Saturday, June 14, 2008
Seeking to block an effort by John McCain to draw support from Hillary Clinton supporters, Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Saturday called for women to unify behind Barack Obama and attacked McCain’s record on women’s issues and the economy.
McCain’s outreach to Clinton-backing women “is an effort to mask his effort on the issues important to the women who supported (Clinton)”, said Granholm, who supported Clinton during her primary campaign against Obama.
Granholm spoke to reporters on a conference call organized by the Obama campaign.
McCain on Saturday was holding a “virtual town hall” teleconference with former Clinton supporters, other Democrats and independents, seeking to capitalize on divisions created by Democrats’ long and at times bitter primary campaign. The McCain campaign released a list of more than two dozen Democrats and independents it said were supporting McCain.
Granholm singled out McCain’s record on abortion, calling him “in lockstep with the Bush administration with respect to appointments to the Supreme Court, with the anti-choice crowd on committing to overturn Roe versus Wade.” That’s the Supreme Court decision upholding the legality of abortion, a decision anti-abortion activists have long sought to overturn.
Crystal Burton, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, said Granholm was mistaken to focus on abortion.
“Women are not single issue voters,” she said. “The issues we hear about most from women are economic prosperity, national security and affordable, portable health care.”
Another former Clinton supporter, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., who also was on the call, said the “depth of Sen. McCain’s deceit when it comes to issues important to women can’t be overstated.”
She pointed to McCain’s opposition to a minimum-wage increase, which she said especially benefited women, and his opposition to expansion of a federal children’s health insurance program.
McCain aides have said the campaign believes it can attract the votes of independents and conservative Democrats in Michigan, particularly in areas such as Macomb County and in Northern Michigan. McCain strategists believe those voters could be won over by McCain’s moderate reputation and high personal approval ratings, as well as distrust of Obama and displeasure with the Michigan primary controversy.
“No matter what Sen. McCain says when he comes here, the question is, what has he done for struggling families?” Granholm said.
“Has he stood for working people, and has he stood apart from the Bush administration, which has offered no help whatsoever to the manufacturing industry in this country?”
You can reach Gordon Trowbridge at (202) 662-8738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.