While in South Carolina on Wednesday, Clinton lambasted Republicans on the issue of equal pay. Without calling them out by name, Clinton criticized Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul using quotes from comments all three had made on the issue.
At a Democratic women’s campaign event in Columbia, Clinton placed the blame for the current pay gap squarely on Republicans.
GOP candidates, Clinton said, have called the issue “bogus” as well as a waste of time for Congress.
“One even said efforts to guarantee fair pay reminded him of the Soviet Union,” she said. “And to that I say, what century are they living in?”
The event highlights a new campaigning strategy by Clinton. Unlike when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Clinton is not shying away from gender issues such as equal pay. Women voters made up a huge portion of President Obama’s electoral success, and Clinton is hoping to garner support from the female voting base. Women, especially those in the Southern States, are vital to Clinton’s success. Capitalizing on the Republican’s so-called “woman problem” is a win-win for the seasoned candidate.
She regularly emphasizes her role as a mother and grandmother, and Democrats see debates like equal pay a key way to protect — and possibly widen — the gender gap between Democrats and Republicans.
While GOP presidential candidates and hopefuls alike have yet to take Clinton’s bait, the Republican National Committee was unimpressed. Committee spokeswoman Allison Moore pointed to allegations that Clinton paid women Senate staffers who worked for her less than men who also worked there.
“Clinton now claims to care about equal pay, yet paid women significantly less than men in her own Senate office. The reality is that Hillary Clinton will say anything to benefit herself politically.”
Thinly-veiled verbal strikes like the one Clinton launched against Walker, Rubio and Paul will only increase as the campaigns progress. Soon we can all expect to see more direct attacks from both sides.
It’s going to be a long election season.
[CNN] [The Hill] [Image via Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters]