CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — The Obama camp played down talk Wednesday that a widely praised speech by Mitt Romney’s wife at the Republican convention could ease the challenger’s problems with women voters.
Ann Romney delivered a heartfelt tribute to her husband Mitt at the party jamboree in Tampa, Florida Tuesday, in a clear effort to ease the gender gap that is clouding his hopes of beating President Barack Obama in November.
Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki admitted to reporters on Air force One that Ann Romney’s speech was “very powerful” when it touched on her love for her husband and family.
“We’ll leave it to the voters and the viewers to decide what their thoughts are on the ticket,” said Psaki, but went on to question whether women would sign up to Romney’s policies affecting their daily lives.
“There’s nothing I heard or we heard from any of the speakers last night that changes the fact that they don’t support equal pay for women,” she said, repeating Obama’s claim that Romney favored 1950s-style health care for women.
“Surrounding yourself with strong women is a great thing, but it doesn’t change your positions. And women in this country are smart, and they’re paying attention to how things impact them,” she said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said meanwhile that although the convention in Florida transfixed the political world, it did not entice the president, who spent the night in Colorado after a day of campaigning.
“He was working on his briefing books and reading a lot of material, watching sports, but not watching the convention … he had other things to do,” Carney said, adding that Obama had also monitored Hurricane Isaac.
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To hear the voices of American media tell it, Donald Trump’s base supporters are working-class whites. Article after article details this mob, who cheer Trump’s racist, sexist, xenophobic pronouncements, as members of Rust Belt communities who, having lost their high-paying factory jobs to outsourcing, now look to scapegoat anyone and everyone they feel may have been responsible for the diminution of America on the world stage. Donald Trump stokes their anger against an elite that looks down on them.
But reporters’ views of the working class confirm the very bias that Trump exploits. Each time that the press refers to the working class as a voting bloc that is mindlessly voting its “feelings,” it also reminds its audience of Trump’s notorious statement to his audience at a Nevada rally, “I love the poorly educated.” Since then, the press has taken that statement as permission to conflate the categories “working class” and the “poorly educated” as if they were one and the same.