ATLANTA — The six Democratic presidential candidates received high marks Saturday in a report issued by the National Women's Political Caucus, while Republican candidates were given lower grades.
The report focused on the candidates' stance on key women's issues and considered other points, including the number of women employed on their campaign staffs.
The reviews, which stopped short of endorsing specific candidates, were issued by the caucus' Democratic and Republican task forces as part of the organization's "Super Saturday" strategy meeting concerning the Super Tuesday presidential primaries on March 8.
'Ardent Supporters' Cited
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Illinois Sen. Paul Simon and Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis were characterized as "ardent supporters" of the equal rights amendment and freedom of choice in abortion. All of the Democrats scored well on their support for government-supported child care, legislation for equal pay for women, affirmative action programs and health and welfare programs for poor women.
Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore Jr. and Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt received less-than-perfect reviews because they opposed extending the time limit for ratifying the equal rights amendment and are against federal funds for abortions.
The Republicans remain on the other side of the philosophical fence on most of the issues. Vice President George Bush, Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, New York Rep. Jack Kemp and former television evangelist Pat Robertson oppose the ERA and a woman's right to abortion.
As a group and individually, the Republicans also fell short in other areas graded by the caucus, such as social programs for child care and women in poverty.