April 05, 2009

MORMON TIMES -- Did Romney's religion cost him the presidency? reply by Gary Glenn

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 7:58 PM
Subject: MORMON TIMES -- Did Romney's religion cost him the presidency?

I just read your piece "Did Romney's religion cost him the presidency?" published Saturday in Mormon Times.
Kirk Jowers must have been observing a different presidential election than most Republican primary voters did in 2008.
Mitt Romney didn't lose the Republican nomination because he's Mormon.  Romney lost the nomination, among other things, because his record on family values issues such as abortion, the homosexual agenda, and pornography wasn't Mormon enough. 
Anybody with an Internet connection could watch the YouTube videos in living color of Romney's own lips moving during his 2002 gubernatorial debate as he spoke the words: "I do not take the position of a pro-life candidate." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_w9pquznG4
In his runs for public office before seeking the presidency, Romney endorsed abortion on demand, Roe v. Wade, Ted Kennedy's federal "gay rights" legislation, same-sex benefits for the homosexual partners of government workers (at taxpayers' expense), gays in the military, various gun control measures, opposed the state Marriage Protection Amendment proposed by traditional marriage groups, and disagreed with the Boy Scout policy banning homosexual Scouts and Scoutmasters.  In his prior campaigns, he was endorsed by both the homosexual Log Cabin Republicans and the pro-abortion Republican Majority for Choice.
On another family values issue, the Deseret News editorially commented on Romney's service as a member of the board of directors of Marriott Hotels, which offers pay-per-view pornography on its in-room movie service:
"Pornography taints everything it touches. Mitt Romney should have understood that. So should the Marriott Corporation and other hotel owners who offer hard-core movies in hotel rooms. Romney caught a bit of flack last week because he spent nearly 10 years on the Marriott board and yet never tried to reverse the company's policy of providing pornography on demand... For a presidential candidate who has railed against pornography, this is not entirely insignificant. Even if the subject never came up at a board meeting, one can argue that at least part of the $25,000 plus stock he was paid annually for his board membership came from the money some hotel guests paid for access to the films."  http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,680197653,00.html
Conservative GOP primary voters were then asked to believe that in the few short years intervening, a man raised from childhood in a politically active and sophisticated family -- who had served in leadership positions in a pro-life, traditional values-based church -- had only at the tender age of 58 suddenly discovered his moral compass and "seen the light" to become a rock-ribbed pro-life, pro-traditional values conservative, just in time, conveniently, to run for president.
However, well after his alleged "Road to Des Moines" conversion to pro-family conservatism, Romney while running for president told Tim Russert in December 2007 that he supports state-level "gay rights" laws, called homosexual couples raising children "fine" and "the American way," publicly scolded Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace for characterizing homosexual behavior as immoral, and to this day -- unless he's changed his views yet again since his campaign's last statement during the primaries -- disagrees with the Boy Scouts' nationwide ban on homosexual Scouts and Scoutmasters, a position certainly at odds with the Church's firm stand in support of that policy. 
And as fellow candidate Fred Thompson accurately pointed out, referring to legislation Romney signed after his alleged pro-life conversion: "Gov. Romney's own health care plan in Massachusetts offers taxpayer funded abortions for a mere $50 co-pay and requires by law that a representative from Planned Parenthood sit on the MassHealth advisory board. Tellingly, Gov. Romney made no such requirement for a representative from the pro-life movement."http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/11/14/466578.aspx
Also telling in terms of character: in trying to justify his pro-abortion on demand track record, Romney didn't hesitate to throw Church officials and even his own mother under the bus.
He told WHO radio in Des Moines: "There are Mormons in the leadership of my church who are pro-choice.  ...Every Mormon should be pro-life? That's not what my church says."  (Not caring to identify which leaders of a pro-life church he claimed are "pro-choice," Romney self-servingly cast an undeserved cloud of doubt on all of them.)  http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0807/Mitt_unplugged.html
In his debate with Ted Kennedy, he said: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time when my Mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate."
But as the Boston Globe reported: "(Former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman Elly) Peterson is dumbfounded to hear that Mitt Romney has described his mother as having been an abortion rights supporter during (her 1970 U.S. Senate) campaign. 'If it happened, I'd remember it,' she said in a telephone interview. 'It didn't, and I don't.' ...Detroit Free Press archives yielded no (Lenore Romney) campaign references to abortion...'The idea that Lenore would defy her church is hard to believe,' Peterson said."  http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/06/26/evolving_history
And that's only one of the myriad of Romney's public statements that were, to put it kindly, simply not true: his demonstrably false claims about his gun ownership, his hunting prowess, his and/or his father's nonexistent marches with Martin Luther King, and his alleged endorsement by the NRA that never happened.
In the end, Romney's credibility was in such tatters that despite spending $100 million, he was able to win only three Republican primary contests, and only in his three "home" states: Massachusetts, Michigan, and Utah.
Kirk Jowers is wrong to blame Romney's church affiliation for his inability to credibly sell himself to socially conservative GOP primary voters.  Blame instead Romney's record of blatantly disregarding and rejecting the Church's well-known values on life and marriage and pornography before running for president, and his challenges with telling the truth about that record while he was running.
