October 22, 2004
Presidential Candidates Aim Messages at Women
By Mike Allen and Lois Romano, Washington Post Staff Writers
CANTON, Ohio, Oct. 22 -- In dueling appeals to working women, President Bush cast himself
Friday as a champion of struggling families and Sen. John F. Kerry called his opponent oblivious
to all the middle-class dreams that have died on his watch. Bush, speaking shortly after the
release of a campaign ad that used prowling wolves to represent the danger lurking from
terrorism, tried to broaden his message for the few remaining undecided voters by framing the
election as a stark choice about "your family security, your budget, your quality of life, your
retirement, and the bedrock values that are so critical to our families and our future."
"Our economy is growing at rates as fast as any in nearly 20 years," Bush said as he began his
three-state day in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "My opponent has a very different plan for your budget. He
intends to take a bigger chunk out of it."
Kerry, campaigning in Wisconsin, asked, "How dare this administration say this is the best
economy of our lifetime?" The Massachusetts senator asserted that "for far too many women, the
American dream seems a million miles away."
"The simple fact is, this president is just out of touch and out of ideas," Kerry told an audience of
mainly women. "He can spin until he's dizzy, but at the end of the day, who does he think
American women are going to believe -- him or their own eyes?"
The overt appeal to women came amid signs of a close and tightening race in which the
candidates are looking for any possible advantage in the final 11 days. Bush advisers said the
overture to women and other independents reflects concern in the president's campaign that he
has not gotten any of the breaks he had hoped for in the closing days, notably promising news
Kerry's campaign is anxious about solidifying his inconsistent support among women, who