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MSNBC Interview With Rep. Marsha Blackburn - Republican Party And Women Interviewer: Contessa Brewer

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MS. BREWER: On today's installment of why the GOP may be in trouble, the party is not attracting women and party identification among women, Democrats have a double-digit advantage over Republicans among women, 41 percent to 29 percent and more bad news for the GOP, the gap widens when independent women are asked to pick a party, 57 percent lean Democrat compared to only 35 percent who lean Republican.

With me now, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee.

Why is that do you think?

REP. BLACKBURN: I think that there are a couple of things that fall into these numbers, and number one, the report that you're going from was a January to March report and people were looking at hope and opportunity as a part of the campaign rhetoric that had been out there through the fall and leading into the inaugural.

Another thing that is there, many times conservative women do not get the attention in the media that a liberal woman will get, and so there's a little bit of an inequity there as far as exposure to the public. But with all of that said, I think there's tremendous opportunity, Contessa, for Republican women and conservative women, not necessarily party label women, but conservatives, those independents that lean conservative as we look at the issues in front of us, I've done three of the tea parties --


REP. BLACKBURN: And I've been impressed that more than half the group at those tea parties were female and they're concerned about the fiscal issues --

MS. BREWER: You know, I want to come back with some of what you said with the facts that I have. We know that the number of people who identify themselves as Republican has dropped four percent in one month alone.


MS. BREWER: And that was from March to April. It was not from January to March as you're quoting. So overall, you have a Republican Party and the numbers don't back up what you're saying about the January to March survey. The second thing is in terms of women not being visible, Republican women, you're on with us an awful lot and I have a story here coming up about Republican Michele Bachmann who is the eighth-most talkative member of Congress, both on the floor and on television.

REP. BLACKBURN: Well, great, and we appreciate the opportunity to get that message out, indeed, we do, and you're looking at a survey that I was not given. I apologize for that. I was given the January to March survey --

MS. BREWER: But overall, don't you think --

REP. BLACKBURN: A couple of things that are out here, Contessa, that will help us, number one, as government grows, women who are managing those family budgets and are handling education and health care with their families know that there are less resources for them to work with and that family budget and the other issue is that of health care. When you look at a system that is moving toward an institutionalized system, women are the ones who are saying, we want more choice, more options, control over relationships with physicians and we want to make sure that health care is patient-centered, not bureaucracy-centered.

MS. BREWER: Congresswoman Blackburn, it's great to have you on as always.

REP. BLACKBURN: Good to be with you.

MS. BREWER: We do appreciate your time.

REP. BLACKBURN: Thank you.

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