Less than two minutes into the interview, after she gave her canned talking points, Nelson asked, “Do you believe a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner?”
Ann responded, “You know, I’m not going to talk about the specific issues. I’m going to let my husband speak on issues.” And then she went back to her talking points on the issues she wanted to talk about:
I’m here to really just talk about my husband and what kind of husband and father he is and, you know, those are are hot-button issues that distract from what the real voting issue is going to be at this election. It’s going to be about the economy and jobs. Frankly, the President said four years ago that if he doesn’t turn the this economy around he is going to be looking at a one-term presidency. And I frankly believe that Mitt is the person that is so going to be focused on jobs and job creation and making sure that women’s economic prosperity is more certain. And, by the way their children’s future is, because as we all know we’re facing this debt crisis. Sometime, somewhere, somehow, someone is going to have to pay off these debts and it’s going to be our children. It’s getting to be a desperate situation, we will be looking at a Greece-like situation, or a Spain situation, if we don’t address these issues very quickly.
Nelson tried again to engage Romney on another issue that has obvious economic impacts on women: the access to insurance coverage for medical birth control. Ann Romney again refused to answer, denying that birth control access or coverage are economic issues.
Again, you’re asking me questions that are not about what this election is going to be about. This election is going to be about the economy and jobs.
Nelson tried to argue that, in fact, the election might well be about this issue, explaining, “Well, a Pew Research poll shows those issues are very important to women, ranking them either ‘important’ or ‘very important.’” Romney remained unswayed, declaring that her time on the campaign trail had taught her that women don’t really care about that.
But I personally believe, and this is what I’m hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that’s going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children. That’s the message. Listen, I’ve been across this country, I’ve been for a year and a half on the campaign trail, I’ve spoke with thousands of women and they are telling me, they are telling me a couple of things. One, they say they’re praying for me, which is really wonderful. They they are saying, “Please help, please help, we are so worried about our jobs.”
And, in a snide kicker, she told Nelson, “So, really, if you want to try to pull me off of the other messages, it’s not going to work, because I know, because I’ve been out there.”
Nelson nonetheless persisted, telling Romney, “You just told a reporter who had questioned you in Cleveland that you want women to have a secure and stable future. I asked you about marriage, and whether lesbian mothers should be allowed to marry. Isn’t marriage a part of creating a stable future?”
She still refused to answer. “You know, again, I’m going to talk to you about the economy, and about job creation, and about how my husband is the right person for the right time,” she said. “This is going to be an election that is very important for women, and we are going to make sure that their economic prosperity is more certain under President Romney.”
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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