When it comes to which presidential candidate has a proven record of commitment to women, the choice is clear, said the wife of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Vicki Kennedy said President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, is the better choice than Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee.
Kennedy spoke Wednesday outside the Mahoning County Board of Elections as part of Obama’s “Women Decide 2012” initiative. She was joined by elected female Democratic officeholders from the county.
“The choice in this election could not be more stark and more clear,” Kennedy said.
When asked during Tuesday’s presidential debate about ways to “rectify the inequalities in the workplace” between men and women, Romney told a story about hiring more women to be in his Cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts.
“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet,” Romney said during the debate.
“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.”
In response Wednesday, Kennedy said: “I thought it was a very disengaged, aloof comment that was very out of touch. He also [made a] ‘go home and cook dinner’ comment. I love to cook, by the way. I love to cook. I just thought it was a very disengaged and not real-world sort of comment.”
The cook-dinner remark was Romney talking about providing flexible hours, when he was governor, for his chief of staff, a woman, because she had to be home “making dinner” for her two school-age kids.
County Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe said the binder remark was Romney describing the process to hire quality women for his Cabinet.
“He could have put them in a manila folder, a box or a binder,” Munroe said.
“If it was a manila folder, there would be talk of women in a folder. To try to make an issue of where the resumes were is another attempt by the Obama campaign to distract voters from the real issues men and women care about the most: the economy and job creation.”
Kennedy said Obama should be re-elected because of his record.
Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. It gives women greater flexibility in court to receive the same pay as men.
Romney has said he would not repeal it.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, voted against the act.
Also, Obamacare gives women access to preventive and prenatal care, Kennedy said, while Romney wants to repeal the health-care law.
Obamacare gives too much power to federal bureaucrats to make decisions about health issues, Munroe said.