Rep. Mary Bono Mack jumped into the presidential campaign again this week, defending Republican front-runner Mitt Romney when it comes to women’s issues.
Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican, issued a statement through the Romney campaign as it sought to deflect criticism over the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
“Barack Obama talks a good game on women in the economy, but the facts don’t back him up. Women in the Obama economy are facing hardships of historical proportions,” Bono Mack said in a statement this week.
“Unemployment among women is at record levels and the number of women in poverty has risen to a near-two decade high. Everyone knows that President Obama has presided over massive job losses during his term. What they may not know is that women account for the vast majority of those lost jobs. All the Obama Administration has to offer is more of the same. Simply put, women cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama.”
During a Wednesday morning conference call over women’s issues, Romney’s aides couldn’t immediately say whether the former Massachusetts governor would have supported the 2009 legislation that helps ensure women get equal pay for equal work.
Romney’s aides later said that Romney “supports pay equity and is not looking to change current law.”
According to the official vote tally, Bono Mack voted against the Lilly Ledbetter act in January 2009. The bill passed out of the House– then controlled by Democrats – on a mostly party-line vote of 250-177.
Bono Mack’s own campaign challenger, Democrat Raul Ruiz, issued his own statement in response today.
In it, the emergency room physician from Palm Desert said “women are facing hardships of historic proportions, and Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s votes are making it worse. ”
“Congresswoman Bono Mack’s vote against equal pay is just the tip of the iceberg,” Ruiz said in the statement.
“She has consistently voted against access and affordability for healthcare for women. Governor Romney and Congresswoman Bono Mack have the wrong priorities; they are standing up for millionaires and opposing real solutions for hard-working women and men in this country.”