Former Republican Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) said on Sunday that “improving the art of communication” with women was not a bad idea for his party if it didn’t mean changing policies opposing abortion and contraception.
Last week, staffers for House Speaker John Boehner told Politico that Republican lawmakers were being given lessons on how to speak to female voters in response to the so-called GOP “War on Women.”
CNN host Candy Crowley pointed out to Blackwell on Sunday that it could be helpful to teach Republican candidates how to talk about sensitive topics like rape.
“Improving communication skills to a variety of groups is always important,” Blackwell agreed. “At the end of the day, Republicans don’t have a problem working and talking with women. We control 30 governorships, we control 26 state houses and senates chambers. You know, we, in fact, know how to speak to women on their policy issues.”
“As long as it’s about improving the art of communication and not abandoning policy, I would think it’s a pretty smart move,” he added.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Director Mo Elleithee, however, noted that the root of the Republican Party’s problem with women voters was with policies restricting health care choices like abortion and contraception coverage.
“Mo and I disagree on the question of life and religious liberty [to deny contraception coverage],” Blackwell explained. “And I’m saying we both need to know how to speak to women on those issues without abandoning those policy differences because that’s what politics is all about, being able to convince people that your policy is right.”
Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Dec. 8, 2013.