Four top ranking female Republican presidential campaign operatives brushed aside the notion of the “women’s vote” in a panel to promote “their man” Tuesday afternoon.
In her introduction of campaign spokeswomen for Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, moderator and Washington editor of National Review Kate O’Beirne chortled at Democratic pollster Mark Penn’s assertion that Hillary Clinton would draw the female vote because of “emotional appeal” based on gender.
“There’s no such thing as the monolithic women’s vote,” O’Beirne said.
Rather, these women seemed confident that men and women alike would vote for a Republican candidate because of the GOP’s position on issues like taxes and terror.
“We need to take the war to the terrorists and keep the war on offense. I think that’s something everyone on this panel can agree on,” said Katie Levinson, a spokeswoman for the Giuliani campaign. “And people are tired of paying taxes and not getting anything in return.”
“Radical Islamic terrorism are words Democrats are terrified to say,” said Karen Hanretty, who represents Fred Thompson. “It is an enemy who would take rights away from women.” Hanretty said voters should pay attention to how Republicans and Democrats would treat Iran differently. “Iran is the new Iraq,” she said. “If they [Iran] are intent to wipe Israel, which is the little Satan, off the map, they would like to wipe the U.S., which is the big Satan, off the map.”
“We are going to have one of the most dramatic contrasts” between a Republican and a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, said Barbara Comstock of the Romney campaign. “People are going to wake up to that.” She highlighted recent speeches Romney had given about how he would handle Iran and his business experience in the private sector.
She reminded listeners how Romney beat the Democratic Irish-Catholic female candidate Shannon O’Brien to win the governorship in the liberal state of Massachusetts. “Sometimes the best man for the job is the best man for the job,” Comstock said.
There was some talk about social issues, like gay marriage and abortion, on the panel. Spokeswomen for McCain and Romney made the most vocal cases for why their candidates are most equipped to win votes on those issues.
Jill Hazelbacker, of McCain for President, said her candidate would “keep the Republican base together on social issues and also be able to reach out [to Democratic and independent voters] on things like climate change.”
Of the Romney campaign, Comstock said “we can change hearts and minds because Governor Romney is someone who has had his heart and mind changed on these things.”