ve got to tell you, we don’t have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented driven young women ready to learn and teach in these fields right now,” Obama said, in reference to Mitt Romney’s claim during the debate that he had consulted a binder of female candidates for top jobs when he became governor of Massachusetts.

Not to be outdone, the Romney campaign shot back with their own set of appeals. “This president has failed America’s women,” Romney said at a post-debate rally in Chesapeake, Va. “They’ve suffered in terms of getting jobs. They’ve suffered in terms of falling into poverty. This is a presidency that has not helped America’s women.”

(MORE: The Gender Gap Is Hurting Romney, Beyond His Control)

The battle over the women’s vote continued on the airwaves and online. The Romney campaign put out an ad featuring a former Obama voter named Sarah Minto, who fact checks false Obama claims that Romney seeks to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Another spot, posted on the Romney campaign website with the name “Cabinet Members—Humanity,” featured testimonials from women who had worked with the governor. “Women who worked with Mitt Romney were struck by his humanity and his sensitivity,” boasted the campaign.

The Obama campaign countered with an online video called “Mitt Romney’s Condescending Views Towards Women,” which selectively edited portions of the debate answers of both Obama and Romney to a question about equal pay. The campaign also organized conference calls with reporters to discuss Obama’s record and his claim that he sought out binders full of potential female candidates in his Massachusetts administration.

Elsewhere, surrogates joined in the messaging. Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning in Greeley, Colo., charged that Romney “has gotten in this sort of 1950s time warp in terms of women.” Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan countered by telling CBS that Romney “has an exceptional record of hiring women in very prominent positions in his administration.”

After the debate Tuesday night, Obama senior advisor David Plouffe said he expects the fight over women’s issues to grow in the coming weeks. “There are more undecided women than men in all the battlegrounds,” he said. “In Colorado particularly in Jefferson County and the suburbs you have a lot of undecided women.”

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Oct. 5-11)

Romney’s top campaign strategist Stuart Stevens argued at the same time that the Obama campaign was on defense with women after the Vice Presidential Debate.  “Joe Biden was a disastrous night for the Obama campaign among women voters,” he said, referring to the vice presidents aggressive tone and split-screen gesticulations

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has opened a new front by claiming the methodology used by Gallup to identify likely voters is skewed, especially among women. Joel Benenson, the Obama campaign’s top pollster, called the latest Gallup poll showing a tie among likely women voters in battleground states an “extreme outlier.” “This implausible result among women appears to not even provide inaccurate reflection on the electorate today,” he said.

The Romney and Obama campaigns also clashed over a claim made by Ed Gillespie after Tuesday’s debate. “The governor would not repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Act,” he said, referring to a law that increased the legal options for women discriminated against on the job. “He was opposed to it at the time. He would not repeal it.” Hours later, Gillespie retracted his comment in an email to the Huffington Post. “I was wrong,” Gillespie wrote. “He never weighed in on it. As President, he would not seek to repeal it.” Immediately, the Obama campaign pounced on the confusion.

As the sun set amid autumn leaves on the campus of Ohio University, Obama finished the day much as he began it, reaching out to the group that he hopes will push him over the finish line. “I’ve got two daughters,” he said. “I don’t want them paid less than a man for doing the same job. And by the way you men out there, you don’t want your wives paid less for doing the same job.” The crowd of about 14,000 cheered its approval.

MORE: The Lohan Effect: Will Romney Get a Boost from Low-Information Voters?

109 comments
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Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

Here we go again.  Pundits, including "dear" Halperin on here, have seized on Obama's use of the word "optimal" in reference to the incident in Benghazi!!!!!!!! How INANE.

Okay, please get your DICTIONARIES OUT FOLKS. OPTIMAL ALSO MEANS IDEAL. So OBAMA simply STATED THAT SITUATION WAS NOT IDEAL. The opposite of IDEAL is WRONG.  So to all of you who want to make a mountain out of NOTHING. Obama stated that the Benghazi issue was WRONG. Get it right, and while doing so, get a life.

I am tired of the partisanship by some here on TIME. And if you ask me, I think they should be excoriated by readers. I mean, it is a little too much to do this whole GOTCHA thing when you are supposed to be a JOURNALIST for a respected publication.

I am beginning to think that Halperin might be going to work for Fox News once Romney loses, and he knows he will no longer be considered for the position of Press Secretary.  :)

  

clb2012now
clb2012now

I

am proud of Mitt's record for women in the workplace. The first step to

correcting any issue is recognizing it. Then to dig into what was

needed for women in the workplace to find it was flexibility. Mitt

recognizes problems, gets input, analyses situations and gets results.

Definable results when Massachussett's was recognized as having the most

women in leadership positions including his Lt Governor. Obama's White

house has had complaints of hostile workplace and the average woman's

salary is only 77% of the men. (Source is whitehouse.gov for 2011

salaries as reported to Congress) Meaning that there is a glass ceiling

problem of women in higher paid positions.

