By Alicia M. Cohn - 10/17/12 12:13 PM EDT
"The idea that you need to go ask help to find one, I didn't quite understand what he was taking about," Biden told CBS's "This Morning." "There is an abundance.
"I've never had any problem when there is a job opening having as many women apply as men," he continued. "So, the idea that he had to go ask for help to find qualified women — there are so many qualified women walking around Boston, Mass., where the capital of Massachusetts is, the state capital is, and so many qualified women walking all around this country."
The question offered both Romney and President Obama an opportunity to play for female voters coveted by both sides. A jump in the polls for Romney after the first debate, on Oct. 3, was largely attributed to female voters swinging to his side.
Romney on Tuesday said he asked aides to seek out qualified female candidates for positions in his Cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts after being told no qualified women had applied for the jobs.
"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet," he 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 remark about "binders full of women" quickly started trending on Twitter and became the subject of online parodies.
The Obama campaign seized on the comments on Wednesday, blasting out a statement and a new Web video that called Romney's response "condescending."
"While the President talked about women as breadwinners for American families, Mitt Romney talked about them as resumes in a binder," the release said. "Romney’s awkward and dishonest answer at the debate about his failure to stand up for equal pay for equal work draws a clear contrast to President Obama’s commitment to protecting women’s issues."
A spokeswoman from Mitt Romney's campaign called it a "misleading, cheap" political attack by the Obama campaign to focus on the comment.
"Five and a half million women are struggling to find work in the Obama economy, and they are suffering from record unemployment under this president," Amanda Henneberg said in the statement. "No misleading, cheap political attacks from President Obama and his campaign can change the fact that women cannot afford another four years of economic misery. Mitt Romney will lead us to a real recovery so that women — and all Americans — can succeed, and he will ensure that the next four years are better than the last four.”
—Updated at 10:23 a.m.