VIDEO: 'Binders full of women' the memorable line from tense Obama-Romney debate
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have just three weeks until Election Day and the race is as close as its ever been. On Tuesday night, the two took part in a testy exchange of claims and counter-claims, and even a few ideas, in the second presidential debate.
In a debate Tuesday night that at some times more resembled a barroom brawl than an organized political discussion, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney sought to win over independents and claim a lead in the last weeks of the upcoming presidential election.
According to instant polls after the debate, Obama edged Romney slightly among undecided voters, registered voters and likely voters. It wasn't the commanding victory that Romney got from the first debate, but it should be enough to quiet the restive Democrats who saw Obama's position in the polls retreat from one of great strength to one where he was even behind Romney — and trending lower.
Obama made it clear early that he wouldn't be repeating his mistakes from the previous debate — parrying a Romney comment just 45 seconds after the debate started. In perhaps the testiest exchange of the night, the two sides squared off over whether Obama had overseen a decline in fossil fuel production from federal lands — with Romney saying they'd declined some 14 percent.
As Romney pressed his point, Obama talked around, over and in between his opponent.
“What Governor Romney said just isn’t true.”
“Not true, Governor Romney, not true.”
“What you’re saying is just not true.”
The reality, according to fact checkers at Politifact and CNN, is both men were right, depending on what figures you're looking at. Oil production on federal lands did decline 14 percent from 2010 to 2011, largely due to the Deep Water Horizon accident, but it's increased since the Bush administration. There are no figures yet available for 2012.
But that wasn't the only tense moments. When Romney accused Obama of waiting some two weeks to call the attack on the Libyan consulate an act of terror, Obama objected and was backed up by moderator Candy Crowley, who told the audience in the auditorium and watching at home that, in fact, Obama did call it an act of terror the very next day. Crowley went on, however, to say that Romney's larger point, about how long it took the administration to understand and admit the attack was not tied to a video, was correct.
And, of course, there was the disagreement the two had over women — and how either of them will help or hurt their opposite gender.
Obama touted his support for the Equal Pay act — the first bill he signed when he was elected. Romney, for his part, talked about how he went out of his way to include women in his government as governor of Massachusetts. That comment led to perhaps the quote of the night — the one that's been ricocheting around social media ever since.
"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," Romney recalled.
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