The battle for the women’s vote helped shape Tuesday night’s debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, pushing issues such as equal pay for women and access to contraception to the forefront of the closely fought race.
Commentators and social media sites seized on Romney’s claim that he had sought and received “binders full of” female job candidates after being elected governor of Massachusetts and learning that his advisers were recommending mostly men for cabinet-level positions.
But while Romney’s supporters praised the anecdote as evidence that their candidate values diversity, his critics denounced him for not addressing the disparity in pay between women and men, and for singling out women executives — and not their male counterparts — as needing flexible work hours in order to take care of their responsibilities at home.
And while the president cited child-care tax credits as a factor in determining whether women can “go out there and earn a living for their family,” he was quick to add: “These are not just women’s issues. These are family issues. These are economic issues. And one of the things that makes us grow as an economy is when everybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as men are.”
Vice President Biden, interviewed after the debate on CBS, questioned Romney’s assertion that women job candidates could be hard to find, saying he had “never had any problem when there is a job opening having as many women apply as men.”
The Washington Post
Posted: Wednesday, 17 October 2012