Ellmers, Blackburn: GOP needs to broaden base, include more women

Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on Oct. 3 at a Ripon Society breakfast meeting about the need to appeal to women and broaden the GOP’s base.

Ellmers opened the meeting by addressing the challenge of recruiting more women to run for office as Republicans.

“We’re only 8 percent of our conference, and we need to get more women here,” Ellmers said. “Whether it’s Project GROW or the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, we’re highlighting all of the work that our colleagues are doing every day, working on important issues.”

Project GROW was created by National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden to recruit more female Republican candidates.

“We also need to make sure that we’re going out and meeting with women and helping them understand that it’s not just about birth control and abortions,” Ellmers said. “Women are worried about how they’re paying the bills, why gas prices are so high and the price of groceries, milk, eggs.”

Blackburn helped found the RWPC last year. She said that women are 53 percent of the population and hold 52 percent of all jobs.

“It is imperative that we continue to help and assist… our male colleagues who are seeking to get a footing with how they appropriately communicate in a current, concise, succinct method with all of those women, their female constituents,” Blackburn said.

The breakfast meeting was the third discussion in recent years that focused on increasing the number of women who run for office and play a leadership role in the Republican party.