In an endorsement that surprised few, five of the nation’s leading left-leaning feminist organizations endorsed President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign Wednesday morning, but said more should be expected of him in a second term.
Standing behind a large sign reading “Stop the War on Women,” the heads of the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, the National Congress of Black Women, the Women’s Information Network and US Women Connect made their case for Obama, largely focusing on their opposition to Republicans and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“I, as the president of the Feminist Majority am announcing that we are endorsing President Obama and Vice President Biden,” Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal said at the press conference. “We have compared the records of the Obama/Biden ticket and of Mr. Romney and it is a stunning comparison… with, obviously the Obama ticket favoring and pushing into the future equality for women, the other wanting to roll back the gains.”
According to Smeal, Romney’s stances on Planned Parenthood, the so-called wage gap and health care reform make him a candidate women cannot and should not support.
“I believe that [in] this election everything is on the line,” she said, adding that women should worry about the nominees Romney might pick for the Supreme Court. She pointed to Romney’s decision to name the pro-life former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork to lead his Justice Advisory Committee as proof.
“Everything, in every area, is on the line,” Smeal concluded.
NOW President Terry O’Neill reiterated Smeal’s concerns and announced NOW’s endorsement of Obama.
According to O’Neill, Romney represents a “threat” to women’s economic security largely for his promotion of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, on the other hand, are “allies” of the feminist movement, she said.
“President Obama listens and responds and that is not something we can say for the other party in this political atmosphere right now,” O’Neill explained. “It is essential for women’s well-being that we reelect President Obama and that is why I’m proud our PAC is endorsing him.”
E. Faye Williams, chairwoman of the National Congress of Black Women, claimed that Obama’s appointment of women like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to top positions demonstrates that he is waging a “War for Women.”
“The National Congress of Black Women’s PAC has endorsed this president. There was never any doubt,” Williams said. “As we look at the things that he has done to help women in this country and around the world like the Affordable Care Act and many other things, we know that there is no doubt and we women won’t go back.”
Smeal stressed that there are a high number of women running for office as Democrats this election cycle “mainly because of policy.”
To be sure, while the groups are push for Obama’s re-election they contend they will continue to press the administration for more support.
“We are not known to be meek and we are pushing and pushing and pushing,” Smeal explained, noting that a focus should also be on a candidate’s future vision.
Williams added that there will also be a new push for a black woman to be named as a Supreme Court justice.
“We African-American women in a second term are certainly going to be pushing for an African American woman on the Supreme Court because we have supported the Latinos, we have supported our other sisters,” she said.
The same morning the feminist groups made their endorsement of Obama, American Crossroads announced the release of a new video titled “Obama’s War on Women,” which highlights the fact that since Obama took office 800,000 more women are living in poverty, men are gaining four times as many jobs as women and 780,000 more women are unemployed.