Our View: ‘Binders full of women’: Another debate low point

DKS Editors

As with the first presidential debate, the candidates seemed to have a hard time answering direct questions in the second debate Tuesday. Instead they chose to talk about what they wanted and ignored time limits — again.

When Obama was asked if he agreed with the Secretary of Energy that it is not his department’s policy to lower gas prices, he dodged the question and responded by saying there has been increased oil production since he took office. Only after further hammering by Romney did Obama directly say higher gas prices were not due to energy policy but rather a recovering economy.

Romney did something similar when he was asked how he intended to fix gender inequalities in the workplace, specifically that women make 72 percent of what men earn.

Rather than answer the question, Romney chose to give a short story on how he hired more women for his cabinet in Massachusetts.

Romney explained that when he was told that all the qualified people for his cabinet were men, he actively sought out more female candidates by going to women’s groups.

Then came Romney’s unforgettable statement: “and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

As with Big Bird, the Twitterverse blew up, and the memes started rolling in.

The worst part for Romney is that he might not have had his facts entirely correct. A women’s advocacy organization, MassGAP, is now claiming it compiled this list — binder, if you will — in 2002 before Romney was ever elected governor and approached him. Not the other way around, as Romney claimed.

Politicians should be aware that every word from their lips will be under scrutiny and subject to extreme fact-checking and Internet jokes. They would be less likely to embarrass themselves with these gaffes if they would just answer the questions directly and honestly.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.