Mitt Romney made a fresh appeal Sunday to middle-class moms who are frustrated by rising gas prices, hoping female voters can help speed up his slog to the Republican presidential nomination and rehabilitate his standing with independent voters.
Opening a two-day campaign swing across Illinois heading into Tuesday’s critical primary, Romney and his wife, Ann, made a populist play for the support of women, a demographic his strategists see as key to beating rival Rick Santorum in Illinois and in the primaries to come.
(...) Romney is hoping a pocketbook pitch will pull female voters toward him and increase his lead over the former senator from Pennsylvania. At each stop Sunday, Romney repeated his call on Obama to fire the “gas-hike trio” — Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
“You’ve got moms that are driving their kids to school and practice after school and other appointments and wonder how they can afford putting gasoline in the car, at the same time putting food on the table night after night,” Romney told supporters at a pancake breakfast in Moline, Ill.
“This president doesn’t understand the economy. It’s time to put in place an economic heavyweight, and I am, and I’ll get that job done,” added Romney, who worked 25 years as a businessman before launching his political career.
(...) Ann Romney, who campaigned alongside her husband Sunday, was more direct in her plea to women.
“I love it that women are upset, too,” she said of Obama’s record. “Women are talking about the economy. I love that. Women are talking about jobs. Women are talking about deficit spending. Thank you, women. We need you. We all need you in November, too. We have to remember why we’re upset and what we’ve got to do to fix things.”
The economy has been the bedrock issue of Romney’s campaign, but he has rarely spoken of it in such populist terms. At campaign stops Sunday, he recalled recently meeting a landscaper in St. Louis whose team can hardly afford to gas up their trucks to get to sites.
And Romney talked about a woman he met who is out of work and told him she has had to turn down temporary teaching jobs.
“When she considers the cost of gasoline to get to the job and back, it doesn’t make sense to go off unemployment” benefits, he said.
(...) Romney advisers believe Santorum’s hard-edged conservatism makes him vulnerable with female voters — particularly in the populous Chicago suburbs, where female Republicans tend to be fiscally conservative but more socially moderate.
“Santorum’s always had a problem with women and these economic issues always resonate with women,” said Romney chief strategist Stuart Stevens. But he cautioned that Romney’s focus Sunday does not represent “a sudden deep dive.”
lunes, 19 de marzo de 2012
Romney corteja a las mujeres de clase media
The Washington Post: