Speechwriter Who Gave Quayle His Anti-'Murphy Brown' Words to Help Santorum with Women Voters

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) – who has been one of the most strident abortion opponents and who wrote in his book, “It Takes a Family,” that “radical feminism” has led women to work outside the home and thus “undermin[e] the traditional family” and that education is the “wrong” way for “poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs [to] move up the economic ladder” – is facing a deficit among women in polls on his re-election bid. Now, reports the conservative New York Sun, an independent-expenditure (“527”) group called Softer Voices is lending a hand with ads designed to soften the senator’s image and help him appeal to women voters.

Murphy Brown with childThe founder of Softer Voices, Lisa Schiffren, may not have the best track record. According to the Sun, the former speechwriter for Vice President Dan Quayle is “best known” for writing Quayle’s 1992 speech attacking the television character “Murphy Brown,” an unmarried (and fictional) professional who, as the speech said, was “mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone.” The ads highlight Santorum’s role in pushing welfare reform in the mid-1990s – which he saw as directed towards getting single mothers back to work.

Almost $1 million was raised for the pro-Santorum ads “[i]n the matter of a few days last month” in the form of a handful of large gifts, according to the Sun, led by a $400,000 donation from right-wing philanthropist John Templeton, who is prohibited from donating directly to Santorum’s campaign after renouncing his citizenship in 1968 and moving to the Bahamas to avoid paying taxes.

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