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McKinstry: Will Mitt Romney's 'binders full of women' persuade voters?

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney answers a question

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney answers a question during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. (Oct. 16, 2012) Credit: AP

When it comes to issues of fair pay for women, Gov. Mitt Romney says his administration in Massachusetts launched a big effort to find women for his cabinet, emphasizing that groups “brought us whole binders full of women.”

That was the first blow-up of the evening and you have to wonder whether the clumsy phrasing can help him with those independent women voters he needs so much to win.

Within minutes there were #bindersfullofwomen tweets, a Facebook page and the term was tumbling on Tumblr.

The sentiment, in summary, was that the description could also be applied to someone looking for a mail-order bride.


In fact, Romney added that the State University of New York at Albany concluded his administration had more women in leadership roles than any other in America – and some of those women were working mothers. Then he shifted back to the economy and blasted President Obama’s policies for increasing the poverty rate for women.

“I’m going to help women in America get good work by getting a stronger economy and by supporting women in the workforce,” Romney said. But he never answered the question of how to address the daunting wage equity question. 

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