ONTD Political

Madeleine Albright: 'I Can't Understand Why Any Woman Would Want To Vote For Mitt Romney'

5:54 pm - 09/05/2012
[Mods: this post was rejected when I posted it yesterday. The reason given was "no source." The source WAS provided, but evidently a slight typo in my html messed up the link.]

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There's been no shortage of musing over Mitt Romney's failure to win over female voters. The gender gap is pronounced, and with the efforts of the president's political team, growing wider. Romney has been criticized for his failure to speak out in support of equal pay for equal work, he's been tied to some of his party's more hardline positions on abortion, and has been caricatured as a relic of a bygone era in which women put career ambitions aside.

But for all the talk of Romney's trouble among women voters, no Democrat has put it in the terms that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright did in an interview with The Huffington Post on Monday.

"I'm not sure I'm going to state this exactly right," she said, sitting amidst a sea of convention-related activity and daytime wine drinkers in the Westin hotel lobby in downtown Charlotte. "But I think there are some who believe they are actually protecting women, you know, and that it is better for women to be taken care of. I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important. And frankly, I don’t understand -- I mean, I'm obviously a card-carrying Democrat -- but I can't understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney."


Albright then revised her pool of rationally thinking female Romney supporters to include his five daughters-in-law, an obvious but hardly generous expansion. Even with the rhetorical flair, however, Albright's comments reflect a genuine disturbance that many Democrats -- women and men -- feel about the tone of the discussion of women's issues during the course of the campaign.

The former secretary of State, who has been an outspoken advocate for women in the workplace, said she found the assertion by Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) that a rape victim can shut down her body to avoid pregnancy to be "one of the more outrageous" comments she's witnessed in her 75 years.

"It was appalling and disgusting," she said. "But if I may say so, the things that he said in one form or another are in the Republican platform. So [while Republicans are] saying he is a nutcase and they have to move away from him, they did not move away from their platform."

Her reference was to language in the GOP platform that outlaws abortion even in cases of rape or incest. It's a policy that Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has embraced throughout his career, before distancing himself in the wake of Akin's remarks. Romney has always supported such exceptions. Even so, Albright argued, he had "become captive to a party that does in fact think that women should not have voices."

This is about as harsh an indictment as has been leveled by a major Democratic figure at the Republican Party and its nominee. And in conjuring up images of women being pushed into figurative (if not literal) silence, Albright invited some obvious pushback. The current state of the economy hasn't exactly allowed women to warm up their vocal cords.

"I’m guessing the millions of American women unemployed, underemployed or constantly worrying about filling the gas tank or put food on the table can think of a few reasons to make sure Barack Obama isn't our president for another four years," said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

Aware of the gender gap, Romney's campaign gave several Republican women primetime speaking roles at his party's recently completed convention, including his wife, Ann, who spoke about the trials that came with their marriage and raising five kids, in addition to declaring in one of the convention's more indelible moments, "I love you, women."

It will, in all likelihood, take a bit more than a few speeches in support of Romney to make up the ground among women voters. A TIME/CNN poll of likely voters found Obama beating Romney by 12 and 10 points among women in Florida and North Carolina, respectively.

SOURCE

All I can say is, "Thank you, Madame Secretary, for so clearly enunciating what so many of us out here feel."

And that last paragraph--YES!!!
sesmo 6th-Sep-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Best part: And frankly, I don’t understand -- I mean, I'm obviously a card-carrying Democrat -- but I can't understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney." Albright then revised her pool of rationally thinking female Romney supporters to include his five daughters-in-law, an obvious but hardly generous expansion.

Bwhahahaha. Sorry. Particularly amused by that "maybe."
simplefaith08 6th-Sep-2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I got a kick out of that "maybe" too. I can't help but lol at the idea of Mrs. Romney and her daughters-in-law secretly voting for Obama.
wrestlingdog 6th-Sep-2012 02:02 am (UTC)
I love her.
elobelia 6th-Sep-2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Same here. I mean, I have female family members who vote Republican and I cannot figure out why. There is literally nothing that he supports that would benefit them in any way. They are not rich. They are the main breadwinners in their family. It just makes zero sense. They just hate Obama so much for their racist reasons that it doesn't matter.
bestdaywelived 6th-Sep-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
That's how my FMIL is. It's not necessarily racism against OBAMA with her, it's because she thinks that Democrats support "illegal immigration" too much and they're taking jobs from Americans.

(Trying to explain to her that legal immigration is different from "illegal" kind of doesn't work because she doesn't understand it.)
wowsolovely 6th-Sep-2012 02:42 am (UTC)
Me either Madeleline!
layweed In b4 FauxNews calls this another vicious, rabid attack on Mitt Romney......6th-Sep-2012 03:42 am (UTC)
While waiting for the cab this afternoon, I was stuck in the hotel lobby watching FoxNews. Oh my god, you guys. What the fuck are they smoking? The entire segment was just "EVERY SPEECH AT THE DNC HAS BEEN ATTACK AFTER ATTACK AFTER ATTACK!!!!!!! Can you imagine what would have happened if Romney/Ryan went up on stage and did the same?!?!?!?!?!?!"

fuck the what.

