For months, Democrats and Republicans alike have bombarded key battleground states with ads that quote Trump calling women “fat pigs” and telling others it would be a “pretty picture” to see them on their knees. Seven in ten women voters have an unfavorable opinion of the billionaire real estate mogul.
The Trump campaign has tried to combat this unflattering characterization, trotting out stories about women whom Trump promoted to construction jobs traditionally reserved for men. His daughter Ivanka did the same in her speech Thursday night introducing him at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In the Trump organization, Ivanka said, “women are paid equally for the work that they do, and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported, not shut out.” The arena erupted in chants of “TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP.”
But then, in a surprising move, she took it a step further, promising that a President Trump would buck Republican precedent and champion equal pay for women and affordable childcare. “As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce,” she said. “He will focus on making childcare affordable and accessible for all.” She made specific appeals to married women, an important voting demographic: “Gender is no longer the factor creating the greatest wage discrepancy in this country. Motherhood is.”
It just goes to show how worried Trump is about his chances in November. The Republican nominee had previously shown little, if any, interest in childcare or paid family leave. The prepared remarks for his own speech at the RNC on Thursday made no mention of women or equal pay. But facing a mere 26 percent chance of winning, he has, through his daughter, thrown out decades of Republican policies intended to keep women in the home and preserve the “traditional families” mentioned in the Republican platform approved Monday.
Still, it’ll take more than a few paragraphs, no matter how well delivered, to set Donald Trump and the Republican Party up as the best champion for women.