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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

October 17, 2012 - 1:42 pm

Republicans pressed hard against the focus on Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” cabinet possibilities in his Massachusetts gubernatorial days with the message that President Obama is offering an “empty binder.”

“Obama has a weakness when it comes to the question, will the next four years really be any different? And that weakness is, it’s an empty binder. They won’t be different,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters on a conference call today.

“You compare Governor Romney’s record on — on hiring and promoting women in the workplace. It’s second to none, number one. You compare his record against Barack Obama. There’s no comparison,” Priebus said.

“Listen, Barack Obama’s got a book written about a hostile work environment. And I would like to see what the comparison is between women’s salaries at the — at the White House, and men’s. I mean the fact is, he’s got no ground to stand on. It’s all a bunch of small ball because he can’t win on the big issues.”

“It’s the president that does have the empty binder, because there’s no legislation planned for the second term other than more spending and how are we going to afford that given our $16 trillion in debt,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

“But one of the things about this whole focus of the Democrats on the binder issue is because they don’t want to talk about the issues that really matter to all voters. All issues are women’s issues, and it’s very diminishing that they only want to focus on a limited number of issues, as opposed to how about — how are we going to make sure that we get people back to work,” she said.

The Romney campaign also sent out numerous emails on Obama’s “empty binder” when it comes to women in the workplace.

The Democrats put Lilly Ledbetter, the woman behind the Fair Pay Act that Obama signed as his first bill, and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on a conference call today.

“I worked tirelessly at a tire factory for 17 years. And I never asked for flexibility or any special treatment because I was a woman. Mitt Romney’s solution last night on leveling the playing field was to point out he once had a binder full of women applicants,” Ledbetter told reporters. “That binder didn’t help me at Goodyear.”

The DNC also put on the line Jesse Mermell, executive director of the Massachusetts Women’s Caucus that assembled the binders of women for Romney.

“To be perfectly clear, Mitt Romney did not request those resumes,” Mermell told reporters. “Then after the election, our group approached the Romney transition team with the resumes, or the so-called binders full of women. Now, why did Mitt Romney need binders full of women to find qualified candidates? Why didn’t his staff already have women in mind for these positions? Were there no women in his 25 years of professional experience that he had worked with, and thought might be qualified?”

Vice President Joe Biden joked about it on the campaign trail.

“Oh, the idea that he had to go and ask where a qualified woman was — he just should have come to my house,” Biden said at an event in Greeley, Colo. “He didn’t need a binder.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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