Now, as of three months ago, Romney is once again serving on the Marriott board of directors, and once again -- as the Deseret News observed -- personally profiting from that corporation's annual sale of tens of millions of dollars of in-room pornography, never having uttered a word in protest.  This despite the official Church website's instruction that "members of the Church should avoid pornography in any form and should oppose its production, distribution, and use." http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508f54922d010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&index=16&sourceId=31b09daac5d98010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____
Obviously, Romney's record at odds with the values of his own church, and the credibility challenges he faced in 2008 as a result, won't be going away between now and 2012.
Gary Glenn
Midland, Michigan
The Myths of Mitt Romney
"Making it up as he goes along"
MANCHESTER UNION LEADER: "Last week Romney was reduced to debating what the meaning of 'saw' is. It was only the latest in a string of demonstrably false claims -- he'd been a hunter 'pretty much' all his life, he'd had the NRA's endorsement, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. himself -- that call into question the veracity of his justifications for switching sides on immigration, abortion, taxes and his affection for Ronald Reagan. In this primary, the more Mitt Romney speaks, the less believable he becomes."  http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=The+Romney+backlash%3A+Conservatives+are+coming+home&articleId=bc5bd60b-68a2-4427-93aa-d0fc2548ba3d
BOSTON GLOBE: "(Romney) ended the week trying to explain a discrepancy between assertion and fact... It hurt because it's a reminder of discrepancies between assertion and fact when it comes to Romney's overall conservative credentials." http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/04/08/guns_trust_and_romney
EYE ON 08.COM: "This is important because it goes to character. Romney struggles to tell the truth and keep his story straight about basic facts about his own life. He also struggles to keep his story straight on issues like abortion, gay rights, taxes, guns... It is clear what Romney is doing. He is just making it up as he goes along. He is makinghimself up as he goes along."
Romney said his father marched
with Martin Luther King.  He didn't.
BOSTON GLOBE: "Mitt Romney acknowledged yesterday that he never saw his father march with Martin Luther King, Jr. as he asserted in a nationally televised speech this month." http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/12/21/romney_never_saw_father_on_king_march
Romney said he marched with
Martin Luther King.  He didn't.
BOSTON GLOBE: "Mitt Romney went a step further in a 1978 interview with the Boston Herald. Talking about...racial discrimination, he said: 'My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.'  Yesterday, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom acknowledged that was not true. 'Mitt Romney did not march with Martin Luther King,' he said in an e-mail statement to the Globe." http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/12/21/romney_never_saw_father_on_king_march
Romney said his devoutly religious mother
campaigned for abortion rights.  She didn't.
BOSTON GLOBE: "(Former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman Elly) Peterson is dumbfounded to hear that Mitt Romney has described his mother as having been an abortion rights supporter during (her 1970 U.S. Senate) campaign. 'If it happened, I'd remember it,' she said in a telephone interview. 'It didn't, and I don't.' ...Lenore Romney's campaign stance is relevant only because her son...raised it in 1994 during a debate with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and he has been sending mixed signals on abortion ever since. 'I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country,' he said in 1994. 'I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate.' ...Detroit Free Press archives yielded no (Lenore Romney) campaign references to abortion...'The idea that Lenore would defy her church is hard to believe,' Peterson said." http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/06/26/evolving_history
Romney said: "I wasn't pro-choice."
Romney said: "I was pro-choice."
Which is it, Mitt?
FOX NEWS SUNDAY: "I never called myself pro-choice. I never allowed myself to use the word 'pro-choice,' because I didn't feel I was pro-choice.  I would protect the law, I said, as it was, but I wasn't pro-choice."
ASSOCIATED PRESS: "I think I've made it very clear. I was pro-choice, or effectively pro-choice, when I ran in 1994 (and 2002)." http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hjo2zpLNAjtxCVkBA1Xn9FYQ5tpQD8TK3G500
Romney said he was endorsed by the
National Rifle Association.  He wasn't.
WASHINGTON POST: "Under Russert's grilling about guns on this morning's 'Meet the Press,' former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney claimed an endorsement he'd never won. ...'I also was pleased to have the support of the NRA when I ran for governor. I sought it, I seek it now. ...I told you what my position was, and what I did as governor; the fact that I received the endorsement of the NRA.'  The problem?  He was never endorsed by the NRA ... 'The NRA did not endorse in the 2002 campaign,' said (Romney campaign) spokesman Kevin Madden, when asked about Romney's comments." http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/12/16/romney_claims_nra_endorsement.html
Romney said: "I have a gun
of my own." He doesn't.
BOSTON GLOBE: "'I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I'm a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms,' Romney said. Asked by reporters at the gun show Friday whether he personally owned the gun, Romney said he did not."
Romney said he's been a hunter "all
my life."  Twice.  Once every forty years.
BOSTON GLOBE: "This week in Keene, N.H., Romney told a man in an NRA hat that he had 'been a hunter pretty much all of my life,' the Associated Press reported. The Romney campaign later acknowledged that Romney, 60, hunted one summer as a teenager and once in his late 50's."http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/04/08/guns_trust_and_romney

ASSOCIATED PRESS: "Officials in the four states where Mitt Romney has lived say the Republican presidential contender, who calls himself a lifelong hunter, never took out a license." http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/04/07/romney_defends_lack_of_hunting_license

Romney on abortion (video clips)
2007 interview on abortion flip-flop:
WBUR Radio, Boston, Dec. 2005:

Romney gubernatorial debate
November 2, 2002


Romney senatorial debate
October 1994


(Michael, if you'd like original source documentation on any point for which I didn't provide it above, please advise.)

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