The wives of several Republican leaders gathered at El Sol Azteca in Ashburn Tuesday to rally women for Mitt, one in a series events aimed at getting out a group of voters expected to have a significant impact in this fall’s general election, when presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney faces President Barack Obama.
Teiro Cuccinelli, wife of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, said at the "Women for Mitt" event that Republican women were better equipped to make a decision about the nation’s future leader.
“Women will play a key role in this year’s election,” Cuccinelli said to the crowd. “I think Republican women are more intelligent, more talented and lord knows you’re more beautiful than the other side.”
Jean Ann Bolling, wife of Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, said Romney has a history of choosing successful women to work with him in government.
“We need to get our message out and convince women to vote for Mitt Romney,” she said.
Virginia’s legislation requiring women seeking abortions to first obtain ultrasounds—which would have required a more invasive procedure in certain cases before under the initial proposal—and the unsuccessful personhood bill brought the state to center stage on national news shows, both real and satirical, on the subject of women’s rights.
Some political pundits have suggested the General Assembly legislation would push women to vote against Romney, who opposes abortion rights. Bolling urged attendees Tuesday to show Democrats that Virginia women were not in their pockets.
“Our challenge is to change that dynamic here in Virginia,” she said.
Beth Myers, who ran Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and is heading up the candidate’s search for a running mate, would not say much about the progress of her current duties, but weighed in on Romney’s respect for women. Myers also served as Romney’s chief of staff when he served as governor of Massachusetts, where in 2004 the state was recognized for having women serve in a majority of top positions.
“That was an enormous accomplishment. It didn’t happen by accident,” Myers said. “One of the first things he did was tell me to go out and find qualified women: ‘I like to have women working on my staff.’”
As for the vice president search, Myers said, “I can’t tell you who we’re looking at,” but added that the GOP has a “deep bench, including your governor,” referring to Bob McDonnell.
She carefully did not say whether McDonnell was among those under consideration, but his name has come up often as Virginia is discussed as a swing state in this year’s election.
Virginia voters chose Obama in 2008, the first Democratic president the state has selected in decades.
“Virginia is the swingiest of swing states,” Myers said.
Myers also accused Obama of flat out lying on the campaign trail, without offering specifics.
“Barack Obama can’t run on his record, so he’s running a negative campaign,” she said, suggesting it’s been more negative than anticipated. “We didn’t think the president would lie about Mitt as he has.”
Despite the money spent by Obama, she said, little headway has been made.
Susan Allen, wife of GOP candidate for U.S. Senate George Allen, said she believes most people will ultimately ignore the negative ads.
“People are going to tune out all the malarkey that’s flying on TV,” she said.
She then turned to a comment made by Obama in which he said small business owners didn’t build their businesses on their own. Much has been made about what Obama meant by the statement, but Myers thinks it was a moment of honesty that she said political candidates rarely show when campaigning.
“I think sometimes on the road candidates slip up and say what they think,” she said. “He said what he meant.”
George Allen’s name came up a bit more than U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who is running for reelection this year, but both were mentioned as keys to Republicans taking both houses of Congress along with the White House.
A lack of jobs and new small businesses were among the primary attacks on Obama, though Women for Mitt praised the business where the stood, which just recently opened, providing many new jobs in Ashburn.
The speakers called on attendees to take stickers and yard signs, to volunteer to make phone calls and to go door to door to urge people in Loudoun to vote for Romney, Allen and Wolf.
“What will count in this election is what you all say to your neighbors,” Susan Allen told the crowd, suggesting that they each talk to five people and write four letters to the editor or four emails to friends. “Any little thing you contribute to this campaign means a big thing.”
Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) headed the event, introducing all the speakers and calling on those in the room to “spread the word and get involved.”