Team Romney stumbles on Ledbetter question
April 11th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Team Romney stumbles on Ledbetter question

(CNN) – The Mitt Romney campaign's failure to answer a reporter's question Wednesday over the support of an equal-pay for women law was quickly pounced on by President Barack Obama's campaign, marking the first skirmish of the general election now that Romney is the apparent GOP nominee.

On a conference call with reporters, Romney campaign surrogates were asked if the candidate supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act that expands workers' rights to sue if a pay discrepancy between a man and woman exists.

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The reply: "We'll get back to you on that," Romney Campaign Policy Director Lanhee Chen said.

Chen was one of three participants on the call that focused on what the campaign has called the Obama administration's "war on women," a reaction to the co-called Romney "war on women" perpetuated by critics of the former Massachusetts governor.

Romney Campaign Spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg reacted to Wednesday's call saying Romney supports pay equity, but did not expressly say whether the candidate was in favor on the Ledbetter law.

"Women account for more than 92% of jobs lost under Barack Obama. Of course Mitt Romney supports pay equity for women. The real question is whether President Obama supports jobs for women," Henneberg said in a statement.

Team Romney also sent a graph detailing female job losses since Obama took office, continuing the campaign's narrative over the last few days.

A campaign representative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Romney "supports pay equity and is not looking to change current law."

But the Obama campaign quickly capitalized on the call, issuing a statement from Ledbetter that criticized Romney for failing to "stand up for women and their families." The 2009 Act, inspired by a case involving Ledbetter, was the first bill signed into law by the president.

"If he is truly concerned about women in this economy, he wouldn't have to take time to 'think' about whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act," Ledbetter said in the statement. "Anyone who wants to be President of the United States shouldn't have to think about whether they support pursuing every possible avenue to ensuring women get the same pay for the same work as men."

Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod said the comment would constitute a "tough day" for the Romney campaign.

"Tough day on the Mitt Rehab With Women Tour. On call, his team punts when asked if he supports the Lily Ledbetter pay equity law," Axelrod wrote via Twitter.

- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Also see:

Romney on Santorum: 'This has been a good day for me'

Louisiana governor endorses Romney

Crossroads GPS to drop $1.7 million against Obama


Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Lets get ready to rumbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbble!

    Round 1

    OBAMA: 1
    ROMNEY: 0

    April 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Hank

    That's right Mitt keep on losing the women's vote.

    April 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Probably need to ask Rush and Rove...

    April 11, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The LL Fiar Play Act is another of those "repeal and replace" laws that they are campaigning against. It has reached the point that Republicans don't even care what is in the laws. They just want to get them off the books. It's almost as if they are trying to erase Pres. Obama from CFR. When are they going to tell us what they will replace these laws with?

    April 11, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Me IN HOUSTON

    "Women account for more than 92% of jobs lost under Barack Obama. Of course Mitt Romney supports pay equity for women. The real question is whether President Obama supports jobs for women," Henneberg said in a statement.

    NOOOOO, The real question is, Does Mitt Romney support equal pay for women or does he tow that Republican Party line that says NO! The GOP does NOT support equal pay for women AND they are AGAINST anything that President Obama is FOR.
    (that needs to be repeated)
    The Republicans are AGAINST ANYTHING that President Obama is FOR

    April 11, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. TY

    Team Romney looses all delegates in Mo.getting beat by Ron Paul who took all 152 delegates! lol

    April 11, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Marley

    How many jobs loss occurred because of Obama's policies? ZERO

    All jobs lost during the first few months of Obama's presidency were because of failed Bush/GOP policies.

    And 92% of those jobs lost were women. Get your facts straight Team Mormon.

    April 11, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Lizzie

    Let's divide this country even further, class-warfare, black-white. When the Huffington Post asks a question, better watch out.

    April 11, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. JnCnd

    Or Romney just doesn't jump into supporting a law without fulling reading it and weighing the ramifications.

