So here’s my prediction: The Democrats’ “war on women” rhetoric will continue to get uglier and nastier and less credible as they continue to sink in the polls. 2014 is our year to expose this deceptive campaign tactic for what it is.
It’s already begun in Colorado where Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is in a very close race to defeat liberal incumbent Sen. Mark Udall. Violent and chaotic conflicts continue in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq; we have a crisis along the southern border of the U.S.; our economy continues to underperform and too many people are unemployed or underemployed; and we’ve got half-a-dozen unresolved scandals in Washington, especially the shame of the Veterans Administration, which have eroded Americans’ confidence in their own government. But, hey, this is politics so Mark Udall wants to talk about … abortion and contraception. Those are the subjects of his latest attack ad against Cory Gardner.
Missing from the ad, of course, is that Colorado women are losing access to their health care because Mark Udall cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare. Thousands have had their coverage cancelled. Many women lost their doctors and have to drive further from home or work for treatments and hospital visits.
If Sen. Udall’s lame tactics make you shake your head, it might be best to just look away from the race for Texas Governor between Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) and State Sen. Wendy Davis (D).
Abbott is well ahead of Davis in the polls and Texans broadly support his conservative agenda. As a result, Davis’s rhetoric has become so shrill she has begun airing an ad that accuses Abbott of “siding with a corporation over a rape victim.” The ad – which I will not link to here – is a classic political attack ad with a scary voiceover and zero regard for context and legal complexity. Davis’s over-the-top antics will be tough to beat. But it’s only August.
Tactics like these are motivated by a world view that sees women as easily manipulated single issue voters. But that’s not what I see as I travel the country as Chairwoman of the American Conservative Union Foundation and most recently as the Chairwoman of the Unlocking Potential (UP) Project.
I founded the UP Project because everywhere I go I meet strong, intelligent women who are tired of being taken for granted and are sick of current political environment belittling them. From career women to dedicated public servants to stay-at-home moms, they are thirsty for a genuine debate about real issues impacting their lives.
The flood of bad news concerns them greatly. Women age 55 to 64 will carry the bulk of ObamaCare’s premium hikes. Poverty among women is at a record high. Roughly 55.3 million women have left the workforce since the Great Recession; over a quarter million have dropped out since May alone.
But here’s some good news. The Democrats’ “war on women” won’t work this year. Those of us who demand more from our politics are organizing like never before.
Conservative women are going to force the nation’s politicians to talk about real issues. We’re going to hold Democrats to account for their failed policies. And we’re going to spearhead a conservative victory in 2014.
Carly Fiorina is a former candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. She served as chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005. She has also served on the Defense Business Board, as the chairman of the CIA's External Advisory Board and on the Advisory Group for Transformational Diplomacy for the Department of State. Follow her on Twitter @CarlyFiorina.