Tea party-backed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday defended Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s refusal to say whether he would sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by suggesting that the law was not really about equal pay.
Romney was widely mocked last week after he told a questionable story about “binders full of women” in response to a question about whether he supported equal pay.
“If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work, you might have Romnesia,” President Barack Obama snarked at a campaign event on Friday. “If you say women should have access to contraceptive care but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care, you might have a case of Romnesia.”
On Sunday, Rubio told ABC’s George Stephanopolous that the president’s comments were “cute” but didn’t explain his plan for a second term.
“Does Gov. Romney support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or not?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“I think anyone who is working out there and making a living — if you’re the most qualified person for the job, you should be able to get paid, you should get paid as much as your male counterpart,” Rubio insisted. “Everyone agrees with that principle.”
“But just because they call a piece of legislation an equal pay bill doesn’t make it so,” he added. “In fact, much of this legislation is in many respects nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may not contribute at all whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Oct. 21, 2012.