ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Amid grappling with crisis in Ukraine, President Barack Obama made a pitch for women’s pocketbook issues Thursday, calling for legislation requiring equal pay for equal work and saying Congress would get more done if it had more women.
“Women with college degrees may earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career than a man at the same educational level, and that’s wrong.” Obama said. “This isn’t 1958 — it’s 2014.”
He continued, “A woman deserves work place policies that protect her right to have a baby without losing her job. It’s pretty clear that, you know, if men were having babies, we’d have different policies.”
Obama left for the event at Orlando’s Valencia College after announcing additional sanctions against Russian officials from the White House’s South Lawn, a public juggling of his duties as the country’s chief executive and the Democratic Party’s leader.
With Obama and his health care law a political liability in some parts of the country, the president is trying to help his party’s effort to win November elections by leading a debate on economic issues and bringing in campaign funds.
Florida has one of the country’s most competitive gubernatorial races with incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott facing Democratic former Gov. Charlie Crist. But Crist did not appear publicly with Obama and only planned to see him at a private fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.
Crist spokesman Kevin Cate would not say whether Obama would campaign with Crist later in the race. “It’s well known that the president and Gov. Crist are personal friends. He enjoys spending time with him — will today, and will in the future,” Cate said.