The Democratic Party has spent months pushing the narrative that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” whether the focus is 31-year-old Sandra Fluke and her subsidized birth control or Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” remark.
Throughout the presidential campaign, President Obama has repeatedly cited the Lilly Ledbetter Act when asked about how he is rectifying unequal pay between men and women, touting it as one of the achievements of his presidency.
Obama added during last week’s presidential debate: “When Governor Romney’s campaign was asked about the Lilly Ledbetter bill, whether he supported it, he said, ‘I’ll get back to you.’ And that’s not the kind of advocacy that women need in any economy.”
But now, Vice President Joe Biden has somewhat contradicted the administration’s narrative, saying the act is actually “not a big deal in terms of equal pay.”
Speaking at a campaign event in Florida, the vice president explained:
Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act. All [it] said was if a woman finds out she’s been treated and treated wrongly– cheated in terms of her salary and benefits at work– that she’s able to sue from the moment she finds out. That’s all it said. Because they were locked out they said that if you didn’t learn within two years you were being cheated, then you’re out of luck. But we changed the law. It’s not a– it’s a big deal for women, but it’s not a big deal in terms of equal pay. But it’s an important– and they couldn’t even support that. Talk about being out of touch. [Emphasis added]
Biden clearly wasn’t trying to denigrate the act, but downplay it to say Republicans “couldn’t even support that.” However, in stating it’s “not a big deal in terms of equal pay,” Biden appears to be undercutting the entire point of the bill– and any praise the president should receive for passing it.
Here is video of Biden’s remarks: