By Kevin Zieber - Mediamatters
Fox News twisted the words of President Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter to claim that she insulted women during a recent radio interview.
Fox & Friends aired audio of Cutter saying: “That’s the other thing, that you find most often with women. They’re not really concerned about what’s happened over the last four years. They really want to know what’s going to happen in the next four years.”
Echoing an attack by Mitt Romney’s campaign, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin claimed that Cutter’s remark showed “a basic amount of contempt” for independent women. Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson added: “What is disappointing when you hear some rhetoric that women just think about one issue. I think that is what becomes condescending. So yes. So for example that women only care about birth control. I mean any woman cares about the economy.”
But the context of Cutter’s remarks, which came during an appearance on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, shows that Cutter was actually talking about a variety of economic and other issues to explain why Obama is leading among women voters. Cutter said that women care about the economy, jobs, education, deficits, health care, and other issues. She asserted that Obama is connecting with women by talking about his plans for these issues for the next four years.
Here are Cutter’s comments in their proper context:
SUSAN PAGE (guest host): But historically we know that women are more likely to support Democrats and that’s certain been the case in this election with President Obama. Why is there the disparity between genders?
CUTTER: Well, I think that, you know, I can tell you why I think women are attracted to President Obama. You know, he has a strong record on education, for instance, which is one of the top motivating issues for women across this country in terms of insuring kids have good public schools to go to that are backed up by accountability to ensure measured learning.
Health care is another issue. Women are more often than not health care deciders in their families. So the ability to go to a doctor, have accessibility and affordability to take your child to a doctor really means something to them. And they’re — those are two things that I think attracts female voters to President Obama. I think, even more broadly on — broadly — broad economic issues, you know, not just how we’re going to move our economy forward, create good jobs to the future but how are we going to pay down our deficit.
You know, women do care about the deficit. It’s not just men. But women care about paying it down in a balanced way and a way that gets rid of the waste but also allows us in the way to invest in the things that we need to grow like education. So it’s the compilation of that message, I think, that is more attractive to women right now than this to men.
PAGE: We’ve seen some pollsters say that the pool of voters who are either undecided or only loosely committed to a candidate is disproportionately women. Is that what you find with the Obama campaign? Is that your analysis? And if so, how will you try to reach that group of voters in the next six weeks?
CUTTER: Well, we’re really talking about a very, very small group of voters at this point. Most people have either begun to make their decision or has made their decision. You know, we all continue doing what we have been doing trying to get the president’s message out on the ground, you know, whether it’s in the suburban areas of Northern Virginia or Denver or Ohio, to talk about what the president wants to do in the future.
That’s the other thing that you find most often with women. They’re not really concerned about what’s happened over the last four years. They really want to know what’s going to happen in the next four years, and that’s why the president’s convention speech was so powerful. So we’ve been taking that speech and really traveling across the country and delivering it. The president was just in Virginia this past week.