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Women rally for Trump in Pennsylvania

Updated July 17, 2019 - 6:04 pm

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — Ignore President Donald Trump’s earthy vocabulary. Concentrate on the economy.

Blame the news media for putting a stigma on women who support Trump. Focus on winning pockets that can decide the election.

And remember how good it felt to win in November 2016.

That’s the advice that the group Women for Trump put out at a rally Tuesday that revealed a lot about the 2020 re-election campaign’s strategy for wooing women voters, who largely preferred Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Washington was sucked into the latest war of words between Trump and “the squad” — the term for four female first-term progressive House Democrats: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — whom Trump said should “go home” even though all but Omar were born in the United States.

That controversy was not on the radar at the Valley Forge Casino Resort with the GOP’s glam distaff league — daughter-in-law Lara Trump, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is dating Donald Trump Jr., former White House aide Mercedes Schlapp, Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and senior adviser Katrina Pierson.

Brad Parscale, the super-tall, bearded campaign manager who was Trump’s data guru in 2016, explained the reason for the event and its suburban location.

“The decision was made from multiple data sets” that indicated “this is the right city and these are the right women to help us win Pennsylvania,” he said.

In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania with close to 45,000 more votes than Clinton.

Female fundraising

According to 2016 exit polls, Trump garnered some 42 percent of women’s votes in 2016. — well below 54 percent who went for Clinton. Pollsters argued that Trump’s school-yard taunts and “locker room talk” about grabbing women had alienated women voters

For the first three months of 2019, however, the Trump campaign raised 45 percent of its take from women, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That put him ahead of all Democrats other than Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign, released a statement Tuesday.

“The ‘Women for Trump’ initiative is yet another transparent attempt to gaslight the American public about Trump’s virulently anti-woman record,” Acosta said. “Throughout his time in the public eye, both prior to and currently as President, Trump has attacked, belittled and undermined the rights of women across America.”

“From resurrecting the Title X gag rule, to upending the regulation implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, to nominating fiercely anti-choice nominees to the Supreme Court, Trump has made decision after decision undermining the agency of women and LGBTQ people,” he said.

Deeds, not words

“If people look at what he does versus what he says” they would hold a higher view of Trump, said Ann Stone, a Trump supporter and founder of Republicans for Choice.

Mary Ortner of Woodbury Heights, New Jersey, said she voted for Trump in 2016. Asked about Trump’s recent tweet storm, Ortner replied, “Disparaging is not a good move on anybody’s part. They said a lot of disparaging things, too. It’s unfortunate.”

In the same vein, McDaniel told the room, “This is a president who said a lot of things, but, boy, has he delivered.”

McDaniel later told the Review-Journal that the campaign is targeting rural voters and suburban voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada.

And while supporters may not agree with everything Trump says, “you can’t deny the numbers. Wages are up. Jobs are coming back.”

Guilfoyle noted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average this week breached the 27,000 mark. “He shows us the numbers and he shows us the money,” she said.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a statement from JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president for policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign.

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