3 Signs the National GOP is Over its Birth Control Bender

By Nancy L. Cohen, March 19, 2012

Mar. 19, 2012

The establishment GOP is trying to claw its way back to the center after its monthlong bender over birth control, breast cancer, and slutty law students. The question is, will the sexual fundamentalists in the base and Rick Santorum let them?

  •  Last week Mitt said he would end Planned Parenthood. This weekend, Mitt and Ann Romney said to women, it’s the economy, stupid: “Do you know what women care about — and this is what I love — women care about jobs,” Mrs. Romney said at the time. “Women care about the economy, they care about their children, and they care about the debt.”
  • McCain: “We need to get off of that issue in my view,” he told NBC’s David Gregory. “I think we ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their lives and make that clear — and get back onto what the American people really care about: jobs and the economy.”
  • Sen. Scott Brown: “I see that both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum now have Secret Service with them on the campaign trail. And in Santorum’s case, I think it’s the first time he’s actually ever used protection.”

If Romney does well in Illinois tomorrow, as his polling today looks like he will, expect to see more of these efforts by Romney and his surrogates to change the subject. It’ll be back to the privately issued sotto voce promises to the base and his original economy-focused public campaign. Exit polls and pundits agree that Mitt hasn’t picked up the sexual fundamentalists in the primary with his run to the Right. But he’ll need to hold them in the general–and that’s what should make all of us very worried.

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Nancy L. Cohen