failed to provide a clear stance regarding the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Instead, he stated that he was determined as governor of Massachusetts to fill his cabinet with women. Romney stated that he received "binders full of women" and that he placed "more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America." As always with Romney, though, his claims are suspect:
Jesse Mermell, a Democratic local official in Brookline, Massachusetts, who was executive director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus from 2004 to 2008, took exception to Romney's statement that he initiated the search for qualified women for his cabinet.
A program her group oversaw provided Romney's transition team in 2002 with resumes of qualified women, Mermell told a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
"Mitt Romney did not request those," Mermell said, explaining that the program called MassGAP approached Romney and his Democratic opponent before the election to get their commitment for hiring women to state positions in proportion to the female population. "Then after the election, our group approached the Romney transition team with the resumes, or the so-called binders full of women."
She also cited a study that showed Romney initially hired 14 women among 33 appointments to his cabinet -- 42% of the total -- but by the end of his four-year term, the number of women in his administration was 25%, lower than the previous or subsequent governors.
"At the time Romney paid lip service to the public about hiring more women in senior positions, and treated it like a quota," Mermell said. "But like with so many other things that are Mitt Romney, the facts did not match the rhetoric."