My husband, who refused to watch the debate, asked this morning what the “binders full of women” were. I hadn’t noted that phrase in Romney’s bragging points, so I had the same reaction last night when it began popping up all over Twitter last night. Romney used it in bragging about his record of appointing women when he was governor of Massachusetts, and sure enough — this morning’s fact checks show he misstated the facts.
What he said: In response to a question about pay equity, Romney bragged about appointing lots of women to his cabinet in Massachusetts. He said that all the applicants were male, so “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.”
What actually happened: According to David Bernstein’s blog in the Boston Phoenix blog, that’s just not true. What really happened?
“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.”
So there you have it — one more Romney claim that just wasn’t true. Bernstein goes on to debunk Romney’s claim about how well he did in actually hiring women for top spots. Sounds like he did really well at moving women from the kitchen and the classroom — into the binder.