TAMPA, Fla. — Kicking off the second leg of his 48-hour campaign blitz, President Obama said “we saw again this week” why male politicians shouldn’t be making health care decisions for women, alluding to Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments about rape.
Although he did not call him out by name, today marked the first time the president has referenced on the campaign trail Mourdock’s remark that pregnancies resulting from rape are “something God intended.”
“As we saw again this week, I don’t think any politician in Washington, most of whom are male, should be making health care decisions for women,” Obama told 8,500 Floridians at his second campaign rally in this key battleground state this week.
“Women can make those decisions themselves. I don’t think your boss or your insurance company should be making those decisions,” he continued. “Women should be making their own health care decisions. That’s why the health care law we passed put those choices in your hands. That’s where it belongs. And that’s where it’ll stay as long as I am president of the United States.”
As both campaigns seek to appeal to women in the final days before the election, the Obama camp has been ramping up its criticism of Mitt Romney for refusing to demand that an ad in which he endorses Mourdock be pulled off the air.
Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer told reporters traveling with the president today that it’s “surprising” that Romney hasn’t demanded further action from Mourdock. “Every couple of weeks we hear another Republican politician make these outlandish statements. There is clearly a strain of Governor Romney’s party that he’s been unwilling and unable to condemn,” he said.
The president took to the stage in Tampa this morning after an all-night flight from Las Vegas, Nev., as he continues his two-day, eight state marathon swing.
“My voice is getting a little hoarse. But I’m just going to keep on — just going to keep on keeping on until every single person out there who needs to vote is going to go vote,” he said.
The president himself is going to vote in-person later today in his hometown of Chicago, an attempt to lead by example as he criss-crosses the country urging supporters to vote early.
Shortly after arriving in Tampa, the president made a surprise stop at a Krispy Kreme donut shop for a little sugar boost to keep him going.
With three dozen donuts in tow, the president visited a fire station to show his appreciation for the first responders. “I just wanted to come by since I was up so early which I’m not often to say thank you for everything you do every day,” he told the firefighters.
“These are approved by Michelle,” he joked of the donuts. “She says that it’s the right way to start your morning.”
–Mary Bruce and Jake Tapper