McCain on Susana, Romney and the GOP’s need to appeal to women and Hispanics
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“Let’s be very honest,” the Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee said in a regional conference call with reporters from the Republican National Convention on Tuesday (Aug. 28), “[Martinez] represents Hispanic female leadership … That’s an area that Mitt Romney and Republicans have to make up ground.”Gov. Martinez, the first female Hispanic elected governor of any state in the US, will get her star turn at the convention on Wednesday night. She’ll be the second-to-last speaker of the evening, introducing herself to a national audience in prime time before teeing things up for Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, to conclude the night’s activities.
“She definitely can appeal to women and Hispanics,” McCain said, “and she has proven you can put New Mexico on a course of fiscal sanity.”
McCain will speak to convention delegates himself on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and told reporters Tuesday that while he rejects Democrats’ accusation that Republicans are waging any kind of “war on women,” the GOP has work to do, especially after the “legitimate rape” comment by Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri, whom Romey and the vast majority of Republicans have called on to step aside in his race against Democrat Claire McKaskill.
“It’s certainly a setback,” McCain said, adding he thinks Republicans should counter the Obama campaign by pointing to “the 16 percent unemployment rate among young women.”
As for Akin: “Americans are split on abortion … but they aren’t split on rape … It’s a privilege to get the nomination of your party but if you abuse that privilege like Mr. Akin has done, you should step aside.”
When asked what recommendations he can give to Romney and Ryan, McCain joked, “I’m hesitant as a loser [in 2008] to give anyone advice,” but said the Republican ticket should “lay out a specific blueprint on the economy and jobs … We have to find a greater appeal to young women and Hispanics. That is just a fact … Most Americans are worried that the country is not on the right track but right now, a lot of Americans aren’t yet convinced Mitt Romney is the man to get the country on that right track. He needs to convince them of that and I think he can.”