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. Lynda/Minnesota

    As a widow, my grandmother worked outside the home to support her children. My mother worked outside the home to help support her children. I worked outside the home to help support my daughters. My daughters work outside the home to help support their children.

    I find it interesting that four generations of my family have always known and respected that women work outside the home, yet this is apparently a "new" concept to Mitt Romney. As a CEO, did Romney NEVER come into contact with women associates, or did he LOOK DOWN upon those women associates he did come into contact with? Until it became politically expedient for him to "accept" women working outside the home - thus asking "women's groups" to send him "binders full of women".

    October 17, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |

    Willard's view of women: THE HELP

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

    Eva Longoria calling Romney a racist twit. Hatred like this is extremely typical of the liberals.

    Democrats threatening Riots if Obama loses. Again Typical.

    GALLUP – R-51% / O-45%
    Knock yourselves out pathetic dems. Let's GO!!

    October 17, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. tr

    Mike B...you're on the wrong site.. ha Robme got polished, !!!

    October 17, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Jay in NC

    Obama is really grasping on this issue. Does Obama think that we are stupid? The truth is Gov. Romney was saying that the women's groups brought him a long list of qualified women's names. For the President of the US to misquote, to try and talk down to us, does not he realize that we all have access to the video and transcripts. Why lie, for what reason, his on political gain?

    And why do all his followers have to misquote, and lie about Gov. Romney's statement. If they will lie about this small imagine what they will do on the bigger issues.

    October 17, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Wake Up America

    Romney should have asked the President why Women working in the White House for his administration make 18% less than men do in similar positions.

    Other than that, this discussion of the "binder" comment is a ridiculous distraction of what the Obama campaign has become. It is good politics if your record was dismantled last night. How about the response to 23 million people out of work, 10's of millions no longer looking for work, almost double the cost of gas, increases in prices across the board for energy – a campaign promise the President kept ("Energy Prices will necessarily skyrocket") – food, and other goods people purchase.

    October 17, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Lionel

    This will go down as a classic gaffes. Romney has made so many, I am getting dizzy. This is in line with his flip-flops.

    I hope people do not vote this guy into office, we will be the laughing stock of the world.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    October 17, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. buzz1975

    Are you daft?. Romney is the one who brought up Big Bird and Binders of Women.....so sorry your guy is such a boob...but facts are facts!

    October 17, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Jesse Mermell, who ran MassGAP, the nonprofit women’s advocacy group that compiled résumés of potential female employees for Mr. Romney in Massachusetts, said he should not have needed the group’s research.

    “Why did Mitt Romney need binders full of résumés?” Ms. Mermell said. “Were there no women in his 25 years of experience that he had worked with who he thought might be qualified?”

    Ms. Mermell said that Mr. Romney appointed women to 42 percent of his cabinet posts in his first year in office, but that later appointments of women dropped to 25 percent."

    October 17, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. freedom

    His arrogance is beyond belief. And we see how well he treats the women in his administration. He sends Rice out to lie on 6 news shows about the Benghazi tragedy, and Hilary out to take the fall. And now Candy's almost near perfect record as an ubiased journalist is scarred. He really has no room to talk on this matter.

    October 17, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. al

    I don't know how we're supposed to trust romney's math when he says double $10 tril is $16 tril. The math doesn't work. actually my major fear is that romney has serious psychological problems. ganging up on kids to cut their hair, driving around pretending to be a cop (very creepy), and saying he enjoys having dictator like authority. He's just not a safe man to man the nuclear button.

    October 17, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Being organized and continent"

    Given the amount of pantwetting we have seen from the GOP/Teatrolls and Mittens' campaigns after the VP debate and last night's debate, you might want to think twice about mis-spelling "incompetent" so fantastically. You're just opening up the door for getting slammed....like Mittens did in his last chance to speak last night when he stupidly mentioned how much he loves 100% of the American people.

    October 17, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |

    ROMNEY / RYAN 2012

    That is if you care about America.

    October 17, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. John

    What do you expect from a man who didn't even know what a donut was?

    October 17, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. g

    in 2009 i thought america is done –its been slow but going in the right direction –I think republicans would have let it crash and burn–the new republican america would have been wages lower than china

    October 17, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. chili lugo

    Sure Michelle was there clapping and yelling for him as she was doing during the debate last night. Couple of class acts.

    October 17, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |


    The coverup continues....................

    October 17, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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.

    Oops. It now looks as if Romney didn't ask anyone for those binders after all. Apparently, prior to the election women's groups had already compiled lists of qualified women to "present" to the next elected Governor - whoever that Governor might be. Mitt Romney became the man to receive those ... well ... those binders.

    October 17, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Reason

    I was shocked when I heard the statement. Not for the Binders full or women comment – but that he said his administration couldn't find any qualified women and he had to go to outside groups. Doesn't he know more that 47% of the population is women.

    October 17, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. BlueBird

    We still want to know the real reasons for hiding his tax returns. Are there any illegal or shameful things in Romney's Tax Returns?

    October 17, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. marti

    One thing not being discussed is the gridlock in congress. The party of "no" has succeeded in blocking legislation of any kind. Why is no one discussing this.

    October 17, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. John

    Mitch Mcconnell "Do whatever it takes to stop Obama". That's why the economy didn't improve much. If I was Obama I would blast them with that line every time they mentioned the economy.

    October 17, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Pete

    Like I said that Pres.Obama is using Romneys own gaffs against him,its not only original but for Romney it shows he's pathedic in what he says.He's against coal because its a killer ,than endorses it,he's pro life ,now he's not or after standing by defending his 47% comment he comes out apologizing just what is he pro or con...Do you want a wealthy elitist that changes his mind as fast as changing his pants or lies to cover both,it'll be a cold day in hell if that jerk gets anywhere close to the WH,its already occupied by a president by the people for the people thank God!!!

    October 17, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. 2012liberal

    For the record. Romney didnt go looking 4 the binders. The binders were there waiting 4 him. So if ROMNEY lies about the little things what else will he lie about b cuz he already has quite a few stacked up against him?!

    October 17, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. hilroy

    Turn the street wise Perz loose and forget about being presidential. Thys should have set him loose in the first debate. Fire his debate advisers and find out if one passed some secrets to the romney canpaign in the first debate. Mr . Prez don ot trust these guys. If there was an actual fight in that ring last night the Prez would have knocked him on his ass for dissing him and telling hiim to be quiet. SOME of these white guys(the majority of them) still think they are talking to the boy.

    October 17, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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