October 17th, 2012
02:36 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama picks up on Romney 'binder' line

(CNN) – At a rally in Iowa Wednesday, President Barack Obama picked up on Republican nominee Mitt Romney's awkward "binders full of women" line from Tuesday night's second presidential debate.

Asked by an undecided voter and audience member about gender pay inequality during the debate, Romney said that as he was assembling his cabinet after being elected governor in Massachusetts, he questioned his staff for sending him only male applicants.

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"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.

Obama made a passing reference Wednesday to the remark still buzzing with memes and snarky comments in the Twitterverse after last night's match-up.

"We don't have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women ready to learn and teach in these fields right now," Obama said to supporters in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

He continued: "When young women graduate, they should get equal pay for equal work. That should be a simple question to answer."

He repeated a similar line later Wednesday at a campaign event in Ohio.

In Iowa, Obama talked about Tuesday night's showdown, telling the crowd in Iowa, "I'm still trying to figure out how to get the hang of this thing." Debating, that is.

"We're working on it," he said. "We'll keep on improving as time goes on. I've got one left."

A CNN/ORC International poll indicated that 46% of respondents who watched the debate thought Obama won, compared to 39% for Romney. The result was within the survey's margin of error, and responses to other questions showed the overall impression was generally positive for both candidates.

After the first debate on October 3 in Denver, a similar CNN/ORC International poll showed Romney scored a solid victory in the eyes of more than 60% of respondents.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debate
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. corgimom74

    souptwins-Actually, Romney didn't go looking for women to hire. Those women's groups went to him when they saw that he was not hiring women. He didn't ask for any binders, help in hiring women or anything like that.

    October 17, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Jim McDonald

    Has the government education system so dumbed down the public thaty they don't know what (book) binders are?

    October 17, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Justin

    Unfortunately Romney's response was to the question as to how he can ensure equal pay to women. To answer that question he suggested he went hunting for women who can fill positions. Is that an answer? Of course, he might have went his way searching for them, but it was a wrong answer to the question. Actually he did not give a straight answer to most of the questions last night.

    October 17, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. SusieKJ

    I hope some of you realize that everything Romney said in his answer is a total fabrication. MassGAP had compiled that list PRIOR to the gubernatorial election for whoever won the position. The fact is that the number of women that were working in higher roles actually decreased during Romney's tenure. And his own campaign folks came out today and said Romney would not have supported the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act if he'd been president. If you want to support Romney, so be it, but at least have correct facts.

    October 17, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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