Asked today during a conference call whether Mitt Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, his aides said that they don’t know — an answer that triggered an onslaught from Democrats and the Obama Campaign.
The Ledbetter Act, the first bill President Obama signed into law, helps women pursue pay discrimination claims in court by extending the period during which alleged victims can sue their employers.
The Democratic National Committee quickly posted audio of the conference call, highlighting the moment of silence between the question and an aide’s response.
“Does Gov. Romney support the Lilly Ledbetter Act?” asked the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein.
(Six seconds of silence)
“Sam, we’ll get back to you on that,” an unidentified aide says.
The DNC mocked the response by encouraging supporters to tweet with a new hashtag “#WellGetBackToYouOnThat.”
President Obama’s re-election team also put out a statement from Ledbetter herself, the woman whose case inspired Obama to push for the law.
“I was shocked and disappointed to hear that Mitt Romney is not willing to stand up for women and their families,” she said. “If he is truly concerned about women in this economy, he wouldn’t have to take time to ‘think’ about whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”
In a statement, Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka would not say whether the likely GOP nominee supports the Ledbetter Act, but insisted he “supports pay equity for women.”
“Women account for more than 92% of jobs lost under Barack Obama. Of course Mitt Romney supports pay equity for women,” he said. “The real question is whether President Obama supports jobs for women.”
(PolitiFact, an independent fact-checking web site, ruled the Romney Campaign’s claim about job losses for women “mostly false” for ignoring “critical facts that would give a different impression.” )
UPDATE: Gorka emailed to clarify that Gov. Romney is “not looking to change current law.”
ABC News’ Emily Friedman contributed to this report.