President Obama is leading Mitt Romney when it comes to winning over women voters. It is a gap Republicans here seem determined to close by focusing on the economy and not abortion and access to birth control. Our Grace Rauh has the story.
TAMPA, Fla. -- A parade of women speakers on stage at the Republican National Convention, some of them delivering a not so subtle call to women voters.
“I love you women! I hear your voices!” Ann Romney said on Tuesday.
The outreach didn't stop there. The Young Guns Network, a super PAC, invited women to a special pavilion. Lounging, shopping and policy talk, of a certain kind, was on the agenda.
“What we are trying to do here is have women speak to women about the issues that matter the most to women. And that is not contraceptives. It is actually the economy, health care, energy,” said Mary Ann Carter, Young Guns Network Policy Director.
Polls show President Obama with a generous lead among women. The Republican Party is trying to close it and fight the charge that the party is waging a so-called war on women. In Tampa, the strategy seems to be to sidestep issues like abortion rights and birth control.
“I think the biggest thing for Mitt Romney is his focus on the economy,” Romney campaign advisor Brian Jones said.
That said, party leaders admit that remarks like those made by Missouri Congressman Todd Akin have made things tougher. Akin said women had the ability to prevent a pregnancy if they were the victim of a legitimate rape.
Jones said, “It's not the most ideal thing that we would want to have as a background narrative.”
Democrats insist they are confident women will not be swayed by the Republican effort to court them.
“If you really listened to what was said from the platform, there was a lot of criticism of Barack Obama and very little that people could take home and say, ‘oh this is how it's going to make my life better,’” Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky said.
As far as Republican convention-goers in Tampa are concerned, it is the Democratic policies that are extreme and a disaster for the future.