The biggest winner during Tuesday night’s town hall presidential debate may have been “binders full of women.”
In response to a question about what the candidates would do to address gender inequality in the workplace, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that when he was governor and looking to fill his cabinet, women’s groups brought him “whole binders full of women.”
Twitter users immediately latched onto the comment, with “binders” and “binders full of women” being mentioned at one point in the evening more than 40,000 times in one minute, according to data from Topsy, a social web analytics tool.
And a Twitter account, @RomneyBinders, had more than 30,000 followers as of Tuesday evening.
ABC News provides a more complete excerpt of Romney’s answer:
CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equality for women?ROMNEY: Thank you. And [sic] important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.
And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men.” They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”
ROMNEY: And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.
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.
But Romney’s story is misleading, as HuffPost’s Laura Bassett reports:
In fact, Romney did not direct women’s groups to bring him female candidates, Boston Phoenix reporter David Bernstein points out. A non-partisan collaboration of women’s groups called Massachusetts Government Appointments Project (MassGAP) was responsible for the effort in 2002, when the group’s leaders realized that women held only 30 percent of the top appointed positions in the state.
MassGAP had independently prepared the binder before they knew who would win the governorship. Furthermore, according to a later MassGAP study, Romney’s touting of his of 42 percent female-appointment rate during his first two and a half years as governor ignores the fact that the number of women in high-level appointed positions actually declined to 27.6 percent during his full tenure.
WATCH: Mitt Romney Talks About “Binders Full Of Women”:
Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post