The White House used a question about whether President Obama supports a $15 an hour minimum wage -- as some advocates have championed -- to bash Republicans for their record on womens' issues.
Press Secretary Jay Carney noted news stories about Republicans being counselled on how to avoid repeats of Todd Akin-style gaffes to say that "the problem that Republicans have had with women isn't about language, it's about policies."
And he suggested that "one way that they could support women today is to vote to raise the minimum wage, because women disproportionately benefit from increases in the minimum wage. One thing they could do to support women in America is to stop trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and instead work with lawmakers who want to make it work as effectively as possible, because the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from charging women double for the same insurance policies that men receive.
And there are a long list of policies that the president supports and obviously Democrats support that I think are concrete examples of concern for women."
Carney wouldn't say whether Obama supports $15 an hour for fast food workers, as protests across the U.S. have called for.
"I don't have a position on these protests beyond the fact that the president quite explicitly and passionately supports the need to pass an increase in the minimum wage," Carney said.
Democrats have asked Obama to circumvent Congress and sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage for workers employed through federal government contracts with private companies, but the White House may be reluctant to go that route.
"This has always been done legislatively. And it has been done with support from Republicans and not just Democrats in the past," Carney said. "The fact of the matter is, as the president cited yesterday, there are a lot of studies that show that there is no significant or measurable impact -- negative impact -- when you raise the minimum wage, and there are enormous positive benefits when you raise the minimum wage."
He added that Obama was "calling on Congress to take action because the benefits would be significant to hard-working Americans across the country."