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. Borderless

    Furthering his method of "making a big election about small things". Ever the low road, eh Hollywood?

    October 17, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. souptwins

    I don't understand the criticism of Romney's comment. He noticed there weren't enough women who submitted applications so he specifically sought them. How is that insulting? It seems to me he went out of his way to make sure women were represented in his Gov. administration. Good on him.

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

    We now have a president that obviously can't even get a budget passed.

    Pathetic makes this president sound good.

    October 17, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. hal

    I don't get the "gotcha" part of this comment. What is so insulting about this comment? I am a woman and I am not insulted by this comment.....oh well.

    October 17, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Pam D

    Romney did noting to bring in women hit wasn't him that came up with the ideal

    October 17, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |

    Maybe instead of CNN trying to make something out of nothing they could report on actual facts like the White House paying women less than their male counterparts.

    October 17, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Romney > obama

    Another example of the press and obama trying to find anything to criticize Romney about. Romney hired more women for his cabinet than the president AND had equal pay.

    October 17, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. John

    "If its Romney/Ryan, you know they're lyin". This should be the Democrats new approach to dealing with Mitt and his many lies.

    October 17, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Ol' Lefty

    Willard looked like the stiff, robotic flip flopper he is. God help us if he gets elected.

    October 17, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    The only group that Romney has not insulted, white male in the 1%.

    October 17, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. George

    Obama is the man after last debate.

    October 17, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Guest

    The real tragedy is that Pres and VP think they are audtioning for a reality show or something! The future of this nation is not a smirking, joking matter that can be laughed off on a talk show with your Hollywood elite. Perhaps you're not familiar with the fradulent waste of tax payer monies your policies have fostered over the last four years which have resulted in masive national debt??? Unemployment? Handouts? Etc, etc, etc, is there really more that needs to be said by these two? Use your brain, vote Romney/Ryan 2012!

    October 17, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. jyves95

    Funny.. The women from MassGAP who brought those binders claimed that Liar Liar lied again. Only stupid people can think that Romney still tell the truth.

    October 17, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. EyeHeartNOLA

    'Still trying to get the hang of this' WHAT?! He's been campaigning since he graduated college. No matter what, win or lose, he only has one debate left for the rest of his life. You would think that the President would have 'gotten the hang' of it during the last election. I guess this shows he's a slow learner...
    Of course, those who will vote for him are slow learners, too. They expect the same slack-jawed yokel president & vp to do something different this time.

    October 17, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Wondering Wanda

    He is against Affirmative Action–wasn't that Affirmative Action to help women?– Were males not selected because they were not women? Flip-flopper?

    October 17, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Wondering Wanda

    Copied from a writer answering the question of why Republicans Hate Obama so Much?
    I am sorry, the author’s id did not transfer with this information. I am impressed with this list.
    Could it be that they hate him because he has been able to do what they failed to do:
    1. Affordable Care Act
    2. $789B economic stimulus package
    3. U.S. auto industry bail out (GM and Chrysler)
    4. Cash for clunkers
    5. Incentives for buyers of hybrid automobiles
    6. Housing rescue plan and incentives for first time home buyers
    7. Credits for purchasers of energy efficient appliances
    8. Equal pay for women
    9. $716B MEDICARE savings over next 10 years to keep program solvent
    10. Lower drug costs for seniors and elimination of donut hole
    11. Ended policy forbidding Medicare from negotiating for cheaper drugs.
    12. Limited lobbyist’s access to the White House
    13. Ended the war in Iraq
    14. Closed secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and ended renditions
    15. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell and biomedical research
    16. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
    17. Funded high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
    18. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
    19. Expanded Pell grant program and implemented easier loan repayment policy
    20. Phased out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems
    21. The Guantanamo prison camp is being phased out
    22. Torture banned. U.S. now in compliance with the Geneva Convention
    23. Better body armor provided to our troops
    24. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear inspection talks
    25. Increased pay and benefits for military personnel
    26. Improved housing for military personnel and veterans benefits
    27. Proposed a Veterans Jobs Act (filibustered by the GOP 3 weeks ago)
    28. Ended no-bid defense contract policy
    29. Closed offshore tax havens (sorry Mitt)
    30. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to allow US government access to records of tax evaders and criminals
    31. Ended tax benefits to corporations that outsource American jobs
    32. Championed credit card consumer protection legislation
    33. Expanded loans and tax credits to small businesses
    34. Appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court
    35. Limited salaries of senior White House aides to $100,000
    36. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
    Ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and authorized drone strikes against Al Qaeda targets in Pakistan,

