John Boehner Admits GOP Leaders “Aren’t As Sensitive” With Female Voters
Republican lawmakers “aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be” with women voters, according to remarks made by House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday.
“You know, you look around the Congress, there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus than there are in the Republican conference,” Boehner commented in a press conference. “And some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.”
Republicans are trying to shift away from setbacks such as the Todd Akin fiasco in 2012 when, while leading the race for a Senate seat against incumbent Claire McCaskill, Akin asserted that women rarely get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” McCaskill won the seat.
Akin’s gaffe as well as female voters favoring Obama over Romney in the 2012 elections have propelled some soul searching within the GOP. Boehner has met with Republican party leaders on how to engage the issues of female constituents. Nevertheless, according to a staffer present at one of the meetings, “some [Republicans] have a lot to learn.”
GOP lawmakers are readying themselves for the upcoming 2014 elections, in which at least 10 races will be Republican incumbents facing Democratic women. The National Republican Congressional Committee has held training sessions in “messaging against women opponents,” according to a GOP aide.
The White House was quick to point out that Republicans have lagged in issues that actually help women. “The problem that Republicans have had with women isn’t about language,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “It’s about policies.”
In addition to women, Boehner also expressed his support for two openly gay GOP candidates, Richard Tisei in Massachusetts and Carl DeMaio in California, succinctly saying he believes they deserve their party’s backing.