The war on women was used as an effective rallying cry during the 2012 elections, which mobilized single, college-educated, and urban-based women to flock to the polls for Democrats. Yet, Democrats never moved beyond this fundraising ploy, which saw it backfire on them in the 2014 midterms. Now, we have a former Clinton spokesperson saying there isn’t a Republican war on women, though he also reminded conservatives that there isn’t a war on religion or the military; I’ll let you debate the latter amongst yourselves (via Inside Sources):
“I do not believe that there’s any sort of Republican war on women,” Mo Elleithee said Tuesday. “I hate when people say that, just as I hate when Republicans say that there’s a Democratic war on religion or the military.”
Elleithee made his comments at an event for Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, which he’s run since leaving the DNC in June. The longtime Democratic operative later told InsideSources that Republican policies are bad for women, but “overly hyped” political language turns voters off.
“I hate when there’s rhetoric that’s overly incendiary,” he said in an interview. “I hate when there’s rhetoric that’s just not true. When you say there’s a war on something, that means you’re out to destroy it. Republicans aren’t out to destroy women.”
Elleithee doesn’t think he used the phrase “war on women” during his tenure at the DNC, which began in August 2013. (In fact, he started distancing himself from the term years ago.) Still, there’s no question the language has been part of the Democrats’ national messaging.
Yet, even before voters went to the polls in 2014, there was evidence that they were being turned off by the Democrats' political ammunition being made by focusing on the female reproductive system. Republicans got their act together and put up some solid female candidates in 2014, which in the end–won them control of Congress. Then-Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) was probably the most memorable politician to beat this war on women narrative to death, as he was nicknamed “Mark Uterus” by the Colorado media for constantly invoking his support for abortion rights. In some Facebook posts, Udall’s shameless pandering on abortion appalled self-identified Gloria Steinem fans. He lost to Republican Cory Gardner. In Iowa, Sen. Joni Ernst split the women’s vote 49/49 with Democrat Bruce Braley.
So, yes, there is no Republican war on women. There never has been, and it’s refreshing to see former members of the Clinton camp recognize that fact. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that Republicans haven't been guilty of saying really, really stupid things about women, rape, and abortion. Looking at you Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock.