VIDEO – Mitt Romney’s tale of how he made a concerted effort to hire women into his cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts is not true. MassGAP, a non-partisan group from the state that seeks to promote more women in the state’s government, actually produced the binders of women candidates (“binders full of women”) before Romney was elected.
When President Obama and Mitt Romney were asked during the 2nd debate how they would address the pay gap between men and women, they had very different answers. President Obama immediately pointed to the fact that the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbedder Fair Pay Act of 2009, which expanded the rights of women to sue their employer for discriminatory pay based on gender.
Mitt Romney has never supported the Lilly Ledbedder law. His answer to the question of equal pay for equal work? He claimed that as governor of Massachusetts, he approached women’s groups and asked them to provide female candidates who would be qualified to be hired into his cabinet. The way he referred to the process, now a famous line (that spread like wildfire on the internet) was that they gave him whole “binders full of women”:
“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet,” Romney said. “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.”
As an answer to how he would address equal pay for women, it was particularly weak. He thinks that because he hired some women for his cabinet, he has shown sufficient evidence that he is for women’s pay equality? It also highlights the fact that he didn’t know many women on his own from his experiences in business and had to ask others to put together “binders full of women”.
But the sad fact is that even Romney’s “binders full of women” story is untrue. The truth is that an organization in Massachusetts promoting women in the state’s government, MassGAP, produced the “binders full of women” candidates before Romney’s election to office. The binders of women candidates were to be presented to whomever won the race that year, Republican or Democrat. Mitt Romney did not initiate the search for women candidates. It was forced on him by the influence of MassGAP.
In fact, by the end of Romney’s only term in office, women appointed to senior-level positions in the state actually went down. According to MassGAP:
“Prior to the 2002 election, women comprised approximately 30 percent of appointed senior-level positions in Massachusetts government. By 2004, 42 percent of the new appointments made by the Romney administration were women,” MassGAP said in the Wednesday statement. “Subsequently, however, from 2004-2006 the percentage of newly-appointed women in these senior appointed positions dropped to 25 percent.”
This is just another example of Mitt Romney’s willingness to say anything, even outright lies, to deceive the public about his record and his stance on important positions. Romney has changed his positions on just about everything. His campaign even admitted that he would say conservative things during the primary and moderate things during the general campaign. The only thing about Romney that can be counted on is that he is running for president to do the bidding of his billionaire funders.