Despite all the fireworks over taxes, oil and Libya, the most buzz-worthy social media moment of Tuesday night’s presidential debate was Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s comment about “binders full of women.”
The inadvertently funny comment came in response to a question about pay equity for women from a member of the audience of the debate between Romney and President Obama at Hofstra University.
Romney was explaining that as the governor of Massachusetts searching for qualified women to fill cabinet posts, women’s groups brought him “binders full of women” who were good candidates.
“And I said, ‘Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?” Romney said. “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.”
The response was swift.
“‘They brought us binders full of women,’ doesn’t sound good in any setting,” added the New York Times’ Nick Bilton.
It wasn’t long before the internet took the comment and ran with it.
“Romney still uses binders? LOL,” read the caption attached to a photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A freshly minted Twitter account “@RomneysBinder” tweeted out: “Boy, I’m full of women! #debates” and by the end of the debate had more than 30,000 followers. A second @Romneys_Binder handle netted more than 12,000 followers by the end of the debate.
A fake “Binders Full of Women” Facebook account launched shortly after, along with several others. And the BindersFullofWomen.com domain name was purchased just minutes after the comments came from Romney’s mouth.
Though it didn’t top the 10 million tweets that watchers put out during the first presidential debate, more than 7.2 million tweets poured out from watchers of this second town hall style event.
A few other moments of this more lively debate caused a stir.
When Romney repeated questioner Lorraine Osorio’s name several times before getting it right, more than 109,000 tweets per minute commented on the moment.
When the candidates first argued directly with each other on Obama’s policy on oil drilling, Twitter comments peaked at 97,000 tweets per minute.
And more than 98,000 comments were tweeted out when Obama jabbed Romney on the size of his pensions.
“I don’t look at my pension, its not as big as yours,” Obama said.
And the same number of tweets — 98,000 — came in response to Obama’s answer to a question about how his administration responded to the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.