When Mitt Romney's economic advisers were asked last week whether the former governor supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act, they took a few hours to produce an answer. Even then, the aides left some questions unanswered.
Romney, aides said, supports the concept of equal pay for equal work and has no interest in repealing existing legislation. Whether Romney would have actually signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act into law in early 2009 was left less clear. During an interview with the likely GOP presidential nominee on Monday, ABC's Diane Sawyer tried to nail down a more definitive answer. And, once more, Romney punted.
DIANE SAWYER: I want to talk about a couple of issues relating to women. This 19-point difference between you and the president on women. Here are some specific questions. If you were president -- you had been president -- would you have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law?
MITT ROMNEY: It's certainly a piece of legislation I have no intend -- intention of changing. I wasn't there three years ago ...
DIANE SAWYER: But would you have signed it?
MITT ROMNEY: I'm not going to go back and look at all the prior laws and say had I been there which ones would I have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and -- and have no intention of changing that law, don't think there's a reason to.
It's worth noting that Romney's vague answer supporting "equal pay for women" is not necessarily the same as support for the act itself. The law allows for lengthier legal channels for women to sue employers for wage discrimination.