According to the wingnut bobbleheads of This Week With Disney, the Democrats are the ones who have to worry about the gender gap. While it's true that economic issues are a major concern for women, so are personal options:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Todd Akin, now the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, despite the wishes of the entire Republican establishment, how big of a blow is this for the party?
WILL: Well, it's considerable. Part of the path to Republican control of the Senate runs through Missouri. There's still a path, but it gets more difficult if he remains the nominee. I'm not convinced that that's the case when he realizes how little money he'll have. But it does complicate putting the hands of all Senate gavels, committee gavels in Republican hands.
And the strange thing about this, George, is abortion is an issue that the judiciary took custody of with Roe v Wade in '73. And on the three issues that the political system can deal with -- parental notification of abortion for minors, public funding, and late-term abortions, the country is overwhelmingly with the Republican side.
Mm, not so much lately, George. And as for your confidence that Akin won't have any money, I don't know. He's a Tea Party fave - what's to stop them from funding him independently of the GOP?
GRANHOLM: Well, except that now, you've got a Republican -- I mean, you have had a Republican Party platform that embraces this human life amendment. Post-Todd Akin, the Republicans knew that this would be an issue. They had several days to address it and to make it clear in the platform that there would be exceptions for rape and incest, and yet they chose not to. So now Romney is in a position of having to distance himself from his own platform. And it gets to the issue, the fundamental issue is, what kind of leader is he? Is he going to embrace what the Republican Party is all about, or is he going to flee from it? Choosing Ryan, I think, was his answer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He mostly wants it to go away, Mary Matalin. And we're seeing Todd Akin -- George thinks he might get out. I got that same sense while I interviewed the congressman this week, but since then he's dug in a couple of times. We have a new poll out this morning. He's now down nine points to Claire McCaskill in the Missouri race he was winning.
MATALIN: George, he may have dug in, but he's not going to have a shovel to continuing digging. Because he's not going to have any money. George Will is right. We need to win Missouri. We're going to win Missouri. Ann Wagner is going to end up being our candidate. The party is going to get Ann Wagner in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're just convinced that he's going to get out?
MATALIN: Or we'll run a third party, we'll run a write-in. We can do it. We have the money to do it. We are going to transfer the money. It's not as easy as -- but it's a good state for Romney. And we'll get it back.
What this Akin thing has done is turned -- it's not going to affect our convention. Romney -- we had that platform forever. We think that abortion is a tragedy for the woman. We revere the sanctity of life. But we -- they have turned their convention into an anti-Akin thing, which should be concerning to you, since a third of your members identify themselves as pro-life. And half of independents identify themselves as pro-life. 50 percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-life. This is not going to be a social --
Mary's blowing smoke, she is. She's seen the polls: Many, many of the people who identify as pro-life also don't want to get involved in restricting someone else's personal decision. That's a very soft 50 percent.
GRANHOLM: But 70 percent would like to see an exception for rape, or incest. And that's the issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there a danger, though, Congresswoman, in the Democrats seeming to focus on this to the exclusion of the economy?
EDWARDS: Well, I think it's actually a broader question. Republicans want to pretend that Todd Akin is an aberration. But in fact, it's their party platform, that's consistent with an agenda that they have had, that's actually not been supportive of women, whether you're talking about abortion or contraception, family planning, or a woman's health. And so, I think Republicans want to run away from Akin, but they actually can't run away from a platform and a party represented by Paul Ryan on -- at the top of their ticket that has not been supportive of women in any case.
SCORE!!!!! Donna Edwards gets the puck in the net!!! ((((((Go, Donna!!!))))))
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Greta, one of the things we're seeing is you have Democratic Senate candidates in other states, like Elizabeth Warner in Massachusetts, running ads about Akin.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. And of course, Senator McCaskill should be sending a fruit basket to Congressman Akin every single day--
STEPHANOPOULOS: She wanted him in the race, there is no question about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: She wants him in the race, and what's happened is, they have had -- the Republican Party has had a horrible gender gap, and all those women were sort of on the edge. Now the Democratic Party has incredible ammunition against Republicans for those undecided women, who think, wait, legitimate rape, what's that? That's the danger, is that gender gap. And you shake your head no at me.
MATALIN: You know why I'm shaking my head? Because the Democratic gender gap with men is as great as the gender gap with women.
MATALIN: -- sustained war on women, that Romney -- everything from a dog abuser to a wife cancer giver, to a felon, to a tax cheat, multimillion dollars, multi-faceted, multistate, the gender gap has remained stable. And as has Obama's with men. We're doing fine with women. What's driving the gender gap for Obama -- excuse me, one second -- is liberal women, women under 30.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mostly unmarried.
MATALIN: And post-graduate women. Romney wins every other woman -- middle class, moms, suburbans. Those are the women who are going to vote.
The enthusiasm among younger people in particularly -- I don't know about post-graduate -- that's not enough to overcome the women that Romney is going to win.
And this war on women is ridiculous. Do you really think that Republicans who are married and have daughters and have sisters don't care about women's health or are going to ban contraception?
Of course not! Because you all have the money to buy contraception or get abortions no matter what the law says. It's always been that way. Rich girls "went abroad" to get their D&C.
EDWARDS: There's been a pretty consistent agenda both with Republicans in Congress and with this ticket that is not supportive of women. All you have to do is look at proposals to defund Planned Parenthood and a nominee, in Mitt Romney, who says--
VAN SUSTEREN: Defunding doesn't mean that you're against women.
EDWARDS: -- women's family planning, which is really important to women, and to families. And this is a Republican ticket that actually has said in the face of its policies -- it isn't just about its words that don't match science and don't match biology, but in a policy agenda that actually does not support women and the kinds of things that are important to them.
WILL: Let's go back to the genesis of the so-called war on women. It was Sandra Fluke--
STEPHANOPOULOS: A Georgetown University student.
WILL: Georgetown University student, a 30-year-old university student, that is someone halfway almost to being eligible for Social Security at age 62, whose complaint was that a Catholic university wasn't being compelled to pay for her contraception. That's the entire contraception issue in this campaign. And the genesis of this so-called war on women.
GRANHOLM: I totally disagree. The Guttmacher Institute had canvassed the number of anti-choice laws that had been introduced in past in states since 2010, when the Tea Party and the Republicans took control of many states. Forty bills passed last -- excuse me, passed this year, 92 last year. A record number. You cannot say that there's not activity at the states that has bubbled up that allows women to say, whoa, whoa, wait a minute -- I mean, you had Bob McDonnell on there, Governor McDonnell, who's also known as the transvaginal probe governor. How intrusive do the states have to be against women for women not to feel like they're under assault?
MATALIN: We're at the crossroads in history. We're making a decision, a big decision in this election. Progress and change (inaudible) it's not. Do we want to go on a continued path of decline, or do we want to progress? Do you really think that women in their duty to prosperity, would secure, secure contraception and abortifacient rights for themselves as opposed to progress and prosperity for the future? I don't -- I think more highly of women.
Oh, Mary, you've been a millionaire far too long. For women, contraception and "abortifacient" (nice little dog whistle, there) rights for themselves are a crucial part of their personal financial security. It has to do with (dare I borrow a phrase?) personal responsibility! Most of us can't afford nannies or housekeepers, and you're only showing us just what a wide, wide chasm lies between women and the Republican party.