|Romney describing the "perfect woman"|
Romney added that "the real war on women is being waged by the president's failed economic policies." He presented statements from Republican women in Congress to defend his record. He also hosted a conference call between reporters and his campaign aides on the subject. Unfortunately, when asked about Romney's support for the Lilly Ledbetter Act, one aide emphasized Romney's love of "Ledbelly" (Huddie Ledbetter) and early 20th century American blues. A reporter had to clarify the Lilly Ledbetter Act's purpose of ensuring equal pay for women. Romney's campaign policy director then replied, "We'll get back to you on that," following a long pause in which she scrutinized her own salary.
Despite this public relations snag, Romney reiterated that Obama's policies have hindered the advancement of women in the workplace.
"Let's face it, guys, the American economy works best as a meritocracy, not an effete socialist nanny state," Romney maintained. "Now if we start enacting a bunch of 'everybody's equal' policies, we're probably doing more harm than good to our lovely ladies. We're probably putting them into positions they're simply not skilled at. I mean, if you want to dig up an old dirt road and lay some pipe, you're not going to get the results you want from a woman. Their failure then becomes our failure. And when they're fired for poor performance, it actually hinders them from finding new opportunities. It's disastrous."
Former judge and failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork co-chairs Romney's Judicial Advisory Committee. He cited his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to bolster Romney's stance. "Allowing the government to require that private companies hire on the basis of diversity and gender goals will prevent other, more qualified candidates from getting those jobs," Bork said. "It's a principle of unsurpassed ugliness."
Romney also cautioned that equal treatment means precisely that: "If I'm paying a bus driver the same as a surgeon, I expect the bus driver to perform a successful heart transplant. And when that goes awry, I'd like to know I can fire the bus driver. Right? Here's another example: if we force businesses to create equal standards, then women will have to abide by stricter attendance policies. There goes FMLA right out the door. No 12-week maternity leave, no excused absences once a month for cramps, no tolerance for behavior problems during 'hormonal' times, and no ducking out of working lunches at the Stacked Rack Shack."
Romney did confess that in specific cases, gender does play a role: "There are jobs where women outperform men. Women have superior cooking, cleaning and sewing skills. They surpass their male counterparts in those industries, I think. Women are generally better test subjects for feminine hygiene products. And women, in my opinion, are also much better salespeople. Now I know sales is a field traditionally dominated by men, but I've never seen a man close a deal as effectively as a woman. Men don't have the physical appeal or the subtle prowess as manipulators. And when push comes to shove, men just aren't as good at nagging buyers into a decision."
Romney also tipped his hat to powerful women in government, but pointed out that military leadership positions remain better suited to men.
"You know, during the 80s we saw this clearly," Romney explained. "While even-tempered Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, emotional Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dragged Great Britain into a botched conflict over the Falkland Islands. Seems that after General Galtieri bruised her ego by trying to reclaim his people's land from the English, she rushed to war in a fit of hysterics. More recently, you can look at the election in 2008. Democrats chose a black man, if you can conceive of it, over a white woman. You can't argue the facts."
(c) 2012. See disclaimers.