Keep Your Free Birth Control - We'll Take Free Trade; Women Want a Strong Economy
Byline: Carol Keiser, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
As the 2012 election draws near, many women don't have much time to study the policy details of the two candidates. They are either running around with the kids or running around at work - and often trying to do both at the same time.
So when women want to learn what Barack Obama and Mitt Romney think about an issue like international trade, they appreciate having the ability to one-stop-shop on the candidates' campaign websites. Yet only one of these two candidates devotes an entire page of his website to trade.
This is a welcome breath of fresh air - a taste of substance in a race that often seems to lack it. Democrats have spent months touting the weary line that Republicans are engaged in a war on women. Gaffes from politicians like Missouri senatorial candidate W. Todd Akin only add fuel to their fire. Yet women care about a lot more than access to birth control and abortions. In fact, for most of us, those things are at the bottom of our current priority list. It's time to focus on the issues that most women actually care about: jobs and the economy.
President Obama has a record to run on - and there's plenty to boast about. He signed free-trade agreements last year with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. His administration is in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would create a huge trade zone that would include the United States and at least eight other countries. The latest round of TPP talks concluded last week in Virginia.
Yet Mr. Obama's campaign website is virtually silent on free trade. There's a single mention of the three trade agreements, but it's buried at the bottom of a page and easy to miss. Beyond that and a reference to increased exports by 2015, there's nothing - no high-flying rhetoric, no policy objectives and no specific promises about what he would deliver in a second term.
In sharp contrast, Mr. Romney's website has a whole page devoted to free trade, with slogans, subsections, bullet points and more. Open markets have helped make America powerful and prosperous, Mr. …