Trump This: Why GOP Actions Speak Louder Than Ads
Super PAC ad campaign slamming Donald Trump’s record on women raises questions about Republicans’ record on women.
A new television ad attacks GOP presidential candidate hopeful Donald Trump for his offensive remarks about women. While attack ads are typically produced by the opposing party, these particular ads are paid for by Our Principles PAC, a group urging Republican voters to vote against Trump.
While the ad attacks Trump for his misogyny, it’s ironic that Our Principles is championing respect for women given the overt disregard for women’s rights by the Republican party.
The explicit focus of Our Principles PAC is to ensure that Trump does not win the Republican nomination for president. Our Principles was founded by Republican strategist (and former deputy campaign manager to 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney) Katie Packer. She is also a founder of Burning Glass Consulting, a firm that specializes in attracting women voters to the Republican party.
In a memo released recently by the PAC, Packer writes that nominating Trump will “lead our Party to general election ruin in November.” While I agree that President Trump would be a travesty, I take issue with the message that Our Principles PAC has chosen to employ in their ad campaign targeting women.
The ad features several different women repeating — verbatim — some of Trump’s comments about women. The quotes are demeaning, disrespectful and utter nonsense. Each woman looks astounded by the quotes she is repeating and the ad delivers a strong message: Trump hates women.
While it is clear the ad is targeting Republican voters, one has to question the PAC’s commitment to women, given the Republicans’ track record of introducing and passing legislation that attacks women’s rights and sets out to strip women of basic rights to healthcare, the ability to support themselves and their families, and safety from violence.
In 2015, videos accusing Planned Parenthood of selling aborted fetal tissue were the center of a Republican strategy to defund Planned Parenthood. (It’s important to note here that Planned Parenthood does not receive federal funds to perform abortions. Defunding Planned Parenthood would hinder their ability to provide mammograms and other basic health needs for low-income women).
The videos, which were later found to be heavily edited and misleading, damaged Planned Parenthood’s reputation and increased the fervor that fuels the anti-abortion movement. Denying women access to reproductive health — including abortions — makes decisions for women and their bodies without their consent.
On average, women make 70 cents to every dollar earned by a man — and women of color are even worse off. According to the American Association of University Women, women of color earn between 54 and 63 cents to every dollar earned by White men.
In 2015, House Republicans introduced a budget that will cut 11 million people from receiving SNAP benefits. Such actions blatantly disparage working families — particularly families headed by single mothers — for needing assistance while making it nearly impossible to earn a living wage.
In 1991 the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed by Congress in order to address the problem of violence that affects 1 in 4 women in the United States. VAWA earmarked funding across the country for victim assistance and violence prevention, as well as to strengthen laws to hold perpetrators of violence accountable, protect survivors of domestic and sexual violence and increase training for first responders, including law enforcement and legal staff.
VAWA was reauthorized in 2013, but not without fierce opposition from House Republicans, particularly because the re-authorization added provisions for Native American, Immigrant and LGBT victims of violence. Ultimately, VAWA was reauthorized, but 159 Republican Representatives and Senators voted against passage.
While there are Democrats who have sided with Republicans on bills that hurt women, the overwhelming culture of the Republican party is to control women’s bodies, livelihood and safety with little regard or consideration for women’s lives.
Given these examples, it is difficult to perceive the intentions of Our Principles PAC as genuine or truly invested in the well-being of women.
While Trump’s words are vile, they are just that — words.
The actions of Republicans who are already elected and have the power to create policy are the true insult to women.
Parker may be trying to attract women voters to the Republican party and stop Trump from getting the party’s nomination, but unless Our Principles PAC is working to change the party’s draconian approach toward stripping women’s rights, then her ads, like Trump’s words, are an insult to all American women, regardless of party affiliation.
Andrea J. Serrano is a Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project and is Deputy Director at OLÉ, a grassroots organization committed to economic justice in Albuquerque, NM.