Appearing as a panelist on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, Republican strategist Mike Murphy called out journalists for refusing to provide balanced coverage of abortion: "It's always amazed me how the media assumes there's no such thing in the world as a pro-life woman, it's the most under-represented, you know, group in the world, we never talk about them." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy's observation was prompted by former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers proclaiming that Romney has "been all over the map on every issue that's important to women in this election," meaning contraception and abortion. Her comments followed moderator David Gregory declaring: "...understanding women's choices today, pressures they face, about access to contraception, about abortion...the President wants to – to drive up that wedge and get women to vote for him."
During the panel discussion and in an earlier interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Gregory hyped Romney's "binders full of women" comment to claim he was "out of touch" with women.
Here is a transcript of the October 21 exchange:
GREGORY: We're back with our roundtable. Here was a picture on Tumblr, actually. What is that, of course? That is binders full of women, which refers, of course, to Mitt Romney’s reference to that. Dee Dee Myers, the debate after that, about understanding women's choices today, pressures they face, about access to contraception, about abortion, all of this seems to be an intense play right now as the administration, the President wants to – to drive up that wedge and get women to vote for him. What did you make of all of that?
DEE DEE MYERS: Well, first of all, I – I think that the way that "binders of women" blew up was sig – indicative that – that women don't trust something about – about Romney and his position on women. It's – it's first of all, why does he need binders of women? He's been out in the – you know, 25 years in the private sector as – as a governor, I mean, as – as a candidate for governor, before that as a businessman, before that as – during that time at the Salt Lake City Olympic, why didn't he come with a network of women, right? So he doesn't have any relationships with women, which just makes women suspicious. Then it came out that he made up his role in that, which – you know, took credit for something that 25 groups of women had done in – in Massachusetts in order to – in order to make sure that more women got into government.
He says he's – would – is against abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. Except he would support Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe. He supported a Personhood Amendment, which would make abortion illegal under any circumstances and outlaw many forms of birth control, even though he says he supports access to contraception for all women. He's been all over the map on every issue that's important to women in this election.
He doesn't have a plan to help narrow the pay gap, which is really important to women. You know, women care about the economy, but in a recent poll, 39 percent of women said abortion was the most important issue, jobs was a second, and third was access to – equality in – in the workforce and equal pay.
GREGORY: But the gender gap is closing…
MIKE MURPHY: Yeah, I was going to say we…
GREGORY: …among women. Mike.
MURPHY: ...we – we talked to 65 million American women today via that poll, and the gender gap is definitely closing. So the women of America are coming up with another definition. One, it's always amazed me how the media assumes there's no such thing in the world as a pro-life woman, it's the most under-represented, you know, group in the world, we never talk about them. They're very comfortable with Romney. And a lot of pro-choice women are because they know his priority is going to be the economy.
You know, I listen to this, and this is the Democrat line. But I – I close my eyes, because I worked for Romney when he was governor, and I imagine all the women I knew then who ran the place, throwing stuff at the TV. I think it's ludicrous people vilify Romney for being a leader among all governors in appointing – I can't even remember any of the men who worked there, frankly. When I think back, it's 10 years ago, I'm getting old – but it's – it's – I think it's what I called a shiny object attack. It's the whole problem with the Obama campaign. Push it into small divisive things to make up for the lack of any big vision.