John McCain's campaign reacted today with specific figures to rebut a TV ad from Democratic rival Barack Obama on equal pay for women.
The ad says that women make on average 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and accuses McCain of voting against an equal pay law.
"It's one more thing that John McCain doesn't get about our economy," the female announcer says. "A burden on business? How about the burden on our families?"
Equal pay, along with abortion rights, is one of the key issues Obama and Democrats are counting on to keep women from defecting to McCain.
But McCain's campaign cited Senate records to assert that McCain pays women better in his office than Obama does.
"Barack Obama says he's for equal pay for women, but women working in his Senate office earn an average of $9,000 less than men. By contrast, women in John McCain's Senate office actually earn an average of nearly $2,000 more than men. The American people understand that real leadership for the change we need is all about what you do, not just empty words," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in a statement.
The study that McCain's campaign cites, however, notes that a major reason for the disparity is that McCain has more women in senior, higher-paid positions -- not that women are being paid less than men for the same job.
The ad, first reported by Politico, is the latest in a series of hard-hitting spots Obama is running in individual battleground states, but not unveiling to the national media. Politico says it is airing at least in Virginia, which Obama is trying to bring into the Democratic column.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.