    October 17, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. ttt

    Dont forget Mitt doesn't have any female children so he doesn't care.

    October 17, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    Did all of you Obama haters really think George W. was a fine fellow & a competent Prez ?

    October 17, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Borderless

    It's so funny how invested everyone is with the policies and agendas of both candidates. It's actually not even worth considering in this election. Neither candidate will have the votes necessary to carry through any legislation intact. Whatever they could get through would be at best a watered down version. That's a fact. Failing actual leadership in the Executive Branch, our hopes actually rest on that batch of five-year-olds we call Congress. The problem with Obama is he simply has no strength and no leadership. He got most of his work done when the Democrats had a super majority and even then he struggled. He has shown absolutely no willingness to compromise or work across the aisle. He and his administration have divided the country and set Americans against each other through hate speech and class warfare. A future with another four years of Obama is more divisiveness, more hate, and absolutely no meaningful action to address the greatest ails in our country. A future with Obama, therefore, is a dive off the Fiscal Cliff, double digit unemployment, a further downgrade of US credit rating, and more debt. Four years from now, a candidate will be looking to inherit the ruins left behind by Obama and a completely dysfunctional Congress.

    October 17, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Wondering Wanda

    WAKE UP AMERICA-your comment keeps this idea moving along and gathering speed!!

    October 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. OggieBoogie

    Obama can't run on his record, so he continually runs on intentionally misinterpretations of statements. This is getting silly even for the celebrity fame-monger of a president.

    October 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    The easy access to guns due to lack of gun sales regulations in some states, such as Arizona is not the issue failing us with gun violence. No..Oh ..No it is single parent households. I am sorry but Mitt but lives in a state of delusion. People get married and still end up as single parents, Divorce, Death, Imprisonment, just plain life can interfer with a person's plans of a little white house with a picket fence with 2 children and a dog. Life is not perfect and not all absent parents are what you think they are ( minoirty women living in the ghetto), No Mitt the "baby mothers" of america are not the reason for the violence, it is the accessablity of weapons. Most guns that end up in the streets are usually bought legally then stolen or claimed as stolen. In the previously mentioned state one can buy an unlimitless amount of guns. Now I am a Obama supporter but did not find he answered complete, but atleast he did not insult hard working people whom are already struggling due to raising a child on their own.

    One of the causes of gun violence is poverty....So your plans on cutting assistance for people who are already struggling is going to be the reason for gun violence.

    October 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Dave

    According to a report published by the Free Beacon in April, the 2011 annual report on White House staff revealed that the median annual salary for female White House employees was 18 percent less than male employees — $60,000 compared to $71,000.

    And in 2008, Scripps Howard syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock noted that as in Obama’s U.S. Senate office, women were paid less than men: While the average male staffer brought home $54,397, female staffers averaged $45,152.

    October 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. independent

    Apparently, he didn't know any women and neither did his staff (of men). They had to outsource (something he's good at) the sourcing of women. I am surprised he didn't just ask his wife. Earlier in the campaign he indicated that he gets his 'women' information from her.

    October 17, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. NameDoug

    Good going MR.PRESIDENT, mitt showed his true colors-flip -flop mitt, can you imagine him suggesting people armed with guns are from single mother families, SHAME

    October 17, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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