When Mitt Romney said during Tuesday night's debate that when he was governor of Massachusetts women's groups helped him hire "whole binders full of women,” the comment quickly went viral.

On CBS Wednesday morning, vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan defended Romney's point. 

“All he simply meant was that he went out of his way to try to recruit qualified women to serve in his administration when he was governor,” the Republican congressman told “CBS This Morning.” "That's really what he was saying. And, by the way, he has an exceptional record of hiring women in very prominent positions in his administration, and that's the point he was making."

The Boston Globe notes that Romney did not have any female partners at Bain Capital in the 1980s and '90s. And the Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein points out that in 2002, a bipartisan group was formed in Massachusetts to supply the next governor with names of qualified female job applicants.

A 2007 study done by the group, the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project (MassGAP) found that "MassGAP’s early impact—with then-Governor Romney selecting women as 42 percent of his new appointments—was promising. However, the analysis in this report suggests that subsequent appointments did not reflect a continued commitment to the selection of women for high-level posts."


VIDEO: Romney on searching for female cabinet members: They brought us ‘binders full of women’