ByÂ PAUL BEDARD, U.S. News & World Report
In an emotional assault on theÂ Republicans, newÂ Democratic Party Chairwoman Rep.Â Debbie Wasserman Shultz today called theÂ GOP agenda “anti-women” and “a war on women” that will backfire on Republicans in theÂ 2012 election and provide a cushion for President Obama’s re-election bid.
“It’s just so hard for me to grasp how they could be so anti-women as they are,” she said at a breakfast roundtable with reporters.
“The pushback and the guttural reaction from women against the Republican’s agenda out of the gate, the war on women that the Republicans have been waging since they took over the House, I think is going to not only restore but possibly helps us exceed the president’s margin of victory in the next election,” added the popular Florida congresswoman.
The basis of her charge was the recent vote to defund Planned Parenthood and Title 10 funding for clinics that perform abortions.
That, added to the GOP’s budget plan to reform Medicare and slashÂ spending, she said, amounted to a radical agenda that will turn women off and restore the Democratic Party’s grasp on their vote, lost to Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections, a blip she blamed on the badÂ economy and Obama not being on the ballot.Â [Read how Obama can run on the economy in 2012.]
“So if you look on balance at the entire record, their record is anti-women, their record is a war on women and it’s a priority for them,” said Wasserman Shultz.
Those issues played a part in helping the Democrats win a New YorkÂ RepublicanÂ House seat in a special election this week, she said. “The voters got a glimpse of what it would be like under Republican control, an extreme radical social agenda that was noting short of an assault on women.” In the end, she added, “the voters have seen the preview, and they don’t like it.” [Read: New York special election Medicare fight enters spin mode.]
By comparison, she said, voters will be reminded in the upcoming election that Obama signed women pay equity legislation, named two women to the Supreme Court and established an office in the White House for women’s issues.
The outreach to women during the campaign, she said, “will be unprecedented.”
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