Mitt Romney Needs to Get Some New Female Surrogates

 

That was quick.

On Thursday, one day after Democratic commentator Hilary Rosen suggested that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life” on CNN (she has since apologized), Mitt Romney attempted to portray President Obama as anti-mom by pushing out a statement from Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America.

But the CWA, an Evangelical outfit founded by Beverly LaHaye (wife of Left Behind creator Tim LaHaye), might not be the best messenger if Romney wants to persuade female voters he’s a moderate candidate who has their best interests in mind. In response to Romney, American Bridge, the pro-Obama opposition research outfit, just blasted out a quick cheat-sheet on what, exactly, the Concerned Women for America are so concerned about. (Hint: It’s not equal pay for an equal day’s work.)

Among other things:

CWA Article Attacked Harry Potter For Indoctrinating Children With Witchcraft.  According to an article published in the Family Voice, a CWA publication, parents “are now trying to protect their children from classroom discussions about paganism and the occult” when Harry Potter is read in classrooms.  The article argues that “Harry Potter is part of a larger trend to bring occult themes to younger children.”  [Family Voice, November/December 2001]

 

Concerned Women For America Flagged By Southern Poverty Law Center.  In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center flagged the Concerned Women For America as one of 18 “hard core” anti-gay groups.  [Southern Poverty Law Center, Winter 2010]

 

CWA Opposed Pregnant Mother From Running For Office.  In 1998, Jane Swift announced she would campaign for Massachusetts Lt. Governor.  The announcement by Swift led to “Conservative groups such as Concerned Women for America and the Christian Coalition of Massachusetts [who] are openly critical of the Republican mom-to-be, saying Swift’s decision is not ‘in the best interest of the child.'”  [Chicago Tribune, 6/7/98]

This is an agonizingly dumb controversy amplified by Twitter and entirely removed from any substantive public policy debate. But it does reveal a few holes in Romney’s armor going forward. In his push to reverse the damage done by members of his party (himself included) to his reputation with female voters, he’s quickly finding that he’s sorely lacking in plausible surrogates. To defend his position on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he brought out Reps Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-Wash.) and Mary Bono-Mack (R-Cal.)—who both voted against the law. To defend the charge that raising kids is a full-time job, he brought out former First Lady Barbara Bush, hardly the archetypal working mom. They don’t exactly have their finger on the pulse of the American swing voter right now.

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate