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. Name w.bullock

    Obama are trying keep more blame on mitten but I ask people that why afrcian amercian are keep bullying what happened about fraud check scam

    October 17, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Critical Thinking

    Mr. President it's not hard to find talented women to fill jobs, but you seem to have trouble making jobs for these women to fill. They did their part, so lets see if you can do your part. Probably not, but then again you can always blame someone else.

    October 17, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. ed horton

    I like the fact that there was a check of what was said on the record by Candy Crowley. The debates would be much more informative if there were fact checks during the debate. Otherwise it turns to distortions with little meaning.

    October 17, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Paul " Look at ME!!! I'm working in a soup kitchen!!" Ryan

    I've got binders full of women too!

    October 17, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Core republican Values

    Excellent. It was a comment showing how far out of touch Romney really is, particularly with women and poor people, but particularly poor women.

    October 17, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Howard

    Obama always has to direct everybody's attention towards meaningless trivia ... in his ongoing desperate attempt to take attention away from his failed policies, of the past 4 years.

    October 17, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Name. S Farooqi

    Like they said; "Mitt the Twit " !!!!

    October 17, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "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.

    No he didn't. MassGAP came at him. He didn't go to them. STOP CARRYING MITTENS' WATER CNN.

    October 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. joe

    of course the president won. Romney showed his true colors interupting and getting snarky and boy can he lie. Total disconect from audience and no respect for the president. This was not a board room and romney was not in charge. Forward. Obama understands woman and will fight for their rights, What romney said was affermative action and he is against that. So just what was he talking about with his binders comment. Does he not know any qualified women and was the question that hard to answer?

    October 17, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Ancient Texan

    Romney understands and talks about the condition of the Nation. Obama spends his time babbling about "Big Bird" and "binders'.

    October 17, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. rrd

    Yup keep bashing Romney. Anything you can do to avoid talking about about your agenda and plans if you're re-elected.

    October 17, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. -s

    Um, that's a really BAD photoshop of the president's head on a different picture.

    October 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Larry Williams

    Really CNN? I watched this debate and this was a comment said in passing that you're attempting to elevate into a scandal. Candy Crowley....Soledad O'Brien.... Were journalistic ethics what they were in the 1980s, you would be ashamed by your lack of objectivity. Sadly, CNN has joined the chorus of cheerleaders for a political candidate. And, for the record, I also recognize that FOX News also has a clear bias. But at least they're honest about it.

    October 17, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. California Gary

    I would say that Romney provided enough information and sound bites last night to fill several binders for Obama to carry with him at his events. It's hard to know where to start first......."guns don't kill people, single parents do"......"I once hired a bunch of women from a binder"........."Women have to leave work early to get home and cook dinner"......"illegal immigrants will self deport"........"I'll give you a bucket of deductions you can take on your taxes"........"of course it all adds up"........

    October 17, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    Binderful of women....we were all laughing.

    October 17, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |

    God bless the POTUS! He'll fight to keep women's rights! Romney will squash women and put them "in their place" like all good mormon cult husbands do to their wives! Wake up people!

    October 17, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. MikeB

    Being organized and continent is what one says and does is foreign to Obama.
    No wonder he still uses juvenile derision to disparage others.

    October 17, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    Google Boston Phoenix and read what REALLY happened regarding Mittens and women in his cabinet. Once again, Mittens lied (shock!). From the Boston Phoenix article today:

    "What actually happened was that in 2002 - prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration - a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

    "They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 17, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well good Mr. Prez. But have you looked at your pension lately? I see you too have Investments in China. Now please, don't try to figure out what binders full of women means. That's a code word for success.

    October 17, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. V

    Barack Obama – a President we won't have to apologize for!!

    October 17, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. 'Town Hall........Debate...

    The No-Plan...in chief goes back to stand-up comedy and his famous trademark..."Deliberate Ridicule Sarcasm"....Obama you did it to Hillary in the Primaries in 2008–plus hit Hillary below the belt with your Line in the Debate.."Hillary works for me"....so m uch for respect for Women....Obama...Making fun of Romney Binder-remark...?Women are not for what you take them for Obama....namely stupid....Women are now all the way to the White House for...."ROMNEY"

    October 17, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Jas

    "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" please say this again and again Mr. President.
    OBAMA 2012!

    October 17, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |

    His Majesty Mitt lives in the Dark Ages!

    October 17, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. bobby frank

    Binders full of women and Robme full of bull! He is just a mess in everything he say's. I personally believe that women will vote for you whether they are Democrat or Republican. Once they are in the voting booth alone.... then they can vote their true feelings that you are the candidate that has their best interest at hand.

    October 17, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Anderson

    CNN u change ur position He was a solid victory for Obama tax economies and woman pay equal to

    October 17, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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