On Saturday, McMahon dismissed Murphy’s attacks that she was anti-woman.
“I am a woman,” McMahon told supporters at the rally Saturday. “Why on earth would I be against women?”
In a press release Monday afternoon, the Murphy campaign lashed out at McMahon for that response.
“You don’t have to be a woman to fight for women and the health care options they deserve,” the release said.
The strategy of attacking Republicans as anti-woman is straight out of the national Democratic playbook, and is a tactic that has been employed against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, as well as in numerous other Senate races. After Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comments about “legitimate rape,” many Democratic Senate candidates tried to tie their Republican opponents to those views.
That’s harder to do with McMahon, who describes herself as a pro-choice Republican. However, she has said that she would support the Blunt Amendment, which would allow employers to decline to cover birth control for employees if they have a moral problem with doing so, and that has given Murphy an opening.
McMahon’s support for the Blunt Amendment served as a slightly uncomfortable contrast on Saturday when Murkowski — by all accounts a moderate Republican in the style that McMahon would like to portray herself — said that she regretted her vote for the Blunt Amendment.
“Back home, it was being viewed as a direct attack on women’s reproductive rights, on their ability to access contraception,” she said at the event, according to the Connecticut Mirror.
The Murphy campaign put up a web video Monday contrasting Murkowski’s position and McMahon’s.
“Even as national Republicans backtrack from unpopular anti-choice legislation, Linda McMahon doubles down on her support for far-right policies to deny birth control and crucial health services to Connecticut women,” said Taylor Lavender, a Murphy campaign spokeswoman. “Members of her own party have spoken out against this anti-choice proposal, but Linda McMahon doesn’t blink when it comes to restricting women’s control of their own health care.”
The person associated with the McMahon campaign called the anti-woman attacks “laughable” and “desperate.”