Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers took her first bite at the apple with trying to pretend that Democrats are actually the ones waging a "war against women" during her interview on Hardball last month. She came back for round two with Andrea Mitchell and was apparently undeterred by the fact that her party is the one that is passing all of these bills which go after women's reproductive rights, contraception, redefining rape, or funding basic health services, like cancer screenings.
McMorris apparently also hates poll numbers... especially when they're not going her way. Andrea Mitchell cited four of them all showing large numbers of women favoring President Obama over Mitt Romney. Rodgers claimed there was another one out there that was more favorable towards Romney, but was never asked to name which poll she was talking about.
And as Think Progress noted, Mitt Romney might want to consider getting himself some better surrogates than Rodgers and her ilk if he really wants women to believe he cares about their issues -- Romney Relies On Right-Wing Fringe Group To Bolster Support Among Women:
This morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign hosted a press call with women supporters to beef up the presumed GOP nominee’s flagging support among female voters. And while it was supposed to be about the economy — it was called “The Obama Economy Isn’t Working For Women” — most of the call was spent attacking a democratic strategist’s (and CAPAF board member) poorly chosen comments about Romney’s wife, Ann.
The call featured Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Virginia Delegte Barbra Comstock (R), Concerned Women For America’s Penny Nance, and a “mommy blogger.” But these surrogates are an odd choice to defend Romney on women’s issues.
Both McMorris Rodgers and Lummis voted against the Lilly Ledbetter pay-equity act (Ayotte was not in the Senate at the time of the vote, though most of colleagues opposed it as well).
Meanwhile, Comstock supported Virginia’s infamous bill to force women to be vaginally probed before getting an abortion, in addition its radical Personhood bill, and another bill that would prevent a woman from using her own money to purchase health private insurance that covers abortion.
Transcript of Mitchell's interview with Rodgers below the fold.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Ann Romney is not the only prominent Republican woman who is pushing back hard against the idea that Republicans are turning back the clock when it comes to women.
Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is vice chair of the House Republican Conference, the highest ranking woman in Congress, Republican woman in the House.
Thank you very much, Congresswoman, for joining us today. You`ve been tweeting up a storm. You`ve talked about -- you`ve tweeted that the toughest job you have is being a mom to two young kids. It`s also the most rewarding job. Ann Romney is, of course, gone public today in defending herself.
Is this, though, a tempest in a teapot because Hilary Rosen does not work for the campaign, does not work for the White House?
REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R), VICE CHAIR, HOUSE GOP CONFERENCE: The fact of the matter is, Hilary Rosen is a prominent Democrat strategist. She has visited the White House 35 times. She does work and her firm does work with the DNC. They lean upon her. And her comments really, I think, play into what the Democrats have been trying to create, manufacture this war on women.
And we`ve seen that coming out of the White House. We`ve seen it coming out of the DNC where they`re trying to suggest that the women are waging a -- the Republicans are waging a war on women. And they`ve taken it too far. This is Hilary Rosen`s comments that now have taken it too far. And the fact of the matter is, it`s Obama`s policies that are failing, Americans are failing American women. It`s his policies that are concerning women right now, whether it`s his economic policies, his health care policies or the tremendous debt that he is leaving to our children and grandchildren.
MITCHELL: Well -- but with the polling has shown, clearly, is that there is an 18 or 19-point in recent polls gender gap where women favor President Obama over Mitt Romney. So, arguably women are getting a very different message as to his policies, President Obama`s policies, and Mitt Romney`s policies or at least the association that he`s had with some of, perhaps, the social issues that have been raised during this primary campaign.
RODGERS: It really, first of all, depends upon what polls you look at. And as women --
MITCHELL: Well, we`re looking at Gallup and "USA Today," and we`re looking at ABC/"Washington Post" most memorably. That`s just the most recent polls.
RODGERS: Right. There`s other polls that show that it`s not as wide. In 2010 the Republicans won the women`s vote. It was the first time since Ronald Reagan that the Republicans won the women`s vote.
Democrats know that they can`t let that stand. And they have been creating this distraction instead of really focusing on the real issues. And -- when you look at 2010 and what drove the women`s vote, I look at health care and the fact that women, American women do not support the president`s health care plan. They didn`t support it two years ago. They don`t support it today.
They make 85 percent of the health care decisions in this country. They don`t like the idea of the federal government interfering with their ability to make those important health care decisions for themselves, for their families.
Women are also starting businesses at a record rate in America. It`s really exciting to see women, entrepreneurs. It means that they also understand what the federal tax burden, what regulations coming out of the government mean on their ability to be an entrepreneur, be successful, create jobs.
MITCHELL: Well, isn`t --
RODGERS: And so I think women are looking at all of these issues.
MITCHELL: Let me just ask whether it`s any more fair to blame -- to blame Mitt Romney for what Eric Fehrnstrom said about Etch-A-Sketch because he was an adviser, a staff member, and here you`ve got a case where, yes, she`s a prominent Democratic woman, but she doesn`t work for the campaign. She does not work for the White House. They immediately disavowed it. David Axelrod and Jim Messina immediately tweeted out that they disagreed entirely. Michelle Obama has tweeted that they -- that she disagrees. She`s a stay-at-hole mom.
So won`t it be harder to make this stick against President Obama when his wife is a homemaker and has not worked --
MITCHELL: -- outside of the home?
RODGERS: Right. Well, this is -- this is really one comment by the Democrats that has been a drumbeat over the last few weeks, few months by prominent Democrats, the DNC, the administration suggesting that there`s a war on women being waged by the Republicans. And so, I -- I would add this comment to many that have been made as they`re trying to write this narrative.
And the fact of the matter is that they`ve taken if too far. And that it`s being exposed that there is no war on women. What`s happening is that there`s a distraction that the Democrats are trying to distract the American people from the real issues. And the real issues are that President Obama`s policies are the ones that are failing Americans.
They`re failing American women. Whether it`s his economic policies, his health care policies or the debt that he`s accumulated.
MITCHELL: Thank you so much for joining us. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, we should point out, a mother of two and the wife of retired Navy commander and a four-term member of Congress. Thanks for joining us today.
RODGERS: Thank you.