"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." -- Mitt Romney
"Well, obviously I didn't mean it literally. I certainly never meant to suggest that I took some number of women, sedated them, flattened them using the appropriate equipment or machinery -- perhaps much like the machinery that is being used in industrial processes around the world, by small businesses that have been forced to go overseas due to our oppressive tax rates -- and then punched three holes in each of the women, put them in a binder, and reviewed that binder to find high-level staff members when I was governor of Massachusetts."
"In all honesty, binders wouldn't even be the best way to store women. If you're a job creator like I am, you have to be able to match the task with the right tool. And for the collection and archiving of women, binders simply aren't it. Boxes, maybe. Containers of some sort, perhaps. I ran the Olympics in 2002, and in that role I met many women, of many shapes and sizes. Some of those sports we had in the Olympics had women you wouldn't believe. As much as 47 percent of their bodies were pure muscle. These women would never fit in a binder. They would barely fit in a box. I would have needed to have storage lockers full of women in order to keep them contained in a sensible, reasonable way."
"Not that I'm advocating for storage lockers full of women. I would never do that to women, no matter what I might have said at a private fundraiser. And I would never do it to children, at least not as president. When I put children in binders in the state of Massachusetts, it was because it was right for the children of Massachusetts. But I have no intention of imposing that policy on the nation. Binders full of dogs, well, that's another story. Sure, I have binders full of dogs, like my Seamus, who after our family vacations needed to be stored in an easy-to-access, compact way. But dogs aren't women, at least not right now."
"Look, binders are very important. I have binders full of letters from workers who were downsized due to investments made by Bain Capital, binders full of stories about families who lost their health insurance, binders full of details about my tax plan. I don't know where those binders are, and I have never looked at them, but I know they exist. I have binders full of everything except my old tax returns, which I can't seem to find, so that just shows you how important binders can be. We need binders. We need binders to keep track of what we say, so that we don't accidentally contradict ourselves when it comes to talking about our core values and beliefs. We need binders to keep track of the poor, in case they try and hurt us. We need binders full of women. I mean, we don't need binders full of women. No, definitely not."
"It was an instance of inelegant phrasing, sure. Do I bind women, in a metaphorical sense? Maybe. Do I seek to keep them locked in their traditional roles of mother, wife and non-voter in United States political elections? Of course. But do I put them in actual binders? No. Not here, not when I visit my money in the Cayman Islands, not when I take trips to see my investments in China, and not when I am deciding what kinds of contraceptives the one woman who works at Bain Capital should be entitled to this month. Or at least I think she's a woman. Hold on and I'll check my binder."
"Our society does need binders, and we absolutely need women. And we do need women to be involved in the making and storage of these binders, because women are very good at decorating things and keeping them clean. Women can dust the binders, put glitter on them, and watch them while the men are busy at work. Binders and women together? Absolutely. But binders literally full of actual women? No, definitely not. At least not right now."