Which Top GOP Candidate Would Best Serve Working Women?
3:42 pm, March 14th | by Laura Donovan
This election year, females everywhere have come out against GOP presidential contenders and conservatives for their stances on contraception and women’s health issues, but few have talked about which candidates would best serve working women.
MSNBC contributor Karen Finney addressed this during a Tuesday episode of “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” in which she said she’s concerned about what a Rick Santorum win would mean for employed ladies. Mediaite first reported on Finney’s appearance:
During an analysis of exit poll data on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell Tuesday night, Finney took it as a personal affront that working women were voting for the former Pennsylvania Senator.
“This woman vote really hurts me!…It’s a little painful because I’m wondering if those women really heard the full message that, yes, there’s the economy, but if you’ve got to worry about your basic health care, how are you then going to be able to do what you need to do in terms of having a job, paying your rent, taking care of your kids?”
Finney should at least make an attempt to trust that the polled women knew what they were doing when they voted in favor of Santorum, but the commentator raises a valid point about women needing to be informed about which conservative candidates can amply attend to their needs.
With that in mind, here’s our ranking of the top GOP candidates for working women from worst to best (or, well, maybe not “best” — but better, relatively speaking):
3. Rick Santorum: It’s easy to rail on Santorum for some (okay, many) of the things he has said in the past, but his current viewpoints on working women don’t seem all that different from his comments in previous years. He’s not crazy about single mothers, a group that he says is the base of the Democratic party, so it’s unlikely that he’d be keen on providing them with financial support. On the other hand, he has said before that his mother “worked all of [his] childhood years” and earned more money than his father, so he knows firsthand the value of working moms.
2. Mitt Romney: When it comes to women’s health issues, Romney has taken fewer controversial stances than Santorum, but don’t expect him to lobby for all-things girl power should he take office in January. He said this week that he would eliminate or defund Planned Parenthood, as president, so working women on a tight budget could find themselves worrying about availability and increased costs of the family planning service’s offerings.
1. Newt Gingrich: You don’t hear much about Gingrich’s pro-life views (at least in comparison to those of his rivals), perhaps because his personal life has been the center of attention for so long. Gingrich is known to many as the man who reportedly asked his second wife, Marianne Ginther how she’d feel about an open marriage. This was of course after he left his first wife, who was his high school teacher, for Ginther. Then he married another woman. As one Republican strategist put it earlier this year, “Republican women don’t vote for cheaters, period,” so he’d have a pretty rough time scoring high on female votes given his history. That said, most would agree it’s silly to rule someone out based on his personal life, and he’s definitely ruffled the least amount of feathers with women with regards to issues that would affect their daily lives. He may be losing in the polls, but Gingrich has made an honest effort to reach out to potential female voters with his Women With Newt Coalition, and that’s more than the others can say.
Anything can happen between now and November, so we may very well change our position on who would be the better candidate later on down the road. Expect more posts on this matter to come, especially as we get closer to election day.
Watch the clip of Karen Finney below: