Aides to Carter, Anderson Hit Reagan On Court, Abortion at K-School Panel
"The choices are stark, they are real and they are twelve days away," Anne Wexler, special assistant to President Carter, said yesterday.
Wexler was one of three top women advisors to the major presidential candidates who spoke before a crowd of 75 at the Kennedy School forum. All three said the women's vote will be pivotal in the November election.
Wexler and Evelyn Cunningham, co-chairman of the national Women for Anderson committee, sharply criticized Governor Reagan's recent effort to attract women voters by pledging to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court.
The pledge is part of Reagan's "Johnnie come lately" at concern for women, in light of recent polls showing him significantly trailing in support from women voters, Wexler said.
Karen Keesling, a Reagan advisor and legislative aide to Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.), defended the sincerity of Reagan's pledge, claiming that the Governor first made the statement in August at the Republican convention in Detroit.
Down to the Wire
Wexler and Cunningham also sharply critized the Republican platform for its anti-ERA and abortion planks. "If the Republican's are committed to equal rights, why don't they have the ERA in their platform?" Wexler said.
Keesling said, however, that "women and feminists" should support Reagan because he will appoint women to high posts in his administration.
Wexler and Cunningham also disagreed on certain issues. Wexler cited President Carter's record appointing women to fill 22 percent of the "high level policy making" positions in his administration.
Of the 46 federal judges that are women, President Carter has appointed 41 Wexler added, saying "in the Carter administration women make decisions."
Cunningham, said however that Carter's efforts "were not enough," adding that Anderson will appoint more women to top executive posts. "Anderson will not spend first four years doing what he feels necessary to elect him for another four years," she said.