WASHINGTON -- A political action committee comprised of entrepreneurs and business leaders penned an open letter that ran in USA Today Monday calling on the president to stop divisive rhetoric "aimed at successful people in the business sector."
It's a familiar sentiment, but there's something notable about the signatories: there are 39 of them, but only two are women.
The issue of women in business became a focal point last week when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama were asked during the second presidential debate about their views on equal pay for women. Romney -- who does not support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act against wage discrimination -- took the opportunity to talk about hiring women when he was governor of Massachusetts. His answer rankled many, particularly because he described great difficulty finding qualified women and sought out "binders full of" potential candidates.
The letter was written by members of A Critical Choice for America PAC, which describes itself as a group "concerned about the future of economic freedom in this country."
One of the two female signatories is Becky Byrne, who is listed with her husband, Jim. The other female signatory, Lauree Moffett, is one of a handful listed with their city rather than with a business. She is the wife of mining mogul Jim Bob Moffett, a wealthy resident of Austin, Texas.
Other signatories include Sirius XM Radio CEO Mel Karmazin, Seagate Technology CEO Stephen Luczo and philanthropist Roger Hertog.
The letter follows similar lines to many attacks on the president's business record, claiming he does not respect entrepreneurs based on an out of context quote: "you didn't build that," a reference to infrastructure that allows businesses to operate.
"Before you vote on Election Day, think carefully about what kind of country we are creating for ourselves and coming generations," the signatories wrote in the letter. "Will it be a country that demeans job-creating business owners by saying, 'You didn’t build that?' Or will it be a country that protects free enterprise and allows everyone to pursue their highest aspirations?"