In an interview with an Iowa radio station this week, Ann Romney declined to answer any questions about reproductive rights and gay rights, saying those issues "distract" from "the real voting issue" -- which she and her husband's campaign has decided is solely the economy and jobs. She then backed out of attending this week's Values Voter Summit, an annual convention of far-right opponents of reproductive rights and gay rights, which she had been scheduled to address.
This feigned disinterest in social issues might be convincing if the Republican Party hadn't just spent two full years using their power across the country to get involved in women's medical decisions and gay people's lives, and if Mitt Romney hadn't repeatedly vowed to do the same if elected.
Romney and his party have made the decision to make invading our personal lives a policy priority. The rest of us have no choice but to be "distracted."
Romney must think that nobody's paying attention to his campaign. This weekend, he said on national television that he wants to keep the most popular provisions of health care reform, then turned around and said he wanted to repeal them. He spent his primary campaign taking a position on immigration to the right of Arizona, and now is trying desperately to appeal to Latinos. And now, after caving to the right on gay rights, abortion rights and even access to contraception, he's asking us to just not pay any attention.
Yes, the economy and jobs are hugely important issues in this election (though ones in which Romney doesn't exactly have an advantage). So is foreign policy, which one Romney advisor dismissed this week as a "shiny object." But so are the personal attacks that Romney and his allies are lobbing at women.
Women will stop being "distracted" by Republican attacks when they stop attacking us.
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