Despite the immediate and mostly mocking internet reaction to Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” remark during the debate at Hofstra Tuesday night, Republicans appear determined to turn “binders” into a metaphorical theme of the campaign.
The Republican National Committee hosted a conference call Wednesday amidst reports that “binders full of women” was the third most popular Google search term after the debate and tried to claim the binder-based attack as its own.
The press release for the conference call advertised that RNC chair Reince Priebus and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) would “talk about Obama’s empty binder second term agenda.” They were true to their word.
“[Obama] didn’t lay out a plan for a second term agenda. He’s had two debates, he’s offered plenty of excuses but he hasn’t offered a plan,” Priebus said. “And that’s what we’re calling the empty binder. So either he’s out of ideas or he likes the way that things are going.”
Romney’s binder metaphor came up during a discussion of women in the workplace and pay equality. Romney said he had sought and received “binders full of women” to consider when deciding who to appoint to his cabinet after being elected as governor. Ayotte defended Romney’s record on women, and attacked Obama’s. She also used the binder metaphor against Obama. Twice.
“On this empty binder issue, it’s the president who has the empty binder because there’s no legislation planned for the second term other than more spending. And how are we going to afford that given our $16 trillion in debt?” she said.
Ayotte said the Democratic use of the binder metaphor was actually demeaning to women.
“One of the things about this whole focus by the Democrats on this ‘binder’ issue is because they don’t want to talk about the issues that really matter to all voters,” she said. “All issues are women’s issues. It’s very diminishing that they only want to focus on a limited number of issues as opposed to how are we going to make sure we get people back to work, and particularly women?”
The GOP binder metaphor didn’t stop there. Minutes after the call ended, the RNC posted this graphic online:
The battle of the binder metaphors is on. Democrats are likely thrilled that Republicans are keeping the word “binder” going — Obama allies rushed to capitalize on Romney’s “binders full of women” line at Hofstra, and references to it are already popping up in President Obama’s stump speech.
Watch the video of Romney last night: