Kerry Healey, a special adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign who served under him as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, says he has a sterling record of working with women.
So why do some politicos contend that Romney doesn’t make the grade on women’s issues? “People who say that simply don’t know Mitt Romney,” Healey, the Republican National Committeewoman for Massachusetts, tells John Bachman of Newsmax.TV at the Republican convention in Tampa.
“I’m sitting here as living proof that he wanted to work right up front with a woman throughout his administration. And also his chief of staff, Beth Myers,” who also ran Romney’s vice presidential search.
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After Romney’s first year in office, a study from the University at Albany-SUNY showed that his administration had the highest portion of women — 50 percent — in all the top appointed offices of the state, Healey says. “So Gov. Romney has a stellar record in this regard.”
All the female appointments reflected both Romney’s desire to include women and to seek out the most competent staffers possible, she says. “He wanted absolutely the best people, and he went out and he worked with women’s groups to make sure that he had resumes of women who were right at the top of their career and just as qualified as any person you could possibly find anywhere.”
Romney hasn’t trumpeted his bevvy of female appointments, because bragging just isn’t his style, says Healey, who ran for governor in 2006 after Romney stepped down. “It’s something that Gov. Romney did quite quietly. He just thought it was the right thing to do. And he especially had a lot of women with young families in his administration.”
As for how Romney interacts with his aides, he’s not looking for yes men and women, Healey says. “He likes to hear competitive voices. He likes to hear people who are smart. . . . He’s never happy unless there is a very robust discussion in front of him.” And, of course, Romney wants to see the data too before making his decisions.
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