Mitchell Reports | October 17, 2012
>> got a chance last night to answer specific questions about women 's issues including this question from a 24-year-old woman, katherine fenton.
>> in what new ways do you intend to rectify inequalities in the work place?
>> joining me now is ruth marcus , editorial writer for "the washington post " and by phone katherine fenton who asked that question last night. thank you very much. tell me, did you feel that your question was answered by governor romney ?
>> you know, i can't say i thought my question was answered by either. i was trying to illicit a response what plans they would have for this future in order to rectify these inequalities and i feel like rather than that response, i got more of either diversion to a different discussion or a laundry list of things they have done for women in the past.
>> did you go up to either of them afterwards? the president lingered for 25 minutes, mitt romney for a shorter period of time. did you have an opportunity to follow up and get feedback?
>> the opportunity that we had with both candidates afterwards was much more of a pleasant socializing opportunity. they complimented our questions but there were so many people there we didn't have an opportunity to talk one on one and flol up about their response. it was more pleasantries and nice to meet you and thank you for being here, things of that nature.
>> you went into this according to gallup you were undecided. have you come out of it with any conclusion as to whom you'll vote for?
>> you know, i still find that i'm undecided because i was so grateful for that opportunity yesterday and i heard a lot of really wonderful responses and points but at the same time, a lot of the questions were kind of danced around more than answered explicitly. so like i can't say i've come out with a preference for either side. i haven't aligned myself with a candidate quite yet. but it definitely helped me sort a few things out and i've become more informed and i've also gotten a greater search for more knowledge to do more independent research of my own.
>> one of the things that really went viral on social media was the president's -- the president -- governor romney 's comment about binders of women . ruth marcus and katherine , stand by, because governor romney in virginia at his rally, try to do a do-over and explain that today. let's listen.
>> katherine spoke about women and women 's equality in the work force and i asked the question that she deserves an answer to, which is why is it that there are 3.6 million more women in poverty today than when the president took office.
>> and so he's trying to refocus it, ruth, to the economic issues, that's clearly the message he wants to convey to katherine and to women around the country.
>> absolutely. i have to say, i was not as offended or whatever the right words were by the binders of women comment. you can have a debate whether it was a real effort he initiated or something sort of pledged forced on him. about his effort to increase diversity in the work force . i thought that was an interesting point. both of the candidates making their pitches to women . governor romney 's pitch was the economic pitch. president obama 's pitch had to do with defending planned parenthood , notice he threw that in with the big bird example. and about access to contraception. and those are crucial. chest bumping are these guys going to start shoving each other nature of the debate in which i thought you saw the dials on the focus groups really turn down when that started. women voters did not seem to like that very much.
>> katherine f you're still there, let me ask you, you were sitting on that stage, how did you react to all of the sort of theatrics of it? because it did seem to many of us, we've watched a lot of debates over the years, and i've never seen one that was that contentious, where they were not just once walking into each other's space but they were really getting into heated arguments with each other. did that offend you?
>> contentious is the word i would have used had you asked me to describe it. i wouldn't say i was offended. i was slightly disappointed. this is our president and the man who would love to be president and their representatives of our country. the a debate to have them to behave in that nature and constantly cutting each other off, not really respecting the moderator indicating it was time to move to the next question and circling each other as you saw on tv, it just -- it seemed like some poor choices were made at times. i feel like maybe hold back a little bit and show more restrapts rather than get so contentious and kind of aggressive toward each other.
>> did you think one or the other was more aggressive or more disrespectful? did you fault them both equally?
>> i feel like they both had their moments. i think that governor romney seemed to be a little bit rattled so his aggression was slightly more apparent to me, but president obama seemed more subdued which doesn't make it any better or worse. they just approached it in different ways. you could tell both kind of were on the defense and ready to get right back at them and i think the manner they did it in some instances was maybe less than favorable. katherine , thank you so much. this has been a dramatic 24 hours for you. we appreciate your chatting with us today. ruth, i wanted to ask you, do you think that men and women react differently to the aggressiveness we saw on stage last night?
>> i think what i've seen from the initial reports of various dial groups and focus groups including these interesting walmart moms we've been to loing through the -- following through the campaign suggest they do respond differently to the aggressiveness, women whether it's -- you know i'm going to get myself in a little trouble here, whether they have less tolerance for aggressiveness or whether we're moms tired of listening to bickering children and a little bit of a response like that last night, i think they have less tolerance for that. i think that there was and kathsds rin suggested this, a little more of that from governor romney . he's in a tough situation because to the extent that his aggressiveness edges into being disrespectful towards the president of the united states , and i think there were a time or two when it did. i think that also puts him at risk with this group that's really essential to either of their faiths, three weeks from now.
>> thank you so much. ruth marcus .
>> thanks, andrea.
>> and did the president repair