WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2012, (National Right to Life News)—You can’t know what percentage is truth (if any), exaggeration, gloss, or hyperbole, but Planned Parenthood is not shy about taking credit for the re-election of pro-abortion President Barack Obama. But I confess not until I read a piece by Paul Bedard in his “Washington Secrets” yesterday did I understand how they made their case.
According to Bedard of the Washington Examiner, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, told an EMILY’s List post-election analysis panel (in Bedard’s words) that it “kep[t] Independent women scared long enough about Romney’s agenda for Obama to win them over.” (EMILY’s List is a high-powered PAC that funnels money exclusively to female Democrats who are the pro-est of pro-abortionists.)
Planned Parenthood’s strategy was to ignore women who had made their decision. Instead, beginning in June, they targeted “a whole group [of women] that, what it looked like we could do, is expand the amount of time they were willing to give the president and the economy to recover,” Laguens said. “So we could kind of hold them in ‘undecided’ by, in particularly in the presidency, by making Mitt Romney questionable in their mind on our set of issues.”
How did they keep the minds of independent women open to voting for Obama? “By warning how Romney would rob them of birth control and abortion,” according to Bedard’s paraphrase. In other words, “The effort had a simple strategy: Just get women, [who were] frustrated with the economy, to hold off deciding for Romney. ‘Don’t. Wait. Gotta learn more about this stuff,’ was the theme, said Laguens.”
Laguens likened this to keeping the elevator door open “until we could see the economy start to come up and the president’s campaign do that closing argument that really did finally tip them over. And I really think that was the role that we played in there with a lot of independent women.”
Whew, think about that one. PPFA completely distorted Mitt Romney’s position on “birth control” (what he opposed what federal funding for PPFA) and abortion (he included exceptions for rape, incest, and life of mother, although you’d never know it by PPFA or Obama’s re-election team) until there was the slightest uptick in the economy which gave them these women an excuse to vote for Obama. Put another way, they shoved Romney down the elevator shaft and shafted the American people, all in one fell swoop.
Beyond the Abortion Establishment crowing about its supposed role, there are as many explanations for Obama’s victory as there are pundits. We’ve talked about a number of them in this space over the last week. Most are either short-sighted, panicky, or are in service of the agenda of separating the Republican Party from its pro-life base.
Here are a few additional thoughts, courtesy of Pew’s Andrew Kohut, which in some ways dovetails with what Laguens said and we have observed.
Although Romney lost, Kohut writes, “Republicans increased their share of the presidential vote among many major demographic groups. Compared with 2008, they made significant gains among men (four percentage points), whites (four points), younger voters (six points), white Catholics (seven points) and Jews (nine points). Mr. Romney also carried the independent vote 50 percent to 45 percent. Four years ago, independents voted for Mr. Obama 52 percent to 44 percent.” In addition, “49 percent continued to disapprove of Mr. Obama’s health-care law (compared with 44 percent approving).”
How did Romney lose? It wasn’t because of a gender gap among women—women went in comparable numbers for Obama in 2008—but because Romney’s personal image was battered by countless millions of dollars of negative ads. Obama’s team unfairly but brilliantly portrayed Romney as out of touch of the average voter.
As we discussed yesterday, Republican strategist Karl Rove was unfairly attacked for making an absolutely valid point: that Obama’s team had succeeded by deliberately “suppressing the vote.” How so? Columnist Michael Medved put it this way: “He [Obama] and his supporters succeeded in discouraging and disillusioning the Republican and independent voters whom Romney needed for victory.”
Obama sullied Romney, slinging mud by the ton. “A report from a monitoring agency at Wesleyan University suggests that an astonishing 85 percent of all campaign commercials by the Obama campaign and allied groups featured negative messages about Romney,” Medved wrote. “These attack ads aren’t supposed to inspire your people to go to the polls; they’re meant to dissuade the other guy’s supporters from going to the polls. The purpose of negative advertising is to discourage, not encourage, voting…
In this election, the lower overall turnout clearly helped Obama. The president got a smaller share of the vote in 48 of 50 states, everywhere except Hawaii and Mississippi, but he retained enough support in the diminished electorate to hang on to the White House. Lacking any confidence that they could reinspire cynical, disillusioned citizens about the glories of hope and change or the president’s heroic first-term achievements, the Obama high command settled for producing a general distaste for both candidates and even for the political process itself.
Pro-lifers, led by National Right to Life PAC, were active throughout the election and especially in key swing states. You did everything possible to carry Romney over the finish line. But the barrage of negative ads, magnified by a sympathetic and compliant media, put Mr. Romney in a huge hole from which he never fully recovered.
Reprinted from National Right to Life News.