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New Obama ad makes direct appeal to women

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Pivoting away from negative messages about Mitt Romney’s record in business and as Massachusetts governor, the Obama campaign Thursday released the first in a series of TV ads that will focus on the positive — his commitment to women and families.

The new ad highlights President’s Obama support for the the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — the first bill he signed into law in 2009 — which helps extends the window for women to sue over pay discrimination.

The ad, which will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada and Virginia, begins with an image of Mr. Obama as a young child with his mom and then shifts to a visual of him as an adult with his two daughters, and then to images of women workers and a mother and daughter doing homework.

“The son of a single mom. Proud father of two daughters. President Obama knows that women being paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men isn’t just unfair, it hurts families,” the ad intones.

“So the first law he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — to help ensure that women are paid the same as men for doing the same exact work. Because President Obama knows that fairness for women means a stronger middle class for America.”

Mr. Obama has highlighted the gender pay gap in the workforce as evidence of discrimination that harms families and the economy. Even though women in the U.S. are increasingly becoming family breadwinners — in 2010 in nearly two-thirds of families with children women were either breadwinners or co-breadwinners — they earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, the ad argues.

Bringing women’s earnings in line with men’s would improve the economic situation for women and their families, Mr. Obama has argued.

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About the Author

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at

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