LANSING (WWJ) – Ahead of an Oakland County visit by Mitt Romney and his VP pick Paul Ryan, a prominent Michigan Democrat is sharing her thoughts on the GOP presidential ticket.

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the candidates can’t distance themselves from the GOP’s anti-abortion platform.

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“Make no mistake — that political platform committee was overseen by top Governor Romney aides,” Granholm told reporters. “They essentially declare themselves as the party of  (Missouri Rep.) Todd Aiken, endorsing a ban on all abortions without exceptions for rape or incest.”

The latest polls give President Obama a 50 to 39 percent edge over Romney among women in Michigan, and Granholm predicts the “gender gap” will continue to grow in the presidential race.

“If Aiken has to go, why does Ryan get to stay? You cannot get any more extreme than the positions that they’re holding,” she said. “You cannot endorse a more backward looking policy than they have just endorsed — yet that’s the policy.”

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WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick talked with Republican Todd Shields who agreed women are a problem group for Romney. “It’s working against him. What he needs to do is, obviously … he needs to change the debate a little bit,” Shields said.

Skubick said Romney and Ryan are expected to focus their message on the economy when they speak at a campaign rally planned for Friday at Long Family Orchard Farm and Cider Mill Commerce Township.

This is the first trip to Michigan by Ryan since he was selected to be Romney’s running mate earlier this month.

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