It was only January — four short months ago– that former Gov. Mitt Romney applauded the idea of women abandoning their two-year-olds so they could experience “the dignity of work.” That’s work as compared to…what? Possibly, “never working a day in their lives?”
Mitt better warm up his Etch A Sketch for this one. The Mormon maladroit was caught on tape in New Hampshire, with Sen. John McCain looking doubtful, as Mitt upped his own bad bet by boasting that even if it cost the state more money to provide childcare, it was worth it to him to force women receiving assistance while he was governor of Massachusetts to get out of the house and…what was that word again? Oh yeah, WORK. You know, some number of days in their lives.
Obviously Mitt was pandering in this speech, which sets it apart not at all from every other speech he’s made. It’s always popular among the folks looking for support from Republicans and tea partiers to beat up on welfare recipients, dreaming up new and different ways to humiliate them (like drug testing) or run their lives for them, as Mitt was attempting to do here with his tough love paternalism. What they say doesn’t even have to make economic sense. Neither drug testing nor forcing needy mothers to put their children in daycare would save money. The point is to extract a pound of flesh along with that EBT card.
It’s speeches — and attitudes — like this that account for the gender gap in poll numbers that leave Republican candidates in the dust with women.