    April 11, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind!

    Why should Mr 1% care about the Lilly Ledbetter act, woman are only chattel and incubators.

    April 11, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Concerned

    So Presidents shouldn't think...? Just because a goal is worthy doesn't mean any policy intended to achieve that goal is sound...That's the problem with this current administration – they don't think (except about scoring political points!). Romney is a proven thinker and problem solver – we should want a thoughtful President.

    April 11, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Mitt ain't it

    "Team Romney also sent a graph detailing female job losses since Obama took office, continuing the campaign's narrative over the last few days."

    Team Romney needs to grow the hell up, and fast. I've never seen a candidate so willing to mock the suffering of his fellow Americans with such political gusto. Mock away, Mittens. I seriously doubt you really care what is happening in middle class America, or ever did care.

    Obama 2012.

    April 11, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. GOP = Greed Over People

    Sounds as though the follow up question should have been "and what newspapers or periodicals does Mittens read"?

    April 11, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Other than the Taliban, how could anyone support personhood republican candidate Mittens?

    April 11, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. SUBS 4 VOTES

    "We'll get back to you on that,"
    ------------------–
    WHAT?!?!?! You're out there saying women are being hurt the most under this economy due to the President's policies. I said it before and I'll say it again: Willard is full of manure. The Lilly Ledbetter Act was the first thing signed into law under President Obama. Shake up the etch-a-sketch and find another position quickly other than "We'll get back to you on that."

    April 11, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Jariv

    OBAMA: -6 billion
    ROMNEY: 0

    Romney 2012!!!

    April 11, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Steve, New York City

    What was Romney's real response? Equal pay (and 10% tax rates) for everyone making more than $1 million a year – and 33% tax on most of the tax-paying folks below that line.

    Although I do not believe that Romney is stupid, Mr. Vulture Capital proves time and again that he really is the stereotypical boarding school kid – arrogant, pompous, more comfortable on the polo grounds, than in the bleachers of a baseball stadium – he struggles mightily to relate to anyone that does not come from a wealthy family.

    April 11, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. roscoe

    There are a lot of sister wives out there that do support Mitt. They share his view on the value of women in today's society.

    April 11, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Dave

    Bisop, Bishop, Bishop, you stone cold bigot, do woman deserve equal pay or not? Its a simple question

    April 11, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Dave

    WORD, Steve from the Big apple, Bishop Romney is all up in that stuck up I am better than you thing.

    April 11, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    The Changeling's campaign just proved that their "I know yo are but what am I" strategery to paint Obama as "waging a war on women" in order to deflect the damage the GOP/Teatrolls have done to themselves and their candidates with their attempts to attenuate women's reproductive freedoms and access to women's health services...proved it's all just their superficial, dinsingenuous, campaign strategery and that they don't even really believe the crap they're selling nor care enough about the issue to be informed.

    April 11, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Dave

    Yo Marley, Go on with your bad self, Team Tabby Nackle be losin big time with the Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Lolo

    LOL @ Concerned. You know that Mittens can't think fast on his feet. That is why they said we will get back to you. Mittens only agrees when he finds out which way the wind is blowing so that he can get the so called conservative votes. Your party needs to wake up. And speaking of political points, that is all the the GOP/Tpers are doing. Trying to score political points with nothing to back it up. This party is so full of hatred and ignorance that it is pitiful to watch them say or do anything.

    April 11, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "We'll get back to you on that,"

    Translation:

    "We really don't give a crap about the issue, are not actually informed, were just spewing talking opints we invented to deflect the accusations about the GOP's war on women, and we really need to go check the polling about it before we fashion a response that is so vague and wishy-washy and leaves out enough specifics that we can tailor what we're saying to both moderates and conservative extremists depending on the audience."

    April 11, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. RealityBites

    Considering all the problems facing America today... Only a bias reporter would ask such a STUPID question.

    April 11, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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