Monday, May 14 2012, 06:16 PM MDT
Obama Vying For Female Vote With Commencement Speech
(KUTV) Women's issues were front and center as President Barack Obama gave a commencement speech today.
The address was for graduates at Barnard College in New York City.
The president gave the commencement speech to 600 graduates at the all-women's school as he works to court female voters.
“Indeed we know we are better off when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of life whether it’s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make,” President Obama said.
The female vote is key to the president's re-election bid. In 2008, he won 56 percent of the women's vote.
“It is simple math, women are not just half the country, you're half the workforce,” Obama said.
President Obama asked the school for this speaking opportunity back in February as a national debate over birth control and women's health issues started heating up.
Barnard graduates and their parents gave the president's speech high marks
“I thought it spoke to the needs of all the women in our class; it was something we needed to hear,” said Barnard College graduate Bree Doering.
The president also received Barnard's medal of distinction – the college's highest honor
He did not directly discuss his support for same sex marriage, but he couldn't avoid the issue. The founder of the gay rights group Freedom to Marry was honored right before the president's speech.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)