Dueling news conferences: Democrats press Romney on equal pay

Democrats press GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on fair pay issues.

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Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Following the Republican roll out of House Speaker Thom Tillis as surrogate for Mitt Romney earlier today, President Barack Obama's campaign held its own conference call to strike back in North Carolina.

Reps. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, and Verla Insko, D-Orange, joined pay equity icon Lilly Ledbetter in a call purportedly set up to push Romney to endorse the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give women certain legal rights if they discover a male coworker is making more for the same work.

"The president's record demonstrates his belief that women's issues are American issues," said Ledbetter, who is the namesake of the first bill Obama signed, which removed restrictions on when women can sue if they discover pay discrimination.

But none of the women on the call seemed like they actually expected Romney to come into the fray on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Rather, this seems like an excuse to remind people of refusal in April to say whether he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act from 2008 and to try to widen the lead among women voters Obama saw shrink earlier this year. 
Update: Robert Reid, Romney's North Carolina spokesperson, had this to say in response to the Democratic call: "Of course Governor Romney supports pay equity for women. In order to have pay equity, women need to have jobs, and they have been getting crushed in this anemic Obama economy, losing far more jobs than men. As president, Mitt Romney will create a pro-jobs business climate that will put all Americans back to work.”

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