A highly misleading ad put out by the Obama campaign features fake Republican women, who say they are turned off by GOP extremism and, moreover, that President Obama is the real small government candidate. The new ad is tagged this way: “If you’re a conservative woman who likes small government, vote for Obama.”

"Misleading" is a tactful word because the Obama campaign certainly knew that these women are Democrats with a history of activism for President Obama. According to the Daily Caller one of the women, Maria Ciano, had been a registered Democrat since October 2006, according to Colorado voter registration records.

John Hinderaker of Powerline looked at her Facebook page and found it skews left—far left—and that Ciano’s mother, another woman in the ad, has a record of supporting Obama. Forget "misleading." This is dishonesty, pure and simple.

But that isn't the only problem with the ad.

The women in the ad are also confused about what small government actually means. The exact words used in the ad are these:  “If you’re a conservative woman and believe in small government, then Barack Obama is your candidate because he’s keeping the government out of the decisions that should remain between you and God and you and your own conscience.”

This has nothing to do with big or small government. It is really about abortion and the trumped up charge that Republicans have a policy against contraception. They don’t. The women in the ad, however, seem to believe that Republican opposition to the HHS contraception mandate, an important facet of Obamacare, which would force people who do have a policy on contraception—Catholic colleges, for instance—to pay for free contraceptive coverage. Bethany Mandel comments:

This is the exact opposite of “small government” in action. The opposition to this provision to ObamaCare isn’t that Republicans or conservatives don’t believe in women taking birth control and wish to prevent them from doing so. Opponents of the provision are believers in the First Amendment, who do not wish to see their Catholic brethren forced to pay for something in direct opposition to their theology. Big government is forcing Catholic individuals, hospitals and businesses to violate their religious obligations. …

[T]hese self-described small-government Republican women seem to believe that it is the role of the government to force their fellow Americans pay for their elective procedures, despite any moral or religious objections they might have.

This ad is yet another in a series of attempts from the Obama campaign to attempt to divert attention from the economy and the failed record of this administration on everything it has touched.

Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine, has a piece in today’s Washington Post on how her party can win women. I must confess I clutched at the thought of Snowe explaining this. She appeared ready to justify my qualms:

At the convention, Romney must work to overcome what others in our party have done to undermine our standing with women, and he must restore the image of who we are as Republicans.

No, Romney doesn’t have to overcome what Republicans by and large have done to harm standing with women—he has to overcome the baseless charges made by Democrats.

Sure, Todd Akin said something inexcusable, but he hardly represents the views of Republicans who have taken a high school biology class. But Snowe does move on and make the most important point:

The public is clamoring for the presidential candidates to offer solutions to the challenges that are going to determine our economic destiny. The current policies emanating from Washington have produced little hope and even fewer results, leaving us mired in the worst post-recession recovery in our nation’s history. This should be a winning conversation for Republicans, particularly given Romney’s background in the private sector.