17 Oct

About Mitt Romney’s ‘binders full of women’? Guess what. It’s BS.

Mitt Romney sure knows how to woo the ladies, doesn’t he?

By Kaili Joy Gray

In Tuesday night’s debate—a full six months after his campaign evaded the simple question of whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—Romney still didn’t have an answer. Instead, he had this:

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?ROMNEY: Thank you. And 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?”

Pause right there. Mitt Romney is a highly educated man. He’s traveled the world. He’s run a business. But it’s only after he’s elected governor that he realizes, gosh, all these jobs are for men? He’d somehow managed to live for more than half a century without noticing the absence of women in the halls of power—not to mention the boardrooms?

Sure must be nice to be the rich white son of a governor. But let’s continue:

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.

Binders full of women. Yup. That was tonight’s pitch to the lady voters. He once looked at some binders with women in them.

Wow. Ooooh. Ahhhh. What a man. What a leader. What a feminist. What a guy chicks should totally vote for because binders.

Just one teeny, tiny little problem with Mitt’s “Vote for me ’cause binders!” pitch. As David S. Bernstein explains, it’s bullshit:

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 elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct — and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

Got that? Mitt Romney didn’t go out of his way to look for women. He didn’t ask for anyone’s help. He didn’t say, “My goodness, where are the women?”

The women came to him. They told him he needed to hire more women. And you know what he did, right?

None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration[.]

Mitt Romney doesn’t love women. He didn’t go out of his way to hire them. He didn’t give a good goddamn about filling his cabinet with women. And he still hasn’t told us whether he supports equal pay for equal work.

Mitt Romney is just like the rest of his fellow Republicans waging their War on Women. And it’s time to end the war.

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