TAMPA, Fla. — Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers told The Daily Caller she thinks Democrats are terrified that women nationwide may start shifting to support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama ahead of the upcoming November election.
McMorris Rodgers is the vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, which makes her the highest-ranking GOP woman in Congress.
“From my perspective, it’s clear the Democrats are panicking,” McMorris Rodgers said in an interview with TheDC at the Republican National Convention. “They recognized the Republicans won the women vote in 2010. It was the first time since Ronald Reagan that Republicans won the women vote – women actually fired the first woman Speaker of the House [Nancy Pelosi] because they didn’t like the direction she was taking the country and they didn’t like the direction the Democrats were taking the country.”
“Women – we’ve asked them what the top issues the federal government should be focused on – and, like all Americans, it comes back to jobs and the economy and policies that are going to get people back to work and create opportunities for their children,” McMorris Rodgers continued. “This idea that 50 percent of our college grads are underemployed or unemployed and coming back home to live with mom and dad? That’s not what Mom wants for her children. On healthcare, women make 85 percent of the healthcare decisions. They’re fearful that the federal government – some federal government bureaucrat – is going to interfere with their ability to make the best decisions for themselves and for their family and their husband and their children and their parents.”
McMorris Rodgers said there’s a similarity between how women are shifting to the Republican Party more and more nowadays and how the GOP – since Romney picked Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate a few weeks ago – has started, for the first time ever, winning the entitlement reform debate.
“Look at what the Democrats are offering,” McMorris Rodgers said. “They’re not offering any plan, any solutions. What they’re offering is fear and people are seeing through their fear tactics. They can’t run on their records, President Obama can’t run on his record and he doesn’t have any plans for the next four years – at least none that he’s willing to share with us. So, they are attempting to distract groups of people through fear tactics.”
McMorris Rodgers told TheDC, too, that throughout this GOP convention week she’s enjoyed the speeches of other Republican women. “I thought Condoleeza Rice was powerful. Ann Romney was engaging and just real,” she said. “We needed to see and hear more of their [Ann and Mitt] story. I think it was important in giving us a glimpse into more of who they are and their life together.”
The Washington Republican congresswoman has spoken on the floor of the GOP convention on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and is slated to speak again Thursday night. “I’m going to talk [Thursday evening] about how in America, we did build that and how we can do better,” she told TheDC. “Under a Romney-Ryan administration, we’d restore the greatness of America.”
McMorris Rodgers said the election between Romney and Obama is, above all else, a fight between contrasting ideologies: big government versus free enterprise.
“In many ways, I think this election is about whether we believe in free markets and free minds versus a larger role for the federal government – a more centralized approach,” she said. “That is because President Obama’s solutions always center around a larger role for the federal government and more control in Washington, D.C. When you look at that – whether it was the healthcare bill, the government takeover of healthcare, Dodd-Frank and how the government is now empowered with huge rulemaking authority in new agencies. You see it in the EPA and the vast amount of new rules and regulations coming down from the federal government. I think that, without a doubt, the current administration believes that the solution centers around the federal government. Even their jobs plan is largely a second stimulus. His first stimulus failed.”