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Romney’s ‘Binders full of women’ – Obama Crushes Romney in Debate #2

Romney’s ‘Binders full of women’ – Obama Crushes Romney in Debate #2

Romney on searching for female cabinet members: They brought us ‘binders full of women’

As Mitt Romney explained, “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.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s comment went viral on social media during Tuesday night’s presidential debate.

The spontaneity-smothering memorandum of agreement negotiated by the two campaigns and the Commission on Presidential Debates, the scientific selection of the undecided voters chosen to ask the questions, the to-the-second timing, and the carefully crafted debate rules helped make sure there was very little unexpected.

One comment that felt unscripted came when Gov. Mitt Romney asked President Barack Obama whether he had looked at his pension lately. “It’s not as big as yours,” Obama said. Despite the strict rules about audience reaction, that drew a lot of laughs.

Another comment that seemed to come out of nowhere arose during Romney’s response to a question thrown to Obama that seemed like a batting practice fastball: What about fairness for women in the workplace? Obama was able to answer that the first act he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, and that, when Romney’s staff was asked about Romney’s position on it, they answered that they’d have to “get back” to the questioner on it.

In response, Romney harkened back to his time as Massachusetts governor, when a group of job applicants turned out to be all men. Romney asked why they couldn’t get more women applying, and his answer included the quirky phrase “binders full of women,” which quickly started reverberating around the blogosphere.

It wasn’t clear whether the candidates expected the how-are-you-different-from-George-Bush question addressed to Romney. But, not surprisingly, Romney drew distinctions between himself and the president that Republicans prefer to keep in the attic for now. Then Obama, who ran against Bush as well as John McCain in 2008, was happy to point out other ways in which Bush was different from Romney: Bush didn’t want to make Medicare into a voucher program, for example, or defund Planned Parenthood, and George Bush favored comprehensive immigration reform.

Full Transcript of the debate is here

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