Romney reacts to frenzy over 'binders' comment
October 17th, 2012
06:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney reacts to frenzy over 'binders' comment

(CNN) – After a day dominated by Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment from the second presidential debate, the GOP presidential nominee defended himself against the tsunami of social media swipes and blatant jabs at Romney's expense.

"I understand the challenges women face and want to make it easier for them in the workplace," Romney wrote on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

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In his tweet, he also pointed to a video featuring women he worked with in the Massachusetts state government during his time as governor. One woman described him as "very, very sensitive" to women's issues in the workforce.

Ellen Roy Herzfelder, identified as a former Romney cabinet member, said "he totally gets working women, especially women, like myself, who had two young kids."

Also Wednesday, Kerry Healey, who served as Romney's lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, highlighted his background in hiring women. In an email to supporters, Healey said of the top 20 positions in the Romney administration, 10 were filled by women, including his chief of staff.

"Governor Romney wasn't just checking a box. He sought out our counsel, and he listened to our advice. We didn't always agree, but we were always respected," Healey wrote in the email.

Responding to a question about pay equality in Tuesday night's debate, Romney told a story about putting together his cabinet as governor. He said at the time he questioned his staff for recommending only male applicants.

"I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women," Romney said on the debate stage in Hempstead, New York.

The 'binders full of women' phrase quickly went viral, sparking internet memes as well as attack lines on the campaign trail. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden mocked Romney for the line at separate events.

At his own campaign event in Virginia, however, Romney sought to argue that he's best equipped to help women get back to work.

"This president has failed America's women," Romney told the audience. "As I go across the country and ask women what can I do to help, what they speak about day in and day out is help me find a good job, or a good job for my spouse. And help my kid, make sure my children have a bright future, better schools and better job opportunities."

"That's what the women of America are concerned about and the answers are coming from us and not from Barack Obama," Romney said.

– CNN’s Rachel Streitfeld and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. myviewis

    I keep saying it that Obama never connects us women to Jobs or owning a business, Obama keeps connecting us to a paid abortion and paid birth control.

    Obama has made it a point to connect us women to our reproductive system, he keeps showing that he is not worried if we can pay our bills, take care of ourselves. I have yet to Obama talk about a woman's capability to become a doctor, dentist, architect, engineer, technician. Obama does not encourage women to have a career.

    October 17, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. riffsha

    Stop playing politic with women and their issues

    October 17, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. ex-republican

    OBAMA 2012!!!

    Women for OBAMA!!!

    October 17, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Mr. Binder–you are silly and stupid. I don't think it worth to put 300 million democracy in Mr. China place. We can not take that stupid risk. You may abscond taking money just like Ferdinand Marco.

    October 17, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. becky

    Oh dear. Another attempt to clarify his statements. Mr. Rpmney cannot admit that he made a mistake. It would be nice to hear him say I used a poor choice of words and I do apologize. That will not happen because his ego will not let that happen. As a businessman who managed buy-outs and mergers he was the most important person in the room. He spoke and people listened. I am sure no one interrupted him or critiqued him. It was difficult for him when he was governor and it is difficult now. His statements about Jane Swift gave us a preview. HE was oh so nice as he moved her right out of the Republican primary for governor.

    October 17, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Kathy

    Sorry Mitt, but you LIED AGAIN!!! You did not go after those binders, they were forced on your administration. And you did not even meet with the people who supplied all the resumes of women. Guess you were too busy running for president. Just like Sarah Palin, you only were governor for 2 years and then you started campaigning for president. YOU LIE!!!!

    October 17, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. HUSSEIN OBAMA = HISTORY

    Obama should explain why the White House pays women less than their Male counterparts.

    Obama and CandyAss shouldn't of blatantly lied about Benghazi that way. It clearly shows the country how bias these two (Obama & CandyAss) really are.

    October 17, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney put his foot in the mouth, He owns it.

    October 17, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Valar Morghulis

    The horse has left the barn. No amount of spin is going to prevent this comment from effecting women's votes.

    Vulture/Voucher 2012 going down, down, down.

    October 17, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. KingArthur

    This is tipical foot-in-mouth comment when Mittens tries to be something he is not and gets called out for it. President Obama challenged most of his lies and Mittens failed to answer in any way, shape or form convincingly.

    October 17, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Namejulua

    When Romney said women should get married before they have children did he also not understand done single moms had been married and women don't want to be single moms

    October 17, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    The 'binders full of women' phrase quickly went viral, sparking internet memes as well as attack lines on the campaign trail. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden mocked Romney for the line at separate events.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Here is a scary thought. Obama and Biden are the clowns in charge for the next 3 months. Here was a debate just yesterday dealing with real American issues and Obama and Biden spend their time talking about "binders of women". No wonder the real issues for America seem to have been ignored for the last 4 years.

    October 17, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. sandy cresswell

    It blows my mind what people will choose to pick apart about Romney! Anyone who has ever had a real job knows that the applicants' resumes are put in binders for review by the hiring personnel. So he left out the word "resume' " – come on people – vote for a Mormon, not a Moron!

    October 17, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. reginaldb6

    Answer the question Romney Do you believe in Equal Pay or not?

    October 17, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Robert

    "In April this year, Diane Sawyer asked Mitt Romney, "If you were president - you had been president - would you have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law?"

    He refused to answer the question.

    October 17, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. bill bennett

    Keep in mind....Calucci, the republican Governor prior to Romney....his Lt. Gov. was Jane Swift. Yet, Romney came in and convinced the MA Republican party NOT to support her...but nominate him. Guess he figured he would be better than a woman in the MA Governor's office! By the way Jane Swift is well liked and known for being the first "acting" governor with twins on the way. Gosh, Mitt really likes to NOT do what he says.

    October 17, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Slightly Left of Center

    "I understand the challenges women face and want to make it easier for them in the workplace," Romney wrote on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

    He just DOES.NOT.GET.IT. Women don't want someone to 'make it easy'! Women want FAIRNESS.

    October 17, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Craig RB

    Romney's such a phony and I'm sure many more Americans came to that realization last night.

    October 17, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. KeepinItReal

    Why does Mitt keep having these oops moments. First it's the 47% now binders full of women. Could it be he's speaking they way he really feels. He really doesn't care about the women and the less fortunate. He cares about his rich friends and how they can maintain a state of social inequality by the rich controlling the country. It's about resources, folks. Was he really a pastor, then he should have more knowledge about greed and brothers keeper.

    October 17, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. T'sah from Virginia

    ►In his tweet, he also pointed to a video featuring women he worked with in the Massachusetts state government during his time as governor. One woman described him as "very, very sensitive" to women's issues in the workforce. ◄

    Okay, that's all GOOD – but how much were they PAID????????????????????????????? Romney does not believe in EQUAL PAY!!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    October 17, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. William Bennett

    Swift was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1998. She became acting governor in 2001, when incumbent Governor Paul Cellucci resigned when then President George W. Bush appointed him the United States Ambassador to Canada on April 10, 2001.

    Swift was the first sitting governor in United States history to give birth when her twin daughters were born one month into her term of office.

    October 17, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Mitt Romney is a RINO. Clearly he is a moderate, centrist. Too bad he doesn't have the gumption to run as one. I kind of like him but he vacillates too much.

    October 17, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. ???

    Dear Mister Romney,
    I work I an office with 8 men. I am the only one in our office with a four year degree including my boss. I have been working for this company for 7 years. Not only have I not received a raise in 2 years everyone except a temp employ makes more than I do. My boss repeatedly tells me I'm a valued employee and he will rectify the situation (it been 2 years now). The last women who worked here "rocked the boat" and no longer works here. I have a family. How are your "binders full of women" going to help me?

    October 17, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. Scott

    Only liberals would have a problem with binders full of qualified employed women.

    3 million more women in poverty....

    October 17, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  25. Getoverit

    Good God! If you can't figure out what he was saying, you are incredibly obtuse... or is it all about the spin?

    October 17, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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