WASHINGTON, US (AFP) — The Internet exploded with memes yesterday mocking Mitt Romney for his “binders full of women” remark at his townhall debate with President Barack Obama the night before.
“Captain of finance, binder of women,” snickered one meme featuring a smiling portrait of the equity-fund tycoon turned politician and Republican White House challenger.
Another meme on a fastgrowing Tumblr page (bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com) showed a white binder labelled “All My Wives” — a reference to Romney’s Mormon faith which, in the 19th century, preached polygamy.
“Binders full of women? Oh sure, I’ve got hundreds of them,” ran the gag line across a photo of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner standing in a bathrobe amid rows of books in a library.
Yet another meme featured Obama’s secretary of state Hillary Clinton in dark glasses peering at her BlackBerry smartphone and thinking: “Romney still uses binders?”
A grab shot from the video of Beyonce’s 2008 hit Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) — in which she wore a steel glove — had the pop star telling Romney to “better put three rings on it.”
Binders in North America, unlike European ones, typically have three rings.
And, of course, there was the inevitable cat meme. “I can haz binders full of women,” boasted an orange tabby posing upright with a blue binder titled “Your Cat.”
Elsewhere on the Internet, a video game invited players to help a binder-wielding Romney “catch” as many women as possible falling out of the sky onto the White House lawn.
In response to a woman’s question at Tuesday’s debate about unequal pay in US workplaces, Romney recalled how, as Massachusetts governor, he went out of his way to add women to his state cabinet and senior staff.
“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,” he said.
Citing a State University of New York study, he also said that, as governor, he had “more women in leadership positions” than any other state.
A copy of the study seen by AFP stated that 50 per cent of “policy leaders” in Massachusetts were women in 2003, the year Romney became governor. Oregon was second at 47.8 per cent and the national average was 32 per cent.