President Donald Trump made an appeal to women voters at a rally in the battleground state of Michigan one week before Election Day: that he would help their husbands recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I'm also getting your husbands, they want to get back to work, right? They want to get back to work. We're getting your husbands back to work, and everybody wants it," Trump said. "And the cure can never be worse than the problem itself."
Moments earlier, Trump was touting his support among women, claiming that they would back him in the presidential election because "they want security, they want safety, they want law and order."
"We're going to do great. And I love women, and I can't help it. They're the greatest. I love them much more than the men," he said.
Multiple reports amid the pandemic have shown that women are being hit by unemployment at higher rates than men, which some experts have dubbed the nation's first "female recession," setting back many employment gains women had previously made. As jobs in sectors dominated by women were impacted, options for child care were also diminished.
'Female recession': Public sector job loss is coming. Women will be hit hardest.
In September, jobs report data showed that about 865,000 women left the workforce, while some 216,000 men did the same. And about 54% of jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic were women's jobs, The 19th reported.
Critics on social media called out his promise to get "husbands back to work" as sexist. Michigan State Sen. Curtis Hertel asked, "Did he forget what century he is running for President in?"
Word to the President: women have jobs, too. https://t.co/6VcrLUo4Ju
— Jennifer Wexton (@JenniferWexton) October 27, 2020
Donald Trumps pitch to women voters “were getting your husbands back to work.” Did he forget what century he is running for President in?
— Senator Curtis Hertel (@CurtisHertelJr) October 27, 2020
Trump’s closing message to the women of Michigan: “We’re getting your husbands back to work.” pic.twitter.com/eULvu0EqtQ
— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) October 27, 2020
His comments come two weeks after he asked suburban women to support him while campaigning in Pennsylvania.
"Can I ask you to do me a favor? Suburban women, would you please like me?" Trump said. "Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?"
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He later claimed he was "kidding" by asking suburban women to like him during an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes."
"Oh, I didn't say that. You know, that's so misleading. ... I say jokingly, 'Suburban women, you should love me because I'm giving you security,' " Trump told Lesley Stahl.
Despite his appeals, Trump is trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in polling among women who are likely voters. A New York Times/Siena College poll from earlier this month found a 23-point gap between the two, with 58% of women backing Biden and 35% backing Trump. Quinnipiac had the standing among women at 60%-34% in favor of Biden.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump to women at rally: 'We're getting your husbands back to work'