Romney pals slam Obama, stumble on fair pay for women

With President Obama’s re-election campaign set to court female voters at a star-studded Philadelphia event this evening, Mitt Romney's campaign attempted to change the conversation this morning. Romney’s camp sent Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh and Renee Amoore, deputy chairwoman of the state Republican Party, to Love Park to accuse Obama of abandoning Pennsylvania’s middle class while favoring his political pals with lavish federal spending.

Speaking for the former Massachusetts governor, Welsh and Amoore accused Obama of using federal stimulus funds and funding for green energy projects to reward his political “cronies.” Welsh noted that the unemployment rate for women in Pennsylvania increased from 7 percent to 8 percent during his time in the White House.

“Barack Obama was trained in Chicago politics,” Welsh said. “What is that? Pay-to-play and support your friends.”

Obama’s campaign today will discuss the first law he approved, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which gives female employees more options to combat salaries set according to gender. Welsh and Amoore said unfair pay for female employees is a problem. But they could not say when Romney, who has not taken a position on the legislation, will make his thoughts clear on the issue.

“He will take a position, sooner rather than later,” Amoore said. “You will hear that. You know what? There is a long time before November. And he has plenty of time to give his position.”

Welsh, asked if Romney should support the legislation, said “I’m sure he feels very strongly about equality for women. I’m sure he feels very strongly about fairness in the employment of women.”

Obama’s Women Vote 2012 Summit tour comes to Philadelphia this evening with a visit from singer Alicia Keys, senior strategist Valerie Jarrett and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman. Along with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the trio plans to tout Obama’s Affordable Care Act, record on education funding and his appointment of two women to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A June 12 Quinnipiac University Poll of registered Pennsylvania voters found Obama leading Romney 46-40 percent, despite deep reservations of his handling of the national economy. The pollsters credited Obama’s strong support among female voters in the state as helping him hold the lead. Women backed Obama 51-36 over Romney while men backed Romney 44-40 percent.