Democrats hit Huckabee on contraception comments as GOP tries to better image among women - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Cloudy
2.9°C

Democrats hit Huckabee on contraception comments as GOP tries to better image among women

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sits down for lunch before speaking at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Huckabee isn’t rushing to have his name included among the crowded field of potential Republican presidential candidates. But he isn’t closing the door, either, as he meets Thursday with the GOP’s cardinals at the Republican National Committee.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
January 24, 2014 - 12:59 AM

WASHINGTON - Mike Huckabee's comments about contraception proved quick fodder for Democrats and a headache for Republicans trying to market themselves as a better choice for female voters who have proved elusive to the GOP.

The former Arkansas governor and potential presidential contender told fellow Republicans on Thursday that Democrats were trying to win over female voters by promising them birth control and telling them they cannot manage "their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government."

The comments came as the Republican National Committee is working to soften its image among women, who favoured President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 by a 55 per cent to 44 per cent margin over GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

"Mike Huckabee has no idea what he's talking about," Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said. "If this is the GOP rebrand a year later, then all they've gotten is a year older."

Asked about Huckabee's comments, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at the White House that it "sounds offensive to me and to women."

In Kentucky, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes' campaign sought to paint her Republican rival, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as in lockstep with Huckabee.

"Mitch McConnell's cringe-worthy record of standing up for Kentucky's women and families effortlessly aligns with Mike Huckabee's extreme, anti-woman rhetoric," Grimes' campaign said in a statement. "As McConnell enthusiastically touts Huckabee's endorsement, he ought to explain to the women of Kentucky why he embraces such offensive commentary."

The whole episode started during Thursday's luncheon at the Republican National Committee's meeting in Washington. Huckabee, who is considering a run for the White House, urged the GOP to broaden its appeal and end its internal divisiveness.

Huckabee, a favourite of Christian conservatives and a Fox News host, meant his speech to whet the 168-member Republican central committee's appetite for a Huckabee 2016 campaign.

Instead, his take on reproductive rights highlighted one of his many hurdles in expanding his appeal beyond Christian conservatives, as well as the GOP's broader challenges.

"If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are hopeless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them with their prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it," Huckabee said, echoing comments he previously made on his Fox News program.

Penny Nance, CEO and president of the conservative Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, defended Huckabee and criticized Democrats.

"The president and others have profited politically from the false narrative that women are weak and need big government to be our saviour," she said in a statement.

The GOP has struggled to win back female voters and has worked to soften its rhetoric on reproductive rights. As part of Democrats' national health care law, insurers have to provide free contraception.

Huckabee's prescription might complicate that effort and diminish enthusiasm for his name appearing among the potential Republican contenders.

Huckabee ran for the White House in 2008 and has kept in touch with the party activists in Iowa and South Carolina who were with him then. At the same time, he has been talking with allies who would help him raise money if he decides to run.

___

Follow Philip Elliott on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/philip_elliott

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • RCMP make arrest for 2019 killing of homeless Kelowna teen
    An 18-year-old woman has been arrested for the 2019 killing of Elijah Beauregard. Beauregard was fatally stabbed in downtown Kelowna June 27, 2019, and on Feb. 21,  an unnamed woman was
  • Major delays on Coquihalla, Drive BC issues warning
    Conditions on the Coquihalla, near the Great Bear snowshed, have been pretty intense for motorists, prompting DriveBC to issue a warning. #BCHwy5 - A look at the situation moments ago
  • UPDATE: Highway 1 open after major accident
    After a major vehicle accident closed Highway 1 between Revelstoke and Sicamous this morning, the road has been reopened. According to Drive BC, the incident occurred around 9 a.m. at Three
  • Snowstorm to hit Coquihalla, valley bottom
    Snow is expected to fall across the Southern Interior today but the biggest weather change will be on mountain passes, which could see quite a significant accumulation of snow. A snowfall wa
  • New mountain highway proposed between Red Deer and Kamloops
    An Alberta development group is pitching the idea of a new highway linking central Alberta to B.C. cutting through the mountains and a section of Banff National Park. The Central Alberta Eco
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile