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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– Largely hidden away, Obama reports debate prep 'going great'


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

    Mittins is a real piece of work.

    October 17, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Romney is full of lies and he is rises he int gonna help people he is only for the the rich and is very disrespectfully to the president.

    October 17, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Do you think all those chines woman working in Bains overseas plants ever were told , you have special needs as a woman , go home early , make dinner for your children and your husband.

    Romney is an elitist with Daddy issues .

    GOP{ , next time run Bloomberg , I'd vote for him !

    October 17, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. Saundra

    The whole world iin turmoil; women suffering due to economic nightmares. All this silly drivel just makes women look stupid. Get serious!!!

    October 17, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. Romney Hood's a FRAUD

    Yes or no, Willard. Do you support equal pay for equal work, for women???

    October 17, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Rick from L.A.

    Hey Mit that binder, did it say property of Gene Simmons?

    October 17, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. News about Nothing

    I wish Obama would have solictied binders of "Good" ideas to get folks back to work!!

    October 17, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. CommonSense

    Any woman who was offended by the innocuous comment about a binder needs to turn in her V Jayjay.

    October 17, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. bioya1

    The only uproar regarding this topic exists between the ears of liberals. Since they won't vote for Romney – who cares?
    What is the difference between a Democrat politician and Dracula? Dracula only sucks blood at night.

    October 17, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  10. fire0bama

    Romney/Ryan 2012!

    October 17, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. TheVoice2

    Women in America are bread winners not resumes in a binder. The real Mitt Phony once again.

    October 17, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. Dee

    What all women WANT, Bishop Romney (he really IS a Bishop in his church), is to have complete control over their own bodies without you , Paul Ryan or ANY man telling them what they can and cannot do with it. We want to preserve Roe vs Wade and we want you to understand that RAPE is forced even if it doesn't leave bruises and we want you to apologize to all single mom's, who aren't 'married' out there who you said were the reason that America has gun violence. (and please note that Dylan Klebold at Columbine, Jared Loughner in Tuscon, or James Homes in Aurora were ALL raised in two-parent homes.) Do all that, and THEN we can try to think of you as sincere, honest and at least a wee bit intelligent.

    October 17, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Mike

    Romney is a walking disaster. He goes to the UK in advance of the olympics and all of the UK papers give him titles such as 'Blunderer in Chief". When asked about how he would deal with women's rights, he claims that he has binders full of women, and would make sure they're home by 5pm to cook dinner. Wow.

    Obama 2012 all the way.

    October 17, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  14. kdub2000

    But how much did all of those women he hired make? did they make the same amount as male counterparts?

    October 17, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. Wayne

    He did not go to the womens group, they came to him.

    "To be perfectly clear, Mitt Romney did not request those resumes," Jesse Mermell, a former executive director of Massachusetts Government Appointments Project, told reporters...

    October 17, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. thoughtsm27

    OMG Romney said binders instead of folders.

    This totally changes everything that has happened in the last 4 years.

    Obama how could I have ever doubted you...

    October 17, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. rs

    Mr. Romney (and in fact the larger GOP) still fail to aknowledge the economy took a dump ON THEIR WATCH, and have refused to accept any of the blame for it. Yes, 4 years have passed- but in their minds nothing has improved. How delusional is it to ignore 5 million new jobs; a stock market up 100%; record corporate profits; a resurgence in housing sales and home starts? The economy is clearly getting better- completely WITHOUT their help.

    The "Binders" issue is mostly humorous inasmuch as it reminds us of the heady days of GW Bush ("help you put food on your family.."), but more importantly, the "Binders" issue is yet one more lie Mr. Romney has put forth- the story apparently goes nothing like he told, AND he still dodged the question as to whether he would support equal pay legislation (the foundation of the debate question). Meanwhile his VP actually voted against such a law. So, the GOP is out to lunch again, 100 years behind the times. THAT is what's important about Mr. Romney, "Binders" and the GOP.

    October 17, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. Judi Goodwin

    Romney doesn't have a clue. He was a horrible governor of Massachusetts and won't even carry his home state because they despise him.

    October 17, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. BCaseyC

    Interesting... I just have to wonder, what exactly const*tutes a "Frenzy"? Seems like it all depends on its alignment with the CNN agenda. I can see it now.. the reporters and editors are sitting around a table... "Hey! let's start a frenzy on something about Mr. Romney... watcha think? That would be fun huh? huh?

    October 17, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Shaen Mayer

    Frenzy, and "a day dominated by"? Seriously? This article is the first i heard about this "Frenzy", and i literally watch the news all day. I understand your need to try to pump up Obama, but totally sensationalizing an irrelevant story is a bit much.

    October 17, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. Don

    if

    If Obama is reelected, the children of pro choice women will be the true winners.

    October 17, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. Sam

    So I guess he'll find his women's votes in those binders as well?

    October 17, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. Lingam

    Apparently there are a whole lot of people that don't know what a binder is for.

    October 17, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. incredulous

    "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 article doesn't mention that this is a lie. He didn't go to the women's groups, they complied resumes and came to him.

    Why do people keep supporting this liar?

    October 17, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    The twit has his women followers as we all know but last night he made motherhood seem like a burden if a woman has a job and has kids.
    NO, you don't understand women if you consider that non working rich country club wife of yours a typical mother/wife which she is not.
    You want to get rid of the Department of Education and as far as jobs I have one word for you SENSATA!!! The plant that bain is closing to you can send 200 American jobs to China. You were lying last night and you stood there as the biggest hypocrite every known to man. Do you understand what a lie means?

    October 17, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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