Mitt Romney lied 31 times at last night’s presidential debate, including his now-infamous claim that as governor he had “binders full of women” — a lie to cover up the fact he doesn’t believe in equal pay for women.
But first, here’s how Romney last night described his idea of working women, talking about his time as Governor:
I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.
She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.
We’re going to have to have employers in the new economy, in the economy I’m going to bring to play, that are going to be so anxious to get good workers they’re going to be anxious to hire women.
Wow. Women have to be home at five o’clock to cook, and employers are going to need so many new employees they’ll have to hire women.
This is straight out of “Ozzie And Harriet.”
If Romney paid women as much as men — which Romney does not believe in — they could hire housekeepers, maids, cooks, and pay for child care. And who says it’s women who have to cook and clean? Are we still in the 1950s?
Romney is not a job creator for this very reason. He didn’t hire women at Bain for high-level positions. There were no female partners working at Bain. And Bain Capital doesn’t create jobs. But had Romney hired women and paid them equally, they would have.
When employers pay employees fair wages, and pay women equally, those employees are the ones who can create jobs. By putting more money back into the economy, and by hiring caregivers.
Romney, addressing the “equal pay” question, also said “I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.”
And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”
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.
Of course, the Interwebs being what they are, have rushed to the opportunity, as Gawker notes:
Meanwhile, in the world of truth-telling, what actually happened was this:
“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,” David S. Bernstein reports:
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.
And Bernstein adds one final note, that, “in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man [Romney] who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?”
It says he had never hired any women for high-level positions at Bain, and, perhaps most telling, was Romney’s comment that women needed to be home to cook was pretty offensive. If they were paid as much as men — which Romney does not believe in — they could hire housekeepers, maids, cooks, and pay for child care.
Romney is not a job creator for this very reason. Bain Capital doesn’t create jobs. But had he hired women and paid them equally, they would have.
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