And then at the airport I was exposed to this bs again.

Seriously, it's enough to make me question moving to the Tx Panhandle for a job that I really want. I read that one of the congressional elections was like 90+% Republican and the rest Libertarian. Fml.

Edited at 2012-09-06 03:42 am (UTC)
girly123 6th-Sep-2012 04:19 am (UTC)
The Panhandle is kinda...rough. Like, to the point that it's common knowledge amongst my entire family that the Panhandle is just Not A Place You Go. :|

What kind of job is it?

Edited at 2012-09-06 04:19 am (UTC)
mirandagirll 6th-Sep-2012 03:58 am (UTC)
I agree with her. I mean, personally, it's like ten steps back in women's rights for a woman to vote for a man or anyone who wants to take away all of the rights previous women have fought so hard to have.
rhodanum 6th-Sep-2012 04:11 am (UTC)
It doesn't really surprise me. I remember a few weeks ago that I found an article about Republican women in a small town somewhere in the US south. The attitude they were espousing was basically that Obama and the democrats are evil because they want to take religion out of public life and want to foist abortion and gay marriage on everyone, so that's why they were voting Republican.

Basically, they were firmly anti-choice and entrenched in their particularly fundamentalist religious views. Now, one might ask how a woman can possibly be anti-choice and I'll answer that it's not difficult at all, if you're raised to believe yourself and those around you pure and virtuous, while everyone who disagrees is a sinner who's more than certainly going to hell in a hog-cart. I grew up in a small, religious community, so I know how that's like.

What was ultimately galling to me was the fact that their pervasive attitude was translated to statements such as 'women are demeaned and debased when they're given too much choice.' It's strange that out of that whole theocratic disaster, it was precisely that statement that made my blood boil. As if we're dogs that will tear up the furniture and chew the drapes if we're given enough rope to do so, therefore it would be a better idea to keep the lot of us close at hand.

Intellectually, I know what they were getting at -- the whole 'a lady is first and foremost meant to be a wife and a homemaker and all other choices should be secondary', but that didn't change the fact that I wanted to chew through steel.
layweed 6th-Sep-2012 04:14 am (UTC)
Seeing as I heard a female FoxNews commentator say the very same thing about Obama's second term, "OH NO, WHAT ELSE IS COMING, ABORTIONS FOR EVERYONE?!?!?! GAY MARRIAGE?!??!?! TEH HORROR!!!!!!" this afternoon, I'd say this sort of behavior isn't limited to small town, USA.
paksenarrion2 6th-Sep-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
At my job, all of the management people in my office are men. We had a meeting and the subject came up about the NC's. The subject came up for us to make sure we voted because it was important. One of the men mentioned that he supported Romney and thought we should to. I said that if I could speak freely, I wouldn't support Romney-in fact I wouldn't cross the street to put either him or Ryan out if they were on fire. He looked shocked and I started explaining why. He actually listened to me (much to my surprise) and said at least he would consider it. I told him to ask his wife what she thought.

I'm going to ask him tomorrow what he thought of tonight's speeches-I challenged him to watch-and what his wife thinks of Romney/Ryan. It will be interesting to see what he says.
stephani673 6th-Sep-2012 04:24 am (UTC)
For the life of me, I can't seem to get these points through to my mom. She was essentially a single mother, since my dad wasn't around much and wasted his money on women and gambling. She enjoyed being a career woman and loves science. She's also kind of a hippie.

But she's voting for Romney.
anamatics 6th-Sep-2012 05:12 am (UTC)
As a woman who votes in North Carolina: Yes this, a thousand times this. Every time a woman tells me that they're voting for Romney, I tell them that I cannot, in good conscious vote for a man who wants to take away their rights. I like to think that I've changed some people's minds, but I probably haven't.
zinnia_rose 6th-Sep-2012 06:02 am (UTC)
I "know" (online, not in real life) quite a few women who agree with Romney and Ryan's stance on abortion. It doesn't really even surprise me anymore. :/
amyura 7th-Sep-2012 12:19 am (UTC)
I drove home today past a woman with a "pro-life" license plate. I think what it comes down to was that they never had an unwanted pregnancy. Some people fool themselves into thinking that accidental = unwanted, but they're not the same thing.
harumi 6th-Sep-2012 10:52 am (UTC)
I had a similar argument with my dad the other day. He's voting for Romney, and when I asked him why, since Romney will take a lot of women's rights away, he waved his hand like it was unimportant.

"Oh, I don't care about that."

Because you know, it's not like he has a daughter or anything.

