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Ear to the Ground

Romney’s ‘Binders Full of Women,’ Crowley’s Libya Fact Check, and More

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Posted on Oct 17, 2012

Debate Winner: Instant polls conducted by CBS News, CNN and Lake Research after Tuesday night’s second presidential debate show President Obama was the clear victor. Political pundits also had more favorable reviews of the president’s performance than of Mitt Romney’s. (Read more)

Romney Leads: Despite the debate, the latest Gallup daily tracking poll shows Mitt Romney with a six point lead over Barack Obama, winning 51 to 45 percent. Moreover, this is the first time Romney has had a lead that falls outside of the poll’s margin of error. (Read more)

Where Are the Women? The most eyebrow-raising quote of the night Tuesday came when Mitt Romney, discussing his attempt to get qualified females to fill Cabinet posts when he was elected the governor of Massachusetts, said, “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.” “Binders full of women” subsequently became a hot topic on social media, getting its own Facebook page, Twitter handle and Tumblr account. Only one problem, though: As it so happens, the story Romney told isn’t exactly true. (Read more)

Patronizing Patriarch: Distortion aside—this is Romney we’re talking about, after all, and he’s been known to stretch the truth about things—there’s another reason that comment is still being talked about around the Internet on Wednesday: its highly insulting nature. Romney loves to play up his business experience, so it’s truly astounding that despite his background he couldn’t, on his own, find qualified women to serve in his Cabinet. Emma G. Keller of The Guardian hits it right on the head when she writes that the “binders full of women” phrase “was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration—that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back.” (Read more)

Matter of Fact: Moderator Candy Crowley said Wednesday that she did not backtrack on comments she made during Tuesday night’s debate regarding Mitt Romney’s accusation that President Obama did not immediately call the deadly incident last month in Libya a terrorist attack. Obama pointed out that he did say it was an act of terror in a speech the following day, and after some back-and-forth between the debaters, Crowley took the president’s side and said, “he did in fact, sir.” Although she did say later that Romney “was right in the main, I just think he picked the wrong word,” she also said she was not taking back what she initially said. “The question was—we got so stuck on that ‘act of terror.’ Now, did the president say this was an act of terror? The president did not say—he said ‘these acts of terror,’ but he was in the Rose Garden to talk about Benghazi, so I don’t think that’s a leap.” (Read more)

Sex Scandal Rocks Race: Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ re-election is no longer a sure thing after an audiotape revealed the “pro-life” conservative pressed his onetime mistress to get an abortion. The Huffington Post broke the story last week. DesJarlais, a doctor, claimed he was just trying to get the woman, who was a patient of his, to admit she wasn’t pregnant. In the wake of the revelation, polls reveal a much closer race between DesJarlais and his opponent, Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart. (Read more)

Video of the Day: We’re less than three weeks away from the election, but for “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, Nov. 6 can’t come soon enough. In a new segment called “Please, for the Love of God, Make It Stop,” Stewart rips GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan for recently staging a photo op where he reportedly washed already clean dishes at a homeless shelter.

Throwback Video of the Day: Obama and Romney are hardly the only candidates during a town hall style presidential debate to get in each other’s faces, as this clip of Al Gore and George W. Bush from 2000 demonstrates. And yes, that’s Jim Lehrer butting in to ask about the candidates’ differences on the issue.

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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