Well, Mitt Romney finally clinched the Republican nomination, also known as the National Competition to Prove Who Loves Unborn Children the Most. The presidential hopeful had to make a whole lot of anti-already-born-women promises to win that title: he said on record that he believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned, supported a Mississippi "parenthood" measure that would essentially ban birth control, and stood up for the religious institutions that refused to provide insurance coverage for contraception under Obama's proposed health care plan.
But will Mittens' vehement anti-lady rhetoric hurt his chances with undecided voters in the all-important battleground states? Planned Parenthood certainly hopes so, which is why the organization's political arm, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, launched a new ad campaign today that uses Romney's own words to hopefully destroy his chances of winning the presidency by reminding women (and men) about all of the crazy shit he said to land the GOP nomination.
The organization's first ad, "Out of Touch" (Oddly gentle title, right? It makes Romney sound more like a grandpa who uses "the Google" than a potential world leader who wants to take away a woman's right to choose), is simple, yet slaying: it attacks Romney for saying he would preferably like to deny women access to contraception, abortions, and equal pay.
"When Mitt Romney says, ‘Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that,'" the ad reminds viewers, "Romney is saying he'll deny women the birth control and cancer screenings they depend on."
The NYT's Caucus blog calls that statement "misleading" since Romney was actually saying he'd cut funding for Planned Parenthood, not do away with the entire organization — but is it, really? The point is that Romney would refuse to work with the organization if elected President, which Planned Parenthood hopes will remind viewers that Romney doesn't give a fuck about women's best interests.
The ad cost $1.4 million — a threefold increase over the group's total spending during the 2008 campaign, according to the Times — and Planned Parenthood says that's just the beginning. "This is a very small down payment on what we intend to do to make sure people are very clear where the candidates stand," said Dawn Laguens, the group's executive vice president.
Romney will almost surely ease the blow by releasing ads that attempt to make women even more scared about the economy than they are about their ladyparts. "They go for security. They are looking for security more so than men," Romney advisor Bay Buchanan has said of women. "I think that Mitt Romney is going to be able to make a very strong case that we need these jobs. Women will understand that more than anybody."
But, in absolutely excellent news, Planned Parenthood said the initial reaction to their ad has been "jaw-dropping." The group ran focus groups of 500 swing voters in battleground states and found that most didn't know much about Romney's position on female-centric issues, which seems kind of insane if you're, say, a regular Jezebel reader, but proves the immense importance of Planned Parenthood's campaign: after viewing "Out of Touch," women were twice as likely to say Romney was "out of step" with women's issues.
"The women ad wars are just beginning," the Times concludes, ominously referring to whatever "security"-focused ads the Romney campaign has up its starched white sleeve. Is it too optimistic to hope that, even in the bullshit-heavy political sphere, there's nothing more powerful than using someone's own words against him?
. But even in the bull-shit heavy political sphere, there's nothing more powerful than using someone's own words against him.