First lady Michelle Obama bookended the conversation late at night. Her husband, she said from the podium, is ”thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day’s work. That’s why he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work.”
Obama has ”worked to guarantee women equal pay for equal work and the freedom to make our own decisions about our health,” added Maya Soetoro-Ng, the president’s sister, in her tag-team speech with Craig Robinson, Mrs. Obama’s brother.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick echoed the chorus by praising Obama as “the president who ended ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for military service — who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land.”
Ledbetter appeared on stage to personally tell the story of how she lost her Supreme Court case because she didn’t file her wage discrimination suit soon enough.
“We sought justice,” Ledbetter said, “because equal pay for equal work is an American value. … [W]ith President Obama on our side, even though I lost before the Supreme Court, we won. The first bill that President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I think it says something about his priorities that the first bill he put his name on has my name on it too.”
Yet in January, Ledbetter told ABC News that the Act bearing her name “might not be such an important bill. … We, per se, did not gain anything except putting [the law] back to where it was before the ruling in my case.”
During an April 16, 2012 interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Romney said he has no intention of revisiting the Ledbetter Act if he becomes president.
“I certainly support equal pay for women and — and have no intention of changing that law, don’t think there’s a reason to,” he said.