Thursday, April 19, 2018
Politics

Another debate, another viral phrase: 'Binders full of women'

This presidential debate season has spawned many talking points and instant Twitter handles. @FiredBigBird and @SilentJimLehrer from the first presidential debate. @BidenSmirk from the vice presidential debate last week.

Tuesday night's winner: @RomneysBinder. Nearly 5,000 followers one hour after the debate. And a Bindersfullofwomen Tumblr account.

The phrase came from an exchange over women-friendly policies. Romney said that as governor of Massachusetts, he had a stellar record when it came to hiring women, accomplished by "a concerted effort" when he discovered that all the people applying for jobs in his administration were men.

"I went to a number of women's groups and said, can you help us find folks?" Romney said. "And (they) brought us whole binders full of — of women."

Green Party nominee arrested near debate

Police arrested Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, on Tuesday after a failed attempt at attending the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Stein and Honkala tried to enter the debate hall for about 20 minutes — at one point sitting down in the street outside of the university with an American flag on their laps — and a Nassau County officer warned them that they would be arrested for blocking traffic if they did not leave, according to the Long Island Report.

The Green Party ticket will be on an estimated 85 percent of ballots this election, including Florida, according to a campaign press release.

Earlier Tuesday, Stein called the presidential debate a "mockumentary."

The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates stipulates that a candidate must garner at least 15 percent in national polls in order to participate.

Obama camp touts absentee ballots shift

President Barack Obama's Florida campaign argued Tuesday that it has a ground game advantage over Romney, who seems to be benefiting from a shift in polls in this crucial state in the race for the White House.

The memo from Obama Florida Director Ashley Walker points to a closing of a gap in absentee voting and gains made in voter registration since Obama beat Republican nominee John McCain in 2008.

While more Republicans are requesting and returning absentee ballots, Walker noted that the margin is far smaller than it was four years ago. This year, just more than 900,000 Republicans have requested absentee ballots, compared to nearly 834,000 Democrats, or a difference of more than 61,000. But at the same point before the 2008 election, the difference in requested ballots favored Republicans by about 250,000.

The Republican-led Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott shortened early voting from 14 days to eight days, which puts more pressure on the Obama campaign to emphasize absentee voting. It's doing so by encouraging supporters to request absentee ballots in person and fill them out and turn them in on the spot.

The Romney campaign pointed out that there's only one number that matters, and that's the difference in overall voter registration from 2008. There are almost 89,000 more Republicans now than there were four years ago, while the number of Florida Democrats has dropped by more than 94,000.

"The numbers don't lie. So they can talk about hustling and we can talk about hustling and the fact is that there's one number that matters," Romney adviser Brett Doster said.

Springsteen to rally for president Thursday

Bruce Springsteen will campaign for President Obama in Ohio and Iowa on Thursday. In Parma, Ohio, he'll be joined by former President Bill Clinton.

Later that day, he'll campaign for Obama in Ames, Iowa.

Obama has been using Springsteen's We Take Care of Our Own from his 2012 album Wrecking Ball as his theme song on the stump for some time now.

As Romney closes gender gap, ad airs

Polls show Romney closing the gender gap in Florida and other key states, and now the conservative American Crossroads political committee is spending another $3 million to keep that trend going. Their new ad, up Tuesday, features a woman in her kitchen watching an Obama TV ad:

"Where are the jobs you promised? The trillions you spent, where did it all go? What's there to show for all that new debt? And if we're in recovery, why are we making less? My family can't afford another four years like this."

Information from Times political editor Adam C. Smith, the Associated Press and POLITICO was used in this report.

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