Roundup: Ridge Says Running Mate Should Defer to McCain on Choice


Ridge Says Running Mate Should Defer to McCain on Choice … Pro-choice Republican VP prospect Tom Ridge said Sunday that the GOP would accept a pro-choice running mate for John McCain especially considering that the job of the VP is to "echo the position of the president of the United States":

"I think that would be up to, first of all, to John to decide
whether he wants a pro-choice running mate; then we would have to see
how the Republican Party would rally around it," Ridge said. "At the
end of the day, I think the Republican Party will be comfortable with
whatever choice John makes."

McCain’s statement last week was
seen as an appeal to centrist voters. On Sunday, Ridge tried to soothe
conservatives by stating that McCain’s view on the issue would prevail
in a McCain administration.

"The last time I checked, the vice
president is not an independent voice. He echoes the position of the
president of the United States," Ridge said. "I think it’s the
responsibility of the vice president. If you’re unwilling or unable to
do that, then I think you should defer to someone else."

Does McCain Have a Problem with Women Voters? … The Obama campaign sent a memo to reporters yesterday morning posing this question: "Does McCain have a Woman Problem?"

In the memo, Senior Advisor for the Women’s Vote Dana Singiser argues
that "McCain’s attempt to bridge the gender gap has fallen flat. He fares worse among women than any presidential candidate since
Bob Dole in 1996," Singiser writes, citing polls showing Obama leading
McCain among women.

Singiser claims that "McCain cannot close the gender gap" because
(1) "[w]omen voters don’t trust McCain because of his extreme positions
on the key issues they care about" and (2) "[w]omen want change from
the last 8 years of neglect for America’s middle class families and
women’s economic security."

The memo spotlights issues important to women that the campaign
suggests help Obama attract female voters by virtue of his positions.
Among them are equal pay, health care costs, reproductive rights, and
access to contraception and family planning services.  "61% of women strongly support putting more emphasis on reducing
unintended pregnancies, including access to birth control and other
family planning services," Singiser writes in the section on
contraception and family planning.  She adds: "McCain has repeatedly voted against funding for family
planning, accessibility of contraceptives for women, and ensuring that
sex education is scientifically accurate. Obama believes that women
should have access to affordable family planning and believes that our
children should have access to comprehensive age-appropriate sex
education." 

More Women Than Ever Are Childless … The New York Times is reporting that a new Census Bureau report reveals women are waiting longer to have children, and more women than ever are choosing not to have children at all:

Twenty percent of women ages 40 to 44 have no children, double the
level of 30 years ago, the report said; and women in that age bracket
who do have children have fewer than ever — an average of 1.9 children,
compared with the median of 3.1 children in 1976.

“A lot of
women are not having any children,” said Jane Lawler Dye, a Census
Bureau researcher who did the report, which looked at women of
childbearing age in 2006. “It used to be sort of expected that there
was a phase of life where you had children, and a lot of women aren’t
doing that now,” Ms. Dye said.

FDA Approval, Oversight of Mifeprex ‘Consistent’ With Other Drugs, GAO Report Says … Three Republican Congressmen had asked the GAO to look investigate the approval process of Mifeprex, perhaps more commonly known as RU-486, in response to potential complications with the drug reports the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report:

According to The Hill,
critics of FDA’s actions in relation to Mifeprex have focused on three
areas — the level of clinical evidence on safety the agency required;
the agency’s use of an approval process for drugs used to treat serious
or life-threatening conditions under "Subpart H"; and FDA’s reaction to
reports of potentially serious side effects. For the report, GAO
compared the process used for Mifeprex with the process used for other
drugs given expedited approval but for limited distribution through
medical specialists under Subpart H. The report states that the
"approval process for Mifeprex was generally consistent with the
approval processes for other Subpart H restricted drugs," The Hill reports.

 

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