Ann Romney did some good old-fashioned husband supporting on The View yesterday. After her husband Mitt Romney cancelled on the appearance, the campaign sent his wife, Ann Romney, to do some PR work. Since the Governor of Massachusetts seems to always stumble into trouble when it comes to lady issues (seriously, I'm considering going as a "binder full of women" for Halloween this year), Ann was seemingly called in to handle the highly treacherous: "women's issues." Personally, I find it concerning that the Republican candidate for President consistently needs to have women's issues translated to him from his wife. What mumbo jumbo are these ladies talking about? Pay equity? Lilly Ledbetter whats-it? Ann, can you come here for a second! Handle this, will you?
Thankfully, Ann was as heartwarming as she was during her RNC speech. Until Joy Behar asked her if access to contraception and abortion was an economic issue. It was there that she pivoted from policy to discussing her husband's "character."
Ann, I love you, but you have to give us some policy to work with here because your husband sure isn't.
The First Lady hopeful described herself as pro-life and "happy to say that." While I do not share Ms. Romney's view, I was impressed with her recognition that there are people of "good conscious" on both sides of the abortion issue. Not, you know, just baby killers. Ann also elaborated on her husband's change of heart on abortion from originally being pro-choice to going pro-life when confronted with stem cell research as a governor:
"He could not have, on his conscience, creating human life for experimentation..."
From there, Ann says that her husband took to an op-ed to express his views, "coming out" as pro-life if you will.
But despite the mother of five being recruited to lock up the lady vote, she refused to answer the question that she in fact prompted. As those on the other side of aisle have a tendency to do, Ann Romney attempted to present women's economic concerns as more important than contraception and abortion access:
"Four years ago there were a lot of other issues on the table. What I hear from women now is 'help, please help'...If you really want to make a choice and those choices are about reproductive rights, that’s your choice."
The economy is a very important issue -- the biggest. But women's job losses and financial woes are not mutually exclusive from birth control and abortion. For many, many women, the maintenance of their uterus is an economic issue. Whether it's shelling out a couple hundred of dollars every month for birth control, getting their pap smears at their local Planned Parenthood, or simply being able to keep their fertility in check, all of these standard scenarios are money out of an American woman's pocket -- and that of American families.
So imagine my relief when Joy Behar asked, "...to that economic point. Do you think that access to contraception and abortion is an economic issue...?"
Ann Romney rebutted with, "I would love it if you get my husband on the couch, Joy, and you can go down with that all you want." The ladies of The View surely tried, but that didn't happen. That's when Ann asked that voters consider her husband's "character" instead:
"What I know is I am here to reflect the character of the person that I know. The character of the person I know is a person that will do... that he will decide this way: is this the best thing for America to go forward? And that's where I know where his heart is. And I think if you know someone's heart and the goodness of where they come from, you know what they will do."
The truth is, Ms. Romney, that I don't know where your husband's "heart is" and I have no idea if he thinks equal pay for equal work is "the best thing for American to go forward." Given all the back and forth he has performed on issues pertaining to me as lady, I'm not certain where he actually stands on array of concerns I have.
I agree with Barbara Walters that Ann is "a wonderful advocate for her husband" given that little diddy she just sang. But as a young women voting in 2012, Mitt's "character" means about as much to me as the recycling I have stowed away under my sink. I want to know where the governor stands on The Lilly Ledbetter Act, ensuring equal pay for equal work, which the campaign still hasn't managed to give a clear answer on (and which the vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, opposed in Congress.) We're two weeks out from election day and I don't even know where he stands on my paycheck. I want to know what plans he has for women's economic security in his hypothetical term in office -- a question that neither he nor President Obama answered during the town hall debate with Candy Crowley.
But given that the governor's response was essentially a 1950s approach to pay equity (i.e.find some women and then let them go home early), I'm not feeling too confident. And if Ann knows "where his heart is" on any of this women's stuff, then I wish she would have shared it.
(photo:Maria Dryfhout / Shutterstock.com)