Out of that heated conversation, I have to say that it was that snippet that really hurt the most. My dad loves me and I love him, but too many people don't realize the impact of their votes. It boggles the mind.
maladaptive 6th-Sep-2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
I've had women tell me that those things are "small issues compared to the economy, you can't be a single issue voter." Because women's rights don't affect women economically, or anything.....
lady_grace 6th-Sep-2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
My own mother votes Republican solely for the reason that they are anti-choice, and thus her vote is somehow saving innocent lives. But it's odd too, because besides her anti-choice views, she's fairly moderate and probably is more in line with Obama than Romney with everything else. So, I think a lot of people, if they believe abortion is truly murder of children, think that voting Democrat is like voting to kill children. It's very simplistic, but damn if the Republicans don't know how to make themselves seem more "moral" and thus more appealing to those who consider themselves religious.
mirhanda 6th-Sep-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Why don't you point out that the repugs are actually killing living children through starvation and lack of medical care?
cinnamontoast 6th-Sep-2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
"I’m guessing the millions of American women unemployed, underemployed or constantly worrying about filling the gas tank or put food on the table can think of a few reasons to make sure Barack Obama isn't our president for another four years," said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

Or, you know, maybe they would want to vote for Obama. Maybe they care about getting paid equally to a man for the same job; not having to go through an unwanted pregnancy when you are already worried about feeding a couple of kids; having the extra burden of paying outrageous prices for health care and insurance...

Damn, the list is so long I got overwhelmed.
munky_of_magyar 6th-Sep-2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
I understand this so much. At this point my mother is voting for Romeny. I just cannot understand it because, she says she votes on policy and it is clear that Romeny's polices do not match up with hers. I told her that her political beliefs are more in line with the Republican Party of 1954 and said "Yes." She tells me that the current Republican Party is not in line with her views, but she is still voting for Romeny. I am about to tare my hair out.

The sad part it is, she is too over worked to actually look in to it and gather information. And I apparently do not know what I am talking about when I try to inform her. Its not like I have a four year degree in politics and economics or a current events junky or anything like that. Yup I am completely unable to articulate the policies or lack of policies of the presidential candidates. I know nothing about the real world and I live in a fantasy land. I am too immature to understand these things.

Sorry for the rant, I just really hate dealing with my family. It is bad when, you get to go home for the first time in months, first things out of your brother's mouth is "stupid communist bitch" and your parents do nothing.
halfshellvenus 6th-Sep-2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Well, I do think of the Mormon aspect of Romney. Other than Mormons and some evangelicals, there aren't many women who would appreciate the church's position that women primarily belong in the home-- always, if they have children. That viewpoint hasn't really flown in mainstream American since the early '60s, and people are right to think that a guy who has been brought up in a culture with that viewpoint... probably does not understand the women outside his culture very well.

But that aside,

"I’m guessing the millions of American women unemployed, underemployed or constantly worrying about filling the gas tank or put food on the table can think of a few reasons to make sure Barack Obama isn't our president for another four years," said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

You've got to be kidding. Republicans have NEVER been supportive of single mothers, working mothers, or unemployed people in general. They want to cut all of the safety-net programs that exist to help people when hard economic times arise.

Seriously, Replublicans think the "Let them eat cake" party is more desirable to people in economic trouble?

If that's the case, then why focus so much on "OMG, gays! Abortion! Communists Atheists!" to lure in the blue-collar workers who never benefit from Republican economic policies? The party runs that smokescreen constantly, to distract the people who shouldn't vote for them and wind up doing so on kneejerk religious reasons rather than economic reasons.

Kukowski's comment amounts so saying that women are idiots, really.

Good for Albright, though. Someone needed to say it!
wonderland386 6th-Sep-2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
"I’m guessing the millions of American women unemployed, underemployed or constantly worrying about filling the gas tank or put food on the table can think of a few reasons to make sure Barack Obama isn't our president for another four years," said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

I don't understand the logic. I feel like that's what is the problem with me understanding any of the republican platform. I just cannot see the logic in any of it. Surely there is not a major political party with a platform that has zero logic. What am I missing? I'm really not even being sarcastic.
lady_grace 6th-Sep-2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
It's not based on logic, science, or facts. It's based on religious persuasions and emotionally charged issues.
moonbladem 6th-Sep-2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Why would I vote for a party that can't wait to take away my right to make my own decisions about my healthcare? Who tells a woman to sit down and shut up when she tries to speak out? A party that's doing everything they can to chip away at Roe versus Wade, and indeed, are seeking a constitutional ban on all abortions?

Voting Republican these days means regress, not progress. And everything that women have fought so hard for will be for nothing. I mean, what next, denying women the right to vote? They're already trying to do that to minorities and poor people with their damned Voter ID laws, so taking away our right to vote might not be that far off.
kalikahuntress 6th-Sep-2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
If their husbands/boyfriends are controlling and/or abusive shitstains I can understand.
Of course a lot do vote because they don't care, they don't think these issues pertain to them, etc.. but there are some cases I have seen personally where they are just following their spouses lead.
mirhanda 7th-Sep-2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Bravo! I totally agree with everything you said.
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