Though last night’s town hall style presidential debate was a tension-filled sparring match on issues ranging from the economy to foreign policy failures in Libya, it is Mitt Romney’s comments on working women that has people talking. One woman, an undecided voter, outright lied on national television about the GOP contender’s position, stating that Romney “doesn’t even believe women should work outside the home.”
During the debate, Mitt Romney recalled his time as governor of Massachusetts in which he took active steps to be flexible with women working in his cabinet, allowing them the opportunity to leave work at a reasonable hour so they could take care of their families in the evenings. Despite his obvious propensity for accommodating working women with families, one woman in a focus group of undecided voters on Fox News said, “Women are a huge part of this country, we are the breadwinners in a lot of homes and we can’t have a slick guy coming into office, who, based on his belief system, doesn’t even believe women should work outside the home.”
Was she even paying attention? Perhaps she was watching an entirely different debate because there is no way a reasonable person with two working ears could interpret Mitt’s generous policy as an employer to mean that he’s against women working outside the home. In fact his policy as governor reflects just the opposite – his flexibility was geared toward helping women achieve an appropriate balance of work and home life.
Focus group leader Frank Luntz didn’t challenge her statement, but instead immediately jumped in and asked the group, “Is Mitt Romney slick? to which he received a resounding “no” from the undecided voters. Luntz then asked, “Is Mitt Romney anti-woman?” and again, was met with a solid “no” from the participants.
Only one woman had the guts to challenge her fellow group member, turning to her and saying, “I can’t think of any time or any place that I’ve ever seen Mitt Romney say ‘we’re going back to the stone ages’…”
(The video can be viewed here, on Real Clear Politics.)