Published September 13. 2012 3:00PM Updated September 13. 2012 11:48PM
Hartford — With a recent poll showing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon gaining ground with women voters, female supporters of Democratic nominee Chris Murphy are warning of the dangers they see in supporting the wrestling mogul this November.
“Anyone who thinks Linda McMahon represents a typical Connecticut woman trying to hold down a job and raise a family in this economy just doesn’t get it,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said today.
She was one of about two dozen women supporters for Murphy at a news conference outside the Capitol. Others included Shannon Lane, a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and Jacqueline Kozin, a representative for Connecticut’s chapter of the National Organization for Women.
The group’s main criticism of McMahon is her support of the “Blunt amendment,” a measure that would allow employers with moral objections to opt out of providing their employees services in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, such as birth control.
They also dislike her desire to repeal that national health care law. As of Aug. 1, the law requires most new health insurance plans to offer free preventative care services to women including contraception, breast feeding supplies and domestic violence counseling. The law grants an exemption to nonprofit religious organizations and schools.
“Linda McMahon has spent so many millions of dollars on ads and commercials, so she has no problem worrying about getting her own health care,” Wyman said. “She can pay for her visits and she can afford the insurance she has. The problem is: Is she worrying about the rest of working women?”
McMahon’s campaign dismissed the news conference as a “Murphy campaign stunt imported direct from Fantasyland.”
McMahon, who would be Connecticut’s first female U.S. Senator if elected, is in favor of abortion rights, although she opposes “partial birth” procedures and federal funding of abortions except in cases of rape or incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.
The chairwoman of McMahon’s “Women for Linda” group, Kathy McShane, said in a statement that “he and his allies want you to believe Linda opposes women’s health issues… we can call them wrong.”
She added: “Congressman Murphy has never undergone a pap smear, a mammogram, or childbirth. Linda has.”
An Aug. 28 Quinnipiac University poll showed Murphy with a four-point lead over McMahon among women and McMahon with an eight-point lead among men. Overall, McMahon led Murphy by three percentage points.
Numerous polls showed that McMahon lacked support among women in 2010 during her unsuccessful race against Richard Blumenthal.
“For Linda, the Blunt amendment was not about birth control. She supported it because it was about religious freedom, over-regulation of business and the government imposing its will on individual citizens,” her campaign spokesman Todd Abrajano said recently.
During today’s Women-for-Murphy rally, Nancy DiNardo, chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic party, attributed McMahon’s recent gains in the polls to her onslaught of campaign advertising.
“She had a summer of buying millions of dollars for TV ads misrepresenting Chris Murphy and trying to change her image into this nice, lovable women,” DiNardo said. “She nowhere talks about the fact of how she made her millions when her treatment at WWE was very abusive towards women…now that it’s after Labor Day and people are paying attention, they’re going to see a big contrast between Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon.”