There is a war against women, but don’t tell RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. He not only thinks that women are comparable to insects, he thinks Republicans are being pro-women by attacking their reproductive rights.
On Wednesday, Preibus appeared on MSNBC and told Thomas Roberts that he’s doubling down on his remarks made during a recent interview on Bloomberg, that the war on women is like a war on caterpillars. But he didn’t stop there. He then tried to claim that President Obama is the one waging a war against women and then said that by attacking women’s rights, the Republican Party is demonstrating how pro-women they are. Here’s a transcript of the remarks.
THOMAS ROBERTS: Chairman, I want to get you on the record about something, because leadership is all about casting vision and you created a visual with your war on caterpillars when responding to what’s been called the war on women. You called the war on women a fiction, obviously the war on caterpillars comment created a lot of headlines, is that something you want to walk back or clarify right now.
?REINCE PRIEBUS: I’m not going to walk back. I’ll double down on it. This war on women is a fiction that the Democrats have created. And the real war on women is the war that this president has put forward on the American people by not following through on his promises, by having women proportionately affected by the Obama economy. By- Go read Anita Dunn’s book if you want to read about a war on women in the workplace, go read that book and you’ll see what the White House’s record on-
ROBERTS: But Chairman, how can you say that it’s a fiction if you stand on the record on what the Republican Party has said and done? And let’s just remind you, all three remaining Republican presidential candidates, they are pledging to eliminate federal funding for family planning. All three of them say they support so-called personhood measures. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 90 anti-abortion bills have been signed into law in 2011. This after many of the state legislators and state governorships swung back to the Republican side. So, how do you say that it’s fiction when these laws exist on the book now, on the books in this country?
PRIEBUS: Because it’s a fiction, Thomas. It’s a fiction because, because, because number one, there is no war on women, it’s a fiction. If you believe that all women are pro-abortion, maybe in your own world, maybe there’s a war on women.
ROBERTS: I think the term is pro-choice.
PRIEBUS: The fact of the matter is that our party, our party believes in life for everybody. And the fact of the matter is, that the real war on women, the actual things that I think most women in this country are most concerned about, which is a good job, a good family, being able to live the American dream, provide for your kids and your family, that war on women is being perpetrated by President Barack Obama who has put our economy on the wrong track and we’re going to have an opportunity to correct all of that in November.
ROBERTS: But, Reince, the fiction that you talk about, the phrase war on women it’s now being uttered by Republicans like Mitt Romney.
PRIEBUS: There’s been some talk about war on women. The real war on women has been waged by the Obama administration’s failure on the economy.
ROBERTS: All right, so it sounds like you got the messaging going there from Romney, because it’s the exact same phrasing that you gave me.
PRIEBUS: Yeah. We’re just borrowing- We’re just borrowing your messaging. We’re just borrowing your messaging and pointing out to the American people that his war on women fiction that the Democrats have tried to perpetuate on us, is a war that if you actually look at what matters most to Americans, which is the jobs and economy, it’s a war that the president is losing. Because women in the country know that the most important thing in any family is a good job. And this President isn’t providing it.
ROBERTS: But, Reince, you can’t discount the fact that we almost took the government to the brink of closing over Planned Parenthood. Correct? Did we or didn’t we?
PRIEBUS: The brink of closing? Thomas, the world will continue. The world will continue.
ROBERTS: The world will continue, exactly. But is this the fact of the Republican Party or not? Because you say it’s a fiction and you don’t want to walk back the fact that, you know, the war on caterpillar. That is fine. But, how can you still say it’s a fiction when this truly exists and these laws 90, spiking in 2011, 90 different anti-abortion calls coming across the state legislatures, spiking in the country after the Republicans take back state legislatures and governorships. How do you say it’s a fiction?
PRIEBUS: You and I are never going to be on the same page as long as you believe that if you’re pro-life, you’re anti-women. And you and I are never going to be on same page because I happen to believe that life begins at conception and you don’t. So, since you don’t believe that you’re always going to- Let me finish.
ROBERTS: You can’t- This is not about what I believe or don’t believe. This is me asking you about the Republican National Committee and your leadership.
PRIEBUS: I don’t buy that because I don’t buy your argument. I happen to believe that you can be pro-women and pro-life. You don’t. The that’s the problem, Thomas. And I’m going to go back to the most important issue in this country, the most important issue in this country is the economy. The issue that you and President Obama don’t want to talk about because it’s an issue in regard to the economy that this president has been an absolute failure on. As long as he has been a failure in the economy he’s going to lose the women vote in November, because he has not fulfilled the promises to the Americans. And, that, my friend, is the most important issue facing women in this country.
Here’s the video:
To translate, Reince Priebus says that attacking the reproductive health of women is the same as being pro-women. That’s like saying you’re pro-environment and then gutting the EPA regulations that protect our water and air. If you are pro-women, you should support allowing women to make their own reproductive choices. That means women should have complete access to contraception and abortion services. Women should be free to make their own decisions about their own reproductive health. But let’s also address Priebus’ claim that women only care about the economy and that President Obama is failing to create jobs.
First of all, Republicans are the ones who brought the economy down in the first place and what took eight years to collapse, will take awhile to fix. Four years is simply not enough. But what Priebus won’t admit is that President Obama’s policies are working. The economy is experiencing 25 consecutive months of job growth at a pace of 160,000 new jobs per month. As part of that, the American manufacturing sector is now recovering from the downward spiral it took when Republicans were in charge. In other words, President Obama is creating the jobs that, according to Priebus, women care about the most. I would also like to point out to Mr. Priebus that Republicans in his home state of Wisconsin have repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which gave women the power to take legal action against employers if they discover they are being paid less for equal work. By repealing the law, Republicans just made it legal for businesses to discriminate against women. That’s what I call an economic attack against women. Republicans also voted against the Equal Pay Act signed into law by President Obama. Again, Republicans are the ones attacking women on an economic level. Women are paid around 75 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women also accounted for the entire drop in labor force participation during the recession caused by Republicans. This means that women don’t have as much spending power as men, and thus have a tougher time feeding, clothing, and sheltering their families, especially if their spouse is out of work or they are a single parent.
And that’s just economics. Priebus seems to be ignorant of just what Republicans have been saying and doing to be seen as the party waging war against women. Let’s remind him. Republicans in states across the country have proposed over a thousand pieces of legislation designed to destroy the reproductive rights of women. It is clear that women are not only doing badly in a tough economy, they also face assaults on their health. Republicans have made efforts to eliminate Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides services such as cancer screenings and contraception to millions of low income women. Republicans are also trying to give employers the right to dictate how women plan their families and how they run their private sex lives. But that’s not all. Republicans are also trying to pass laws that force women to undergo state sanctioned rape through transvaginal ultrasounds. Republicans are even trying to give themselves and others access to the private medical records of women who seek contraception and abortion. Republicans have compared women to cattle and have made it clear that they want women to be subservient to men. Somehow, Priebuis thinks attacking the privacy, personal liberty, health, and independence of women is the same as being pro-women. He is delusional.
Republicans are clearly the ones waging total war against women. But Reince Priebus doesn’t want women to know that. He wants to pretend women are insects who aren’t smart enough to make their own choices. But women know better, that’s why they support President Obama by a staggering 19 points in the polls.