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COMMENTARY: Translating Mitt Romney

16 October 2012 Presidential Debate excerpt:

Candy Crowley, Moderator: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

Gov. Mitt Romney: Thank you. An important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men. And I, and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are, are all men.”

They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.”

And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we, can’t we find some, some women that are also qualified?” And, and so we, we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. 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.


Candy Crowley, Moderator: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

Gov. Mitt Romney: I cannot tell a lie: I oppose pay equity, because I don’t, I do not believe women belong in the workplace. The first thing President Obama did in office was sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Gosh, I would have vetoed it, because it is both an effective tool for women to sue for pay equity and it helps trial attorneys, and those guys give more money to democrats.

Now, I know a few families depend on a second income, but they should stop buying luxuries, like cell phones and personal computers and eating out and, and books. Poor people shouldn’t have stuff. And they should learn to live righteously on one income, the husband’s.

Unfortunately, women have been forcing their way into the workplace for decades, so now, when I’m elected president, I’ve got to deal with the social mess that has created. But I have a plan, a two-point plan.

First, I pledge to do everything in the power of my office to stall progress toward pay equity. And if the Paycheck Fairness Act is introduced a third time, I’ll kill it, one way or another.

Now, let me explain this, because this is all about the economy: Pay equity would produce significant pay raises for millions of women, which would entice even more women away from the home and into jobs, abandoning their child rearing and household management and overpopulating the workplace, where women really muck things up for us — for us men.

That, that “muck things up,” what I mean by that is that pay equity is bad for the economy: It would diminish corporate profits, and it’s corporate profits that keep America great! When the nation’s elite — when we buy jets and, and other expensive stuff — we’re helping you guys, the lower classes. You need us to be wealthy. Just like we need you to be poor — ah, ah, scratch that.

And so, second in my two-point plan is to encourage women to embrace the primary role God gave them: motherhood. I will defund Planned Parenthood and make sure contraception is expensive and difficult to obtain and overturn Roe v. Wade. And I’ll make conversion therapy available at an attractive rate to all homosexuals, so we can get those boys and girls back onto a godly path and into sanctified, productive marriages.

And also — I’ll also have an exemption for poor women, who have a special role under a Romney presidency: We will offer free sterilization to poor minority women so they stop producing poor minority babies. We still have some unskilled jobs for those women, and that’s the most important thing they can do for our nation: Once the current generation of the minority poor expires, we’ll be ready to complete the final outsourcing of unskilled jobs overseas, where the labor is super cheap and we’re not stuck with having to provide workers and their kids education and health services. And this will all strengthen the middle class. The middle class has been crushed the last four years, but my plan will strengthen them: I’ll make them the new, improved low class.

Well, it could be that some of what you’re hearing here seems contradictory, but this is actually the best-defined plan of my whole campaign, because we, we don’t know how to make my five-point plan for the economy work. But I do know that the fewer points, the better.

OK, so, hey — I just had this funny thought. I was picturing the binders full of women that a women’s coalition prepared before I was even elected governor of Massachusetts. They dumped the things on me, which was annoying, because we had important business to conduct right out of the gate. Obviously, their kind of women’s stuff wasn’t high on my agenda. But I took a peek at the top binder, and the first thing I thought of was those catalogues of import wives for sale — not that I’ve ever, not that I would ever look at them, but I, you know, read.

So here’s the funny thing: I thought those women’s groups were being way too assertive, foisting those binders on my office — lobbying me to appoint women to my cabinet, for God’s sake! But then I realized the binders full of women were a great thing, because I didn’t know many women that I could appoint — who knew there were so many of them out there! — and of course I had to give the appearance of wanting to elevate gals in the workplace until I, until I could get into a high enough office to send them all back home.

So now I say, “Thank God for those binders!” And thank you to Hofstra University and to Candy Crowley for organizing and leading this — this event. And, and thanks to you all for the opportunity to be part of this debate, openly and honestly.



Kit-Bacon Gressitt's commentary and political fiction can be read on her blog Excuse Me, I'm Writing and is republished by SDGLN, The Ocean Beach Rag and The Progressive Post. She formerly worked for the North County Times. She is also host of Fallbrook's monthly Writers Read open mic and can be reached at kbgressitt@gmail.com.