 

imu123456789
imu123456789

our building is shaky means (economy) we alway go  for foundation  to fix it ,so building won't fall ,obama is doing same think that 's why it will take time ,but romny is try to fix the building instead of foundation  and try to make more floor so everybody will die (country)

James Lee
James Lee

Mitt Romney wants to create 12 million jobs.... in China.

turtllleee
turtllleee

Here's something to think about.  I think it's great that Romney wants to create 12 million jobs. We all need that in our current economy. However, he fails to see that education, women's rights, economy, jobs, social security, government welfare programs, etc. from a holistic point of view, especially in such a diverse nation with so much history. But when he brushes off education policies, wants to make cuts to education, and says to borrow money from our parents, it should make you question those 12 million jobs he wants to create. Does that mean only those who have the education and the money to get the education get those 12 million jobs? Does that mean only the higher income individuals and well off middle class individuals get those 12 million jobs? And what about the binders full of women. If he sees majority of the 12 million jobs are men does that mean he's going to refer to a binder full of women that have the qualifications? It connects back to access to education. Moreover, what about equal pay for women? Will women have equal pay when those jobs are created if he is elected? Romney, it's great you're going to create 12 million jobs if elected, but how will each and everyone of us have that equal shot with the different intersectional identities, different income status, etc. These are the things you should think about when you vote. 

filmnoia
filmnoia

Why didn't Willard pull out of his butt the figure of 11 or 13 million jobs, why 12 million? It's because the economic forecast for 2013-2017  already project 12 million jobs in that time frame, no matter who is in the WH. Willard's America will lead us just that much quicker to the kind of situation Europe is in. It's too bad that the gullible voters, the low info voters and the flat out racists may drag down the rest of us to their execrable existence.

Malty17
Malty17

Obama has NO ideas. People that watched the debate saw that he has NO SUBSTANCE. Sorry, "oh yeah, you are rich" is not a policy. Obama's ideas are tax the rich and keep the current status quo. Weak.

Note: Obama is rich and going to be as rich, if not richer, than Romney when he is in his late sixties.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

 Obama's policies will create 12 million jobs in the next 4 years according to Moody's Analytics. The same 12 million jobs that Mittens is now trying to claim credit for. So I ask again who has NO ideas?

Malty17
Malty17

I can't believe that the media is trying so hard to get another four years of obama. 

This is the biggest non-issue and TIME is trying to make it bigger than obama incompetence and cover up in Libya.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

which cover up in Libya would that be? The one where Republicans forced a hearing on the matter and disclosed a location of a CIA base to the world? That cover up?

peb12345
peb12345

Come on women we are  bigger then this , NO one is going to take your abortions away, or our birth control. But maybe your job or your house if things don't change, We need to start thinking about what we are doing to our children and grandchildren. Start voting for what is best for the country we live in, Not for a certain party, and quit being used, It makes use look so small.

53underscore3
53underscore3

pssst.  You think they'll fall for this?

I don't...

Dan5404
Dan5404

Actually, the "binder" phtase didn't mean anything, it was the fact that Romney partially lied again.  He said he noticed that not enough women worked in Massachussetts government and made a concerted effort to correct that by going to various women's groups asking for help and the provided the "Binders full of women".  It turns out, the women's groups went to him first, pointing out the need to hire women and brought the resumes to him. Since they have 300,000 votes, he did hire women.  However, from that high of 42%, he had gone back to 27,5% during his last two years.  Another misrepresentation by Romney proved false.

Malty17
Malty17

No, you can read the transcripts. He said that he asked for the binders.... (that were already prepared). 

Kevin, if you have to lie for obama, he isn't worth voting for.

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

 Blatant falsehood.

Dan5404
Dan5404

That came from a leader of the women's groups.

filmnoia
filmnoia

Doesn't our Rustic Romeo get tired of always being wrong?

Make us all a promise - when Obama wins on Nov 6, stop posting and go away.

Malty17
Malty17

Kevin lied. The binder of resume's was already prepared and Romney asked for it.

pburkart
pburkart

Romney's plan to create jobs:

1. Cut taxes for companies

2. Raise "Tariffs" on products from China

The issues with his plan:

For Point 1:

"Demand" creates jobs, not cheaper taxes for companies. Companies only pay taxes on profits. So, if they don't want to pay taxes, with higher taxes, they'll invest in their company, workers, and products. By lowering taxes, they'll actually start holding on to their money more and spend less on their company, workers, and products.

For Point 2:

A "tariff" is a tax increase on everyone who buys products as everything will be pre-taxed before it hits the shelf. So, everything will cost more, which increases inflation, which means people will not be able to buy as much, reducing "demand".

A vote for Romney is a vote for "less jobs" and "increased inflation"!

73yearoldVet
73yearoldVet

Major Breaking News

Gallup announced that Mitt Romney has surged to a 7 point lead in their Daily Tracking Poll. Romney's lead is now 52% to Obama 45%.

A new record was set yesterday by Romney of 51% to Obama 45% only to be broken one day later.

The wheels continue to come off the Obama campaign.

kiefo
kiefo

Although Gallup has Romney's massive lead surging from six points to seven points in just a day, all is not lost for Obama.  http://www.gallup.com/poll/157...

The New York Times/Al Qaeda Nightly News poll has Obama up by 23 points.  The NBC/Daily Kos poll has Obama up 18 points.  The ABC/Al Qaeda Post-Dispatch poll has Obama up 21 points.  The CBS/NPR/ESPN Deportes/Huffington Post poll has Obama up 29 points!  Hang in there, people!

kiefo (aka the artist formerly known as textee)

Steve0T
Steve0T

 Dear piece of excrement formerly known as textee,

    Just because most news media doesn't fit your demented and deluded views, it doesn't mean they are the enemy.

Joanaieg
Joanaieg

He can do lip service about abortion and change his position day to day, but the bottom line is who he would appoint to the court. He would just say it wasn’t his position…it was the courts.  This wouldn’t stop abortions but drive people back to the illegal back street coat hanger abortions of the past.  Desperate people do desperate things. If anybody thinks that they can’t really stop it, they are ignorant.  Let’s at least keep it safe.

filmnoia
filmnoia

Perhaps Bain Capital has just bought a coat hanger factory overseas, so his views on outlawing abortion would make total sense. Willard is a craven individual who has a cynical contempt for the voting public. I thought Bush 2 was the most arrogant example of white male privilege I've ever seen run for Pres, but he is an amateur compared to Willard.

Abraham Yeshuratnam
Abraham Yeshuratnam

Why this attempt by Team Obama to separate women voters? Long, long before the Obamas were born, American women were enjoying political and social freedom. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized as early as in 1848 history’s first ‘Women’s Rights Convention’ in Seneca Falls, N.Y.   The early feminists were

individualists who drew inspiration from the Declaration of Independence and its principles of individual rights and responsibility. Whether it is Republican or Democrat administration, American women have always enjoyed social freedom. As for instance, President Bush's 19-year-old twin daughters were charged with underage alcohol offenses.  So Obama’s pretensions that he champions women’s

rights appear ridiculous.  American women enjoy more freedom than any other country in the world. The casual reference to ’binder’ by Romney is being exploited by Team Obama with sadistic intentions. Americans have strong family ties and both men and women have free family discussion about election, and the attempt to divide men and women will only boomerang on Obama.

seejay james
seejay james

"American women have always enjoyed social freedom."

Tell that to women two hundred years ago, one hundred, fifty years ago...even today we are STILL not equal in many ways, as the recent Ledbetter Act shows.

As little as 50 years ago it was totally OK to not hire a woman because she "might get pregnant and we'd have to replace her". Sound crazy? Yes, it is...but it happened. And don't even think of whistleblowing sexual harassment in the workplace...with the power of the old-boy networks back then, you'd be fired in a split second. It took GOVERNMENT to set these rules, and thankfully, these instances are far less of a problem today than they were.

"American women enjoy more freedom than any other country in the world." 

Granted, American women have MUCH more freedom than some countries, and we can only hope that those particularly bad countries (and the misogynistic men controlling them who often use religion as a justification for their actions) will eventually GROW UP.

But more freedom than any other country? I'd say that would be very tough to prove. Even if it were true, we still have more to do.

pattipaws
pattipaws

It's NOT Mr. Obama. It's the right wingnuts that wont stay out of my uterus and bedroom. They would like to go back to the 50's when women had NO rights.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Because Republicans want women to make less than men for equivalent work and be able to dictate to them when and how they can have their family. Any more questions?

Kevin Groenhagen
Kevin Groenhagen

 Moron alert. See post above. Are you aware of the fact that women in Obama's White House make less than men.

http://www.washingtontimes.com...

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

We addressed this already try and keep up. Obama has 7 women in the 14 highest positions as opposed to Bush who only had 4. But shouting Moron alert, certainly let's us know you are here. Thank you for the courtesy.

53underscore3
53underscore3

Hate to say it, but you're in Murrika now...

sacredh
sacredh

I still haven't had a chance to watch the 2nd debate yet because of working 12 hour days, but did Obama bring up that he appointed two women to to the Supreme Court?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

No, and frankly I'm disappointed that he hasn't placed more emphasis on the reckless actions SCOTUS has taken over the past few years, and the importance of the potential two appointees that the next President will make.  Biden did I believe.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

I have no doubt that Romney, as president, would sign any pro-life bill that made it to his desk including restrictions on rape and incest.

Romney would excempt any employer from providing birth control in their insurance plans (no matter how many abortions it would prevent). He would defund Planned Parenthood making it very difficult for many women from receiving female health services.

I also have no doubt that he would sign a repeal of the Lilly Ledbetter Act if congress sent it to him.