Perry, women topic for Texans

State senator, mayor also call to get out vote

Trish Choate
Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday.

Photo by Chris Carlson

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Texas state senator and Houston's openly lesbian mayor briefed Lone Star State delegates to the Democratic National Convention on two blue lines of attack on the Republican bid for the presidency Tuesday morning. Both launched stinging zingers at the GOP.

San Antonio Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a Hispanic lawmaker, gave a fiery and funny speech highlighting what some call a GOP war on women, waged by lawmakers with socially conservative views such as opposition to abortion.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker almost playfully delivered a one-two-three punch to Republican Gov. Rick Perry while calling for Democrats to get out the vote.

Van de Putte said Republicans would rather focus on fringe issues instead of solutions, but what's most upsetting to her is their war on women.

"They just don't respect us. They don't think we're smart enough to make our own decisions," she said.

She zeroed in on U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri. The U.S. Senate candidate's "legitimate rape" remark became an embarrassment for Republicans, who widely denounced him.

Van de Putte said she had six children, now grown up, in nine years.

"You see, according to Congressman Akin, I could have just thought about it and just not become pregnant," she said.

"I didn't know that we could think about it and say, 'OK, OK, I don't want this. I don't want this.' And that would just shut the whole thing down," she added to applause and laughter.

Akin, who has since apologized, said in the comment that's made him notorious: "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Conversely — according to Akin's remark — Van de Putte's sister and thousands of women like her who had difficulty getting pregnant and desperately wanted a baby "just weren't thinking about it," Van de Putte said.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan focused a good part of their energy on repudiating the idea that Republicans are anti-woman during the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa, Fla.

Texas DNC delegate John Perry wasn't convinced.

The 36-year-old public schoolteacher from San Angelo said he's disturbed by the war on women because he's raising two daughters.

"In 2012, the Republican Party still doesn't think that they should be paid the same wage for the same job a man can do" and "wants to control their bodies," said Perry, a single father also raising a son.

Tuesday, Van de Putte ended her speech by urging Democrats to rouse voters to the polls for Obama, a theme Parker focused on.

"We're going to go do three things, and unlike my governor, I can remember three things," Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a city as large as Houston, told delegates.

During a presidential debate, Gov. Perry famously forgot the third agency he planned to abolish when ensconced in the White House. A series of gaffes cut his campaign for the presidency short.

Tuesday, Parker sought to awaken the same fervor that got Obama elected in 2008. The election is expected to be close because the economy is still lagging.

Parker said Texas Democrats should do what they did four years ago: air their blue views to family members, co-workers and people in line at the grocery store.

"We're going to wear our buttons and our T-shirts, and we're going to talk to other Americans who may not be Democrats, and we are going to remind them that yes, Democrats exist in Texas," she said.

She urged the grass roots members before her not to worry that the Democratic National Party wasn't going to be paying much attention to red Texas in the leadup to Nov. 6.

"But every one of us has races that we care about in our own backyard," she said. "We have to work locally."

Parker circled back around to the joke that apparently never gets old among Democrats.

"We're going to talk. We're going to work. That third, that third thing," Parker said, imitating a forgetful Perry.

"We're going to vote!" she said to clapping and chuckles from the delegation.

"It's a joke. Come on," Parker added with a grin.

Texas regional reporter Trish Choate can be reached at 202-408-2709 or choatet@shns.com. Follow her on Twitter @Trish_in_DC.

© 2012 Times Record News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 5

Wichita_Willie writes:

Is it me or am I missing any discussion here about turning this nation around, creating jobs, energy, etc.?

jetjocky writes:

W_W, You don't understand. It is more important to discuss irrelevant issues so there is no mention of the real problems, like jobs, debt, deficit, energy, etc. You know in your heart that we are all better off today than 4 years ago. Why the debt has only gone up a few trillion, the latest Obama budget proposal will only add a few trillion more over the next 10 years, the middle class is doing fine with a measly $4000/year loss in income, several million still out of work. Its all roses and clover, really. Why make everyone depressed by talking about real issues. Come on man, get a grip!

Wichita_Willie writes:

I also find it offensive that the liberal media wants to make sure that everyone knows that the Houston mayor is "openly l------".

Who gives a flying fig?

Just state that the Houston mayor is there at the convention. Why does the world need to know that she is openly l------? I mean, is that part of her job description? Is it part of her daily duties as mayor? Is it a prerequisite to her attendance and participation in the DNC?

I have absolutely nothing against gays and l------s. But I DO FIND IT OFFENSIVE how they want to continue to shove their happy lifestyle on everyone else. First it was Rosie, then Ellen, now the mayor of Houston.

Parker must have a mental problem with it or she would just introduce herself as the Mayor of Houston and be done with it.

And as for our TRN watchdogs... I find it interesting that in the actual article the TRN uses the word "L e s b i a n", but when I try to use it, it is censored and shows only l------.

Double standard?

jetjocky writes:

W_W, I too am mystified why the liberal gay part of society finds it mandatory to proclaim their sexuality, repeatedly in all manner of circumstances, like an intro at the DNC. It is totally irrelevant! I really don't care. However, it makes me think that they are trying shove their lifestyle down my throat, just like they did with Obamacare.

Trying to understand TRN's writing standards is harder than trying to understand why 40% of the population thinks Obama is doing a good job. Go figure.

wjpoupore#303971 writes:

in response to jetjocky:

W_W, You don't understand. It is more important to discuss irrelevant issues so there is no mention of the real problems, like jobs, debt, deficit, energy, etc. You know in your heart that we are all better off today than 4 years ago. Why the debt has only gone up a few trillion, the latest Obama budget proposal will only add a few trillion more over the next 10 years, the middle class is doing fine with a measly $4000/year loss in income, several million still out of work. Its all roses and clover, really. Why make everyone depressed by talking about real issues. Come on man, get a grip!

You seem forget or mabe you don't know that the GOP policies and politics are what caused our dismal economy and job situation. The tax cuts for the wealthy which forced us to borrow 3.5 trillion from our friends in China along with the insatiable appetite for war which has caused us to borrow additional trillions from those same folks makes me realize that with the GOP wanting to continue doing the same thing is the real problem. Yes "man" we do need to start talking about the real issues and not relying on the lies and misinformation being perpetrated by the GOP media outlets of Fox news, Rush and the rest of the far right wing morons. Personal freedoms, human dignity, voting rights, religious freedoms and all of the other consitutional rights afforded us by our constitution which are systematically being eroded by the GOP are the real issues which must be discussed. Intelligent regulation and ethical operating practices will in time undo the economic and job problems problems created by political pandering by the GOP. Now let's talk.

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