Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) held a rally in Henderson, NV, during which she made a direct appeal to women voters. She claimed that it was McCain who embraced equal pay for equal work, and charged Obama with underpaying the women on his staff. Discussing the help working women need, Palin declared, “Women also need equal pay for equal work. And not just be a talking point.” Watch it:
It is true the women on McCain’s staff on average make more money than the women on Obama’s staff, but it is because “McCain has more women in senior, higher-paid positions — not that women [on Obama’s staff] are being paid less than men for the same job.” McCain can be rightfully praised for employing women in higher positions, but to claim that Obama pays his staffers unfairly is an outright lie.
More importantly, Palin’s claim that working women would have an “advocate” in a McCain-Palin White House requires completely ignoring McCain’s record of opposing equal pay. He skipped the vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — which would have made it easier for women to take discriminatory employers to court — and said women just need more “education and training.” (In fact, over half of all Americans with bachelor’s or graduate degrees are women.)
McCain dismisses concerns about women’s pay by throwing out conservative buzzwords. He explained his opposition to the Fair Pay Act by claiming it “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” In the last presidential debate, he mocked the bill as “a trial lawyer’s dream.”