McCain ‘Truth Squad’ Surrogate: McCain Supports Equal Pay For Women In ‘Concept’ Only

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"McCain ‘Truth Squad’ Surrogate: McCain Supports Equal Pay For Women In ‘Concept’ Only"

Former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, a member of Sen. John McCain’s recently formed Palin Truth Squad, appeared on WISN-TV’s Up Front with Mike Gousha this past Sunday. Farrow claimed that despite McCain’s opposition to legislation that would address equal pay for women, the senator “supports the concept.” “But he’s voted against it and not been there for that,” interjected current Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton.

Farrow tried to defend McCain, saying that he opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act because it “would have said we are taking away the statute of limitations.” Lawton reminded Farrow that McCain had “voted against equal pay for equal work as well”:

LAWTON: But Margaret, he’s voted against equal pay for equal work before that as well.

FARROW: But he is clearly supporting the concept, but he doesn’t want to tie the hands in ways that are more mandates on businesses in ways that won’t create jobs.

Lawton replied by noting that McCain had defended his opposition earlier this year by saying that “women need more ‘education and training.’” Watch it:

In April, McCain skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Act, but he told reporters that he opposed it because it “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” The legislation sought to counteract “a Supreme Court decision limiting how long workers can wait before suing for pay discrimination.

McCain has claimed that he is “committed to making sure that there’s equal pay for equal work,” but he has yet to support anything “that would achieve that goal.” Additionally, as Lawton notes, McCain has voted against equal pay for equal work before:

– In 2000, McCain opposed an amendment that aimed to “provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex.”

– In 1985, McCain voted against a study to investigate pay differences among federal employees, and determine whether they were the result of discrimination. [1985 CQ Almanac; HR 3008, vote # 318, 10/9/85]

In May, McCain claimed that strengthening women’s abilities to redress past discrimination doesn’t do “anything to help the rights of women.” But, as Matt Yglesias notes, “If your opposition to pay discrimination doesn’t extend to favoring measures to halt pay discrimination, then what’s it worth?”

Transcript:

LAWTON: Hillary Clinton supporters were excited about a woman who would bring great substance and dignity to a world stage but who would also be there for them to make sure that finally women would have an equal pay for equal work, which John McCain has voted against every opportunity he has.

FARROW: But he supports the concept.

LAWTON: And, well, but he’s voted against it and not been there for that. And these are women who want the right to privacy in their medical decisions and want to be respected as full citizens in this nation, so they won’t be switching for that.

FARROW: I guess I just, I want to clarify because these are good talking points, you know, voted with the president 90% of the time, that’s John McCain. And then we have this about equal pay for equal work. John McCain voted against the Ledbetter bill, that would have said we are taking away the statute of limitations, so that you can’t, you have to file…

LAWTON: But Margaret, he’s voted against equal pay for equal work before that as well.

FARROW: But he is clearly supporting the concept, but he doesn’t want to tie the hands in ways that are more mandates on businesses in ways that won’t create jobs.

LAWTON: Actually, his answer to a 14-year old girl who asked him in a townhall meeting about why he doesn’t support equal pay for women, was, “I think women need more education and training.” It was a clear expression that he doesn’t think women are ready for prime time, although he would use one in his…

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