Romney Relies On Right-Wing Fringe Group To Bolster Support Among Women

Concerned Women For America CEO Penny Nance

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.

Nance is a particularly egregious choice. Her group, CWA, holds some radical views that don’t reflect the beliefs of most American women. For example:

A WOMAN’S JOB IS TO HELP HER HUSBAND: Janice Shaw Crouse of CWA told the Christian post that “Many Christian women choose to work part time, to bring in some extra income to help the family, but they don’t view their job as a career or they don’t see themselves as career women — they see themselves helping their husbands. It’s a completely different perspective from modern secular feminists, a fundamental disagreement and a different worldview about what it means to be a woman.” [10/2011]

ATTACKED WORKING-MOTHERS: A paper penned by CWFA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute claimed that “the feminists have achieved their goal: widely available child care to ‘free themselves of motherhood.’” “[W]e’ve known for years that the outcomes are undesirable when children spend too much time in day care… The best environment to foster a child’s intellectual development is one in which his or her mother is actively involved on a day-to-day basis; the best environment is the home.” [2004]

ATTACKED BIRTH CONTROL: The group put out a brochure titled “‘Birth Control’: Health Care or Health Risk?” It lists trumped-up side effects for common forms of birth control, such as, “poisoning of the organs,” “heart attack,” and even “death.” [Undated brochure]

GAY MOTHERS TREAT CHILDREN LIKE ‘GUINEA PIGS’: CWA’s Janice Shaw Crouse claimed “the data overwhelmingly says” that homes headed by same-sex couples “are not as good for children.” She went on to say that the “homosexual agenda” is “being advanced at the expense of our children and at the expense of the future of our country” and that we are witnessing “children who are being used as guinea pigs.” [11/2011]

Meanwhile, Nance — who endorsed and campaigned for Rick Santorum — has attacked Romney in the past, and even his religion. “With evangelical Christians being one of the largest voting blocs in America, ‘the Mormon thing’ may be an issue,” she wrote in an op-ed. “Some of my CWALAC ladies would love to understand the whole ‘eternal pregnancy in heaven thing,’ which, admittedly, to me sounds more like damnation than heaven,” she said of his religion.


The Romney campaign has issued a press release touting Concerned Women For America:

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