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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romney’s Record On ‘Binders Full Of Women’

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during the second presidential debate on Tuesday. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment created an instant Internet meme. But now it’s leading people to question how he went about hiring women when he became governor of Massachusetts in 2003.

The Phoenix in Boston first disputed Romney’s assertion that he charged his staff to seek out qualified women to work in his administration.

Here’s a video of Romney’s original comment during the debate:

The Phoenix reported that a bipartisan women’s group, the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project or MassGAP, actually reached out to Romney and his Democratic rival, Shannon O’Brien, during the campaign. Both candidates signed a pledge to seek out women staffers if elected governor.

Romney’s former Lt. Governor and current adviser, Kerry Healey, went on Fox News Wednesday. She said Romney did seek out women, but admitted that MASSGAP came to him first.

Here’s a clip (go to 2:55 in the video):

Healey said that Romney filled half of his cabinet positions with women.

The Boston Globe reports that in the first two years of his term as governor, 42 percent of Romney’s 33 new appointments were women. But over the next two years, women made up only 25 percent of the 64 new appointments he made.

By the end of Romney’s term, women made up 27.6 percent of those in high-ranking positions overall – slightly less than before he took office.

Meantime, 33 percent of President Obama’s cabinet is made up women.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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