No more. I now don't think the guy can be trusted at all.
Blogger Ed Brayton has posted the transcript from Mitt Romney's recent interview with Tim Russert and some thoughtful commentary. This interview and some recent research by the press has left me totally disgusted with Romney. I'm left feeling acutely grateful for the freedom of the American press and the important antagonistic relationship between the American press and American politics.
MR. RUSSERT: I want to take abortion first. I participated in your debate in 2002 when you ran for governor of Massachusetts. I asked you about that issue, and this was your response. Let's watch.Bah. We're not talking "flip-flopping" here. We're talking about lying--either then or now--about his deep "unwavering" convictions.
(Videotape) GOV. ROMNEY: My position has been the same throughout my political career, and it goes back to the days of 1970. There was a woman who was running for political office, U.S. Senate. She took a very bold and courageous stand in 1970, and that was in a conservative state. That was that a woman should have the right to make her own choice as to whether or not to have an abortion. Her name was Lenore Romney, she was my mom. I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. (End videotape)
MR. RUSSERT: "Devoted and dedicated" to honoring your word. When you ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, you were asked the same question. This was your response.
(Videotape) GOV. ROMNEY: Many, many years ago I had a dear close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter.
Offscreen Voice: Thank you, Mr...
GOV. ROMNEY: And you will not see me wavering on that. (End videotape)
MR. RUSSERT: You--will not see you wavering on that issue. You now have said you support the 2004 Republican Party platform, which says this: "We say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We" suggest "a human life amendment to the Constitution." Such amendment would ban abortions all across the country. Why such a dramatic and profound change after pledging never to waiver on a woman's right to choose?
On religion and freedom:
(Videotape) GOV. ROMNEY: Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. (End videotape)Bah. Ridiculous! Thomas Jefferson must be rolling in his grave.
MR. RUSSERT: But when you say freedom requires religion, can you be a moral person and be an atheist?
GOV. ROMNEY: Oh, oh, of course. Oh, of course.
MR. RUSSERT: And participate in freedom?
GOV. ROMNEY: Oh, of course. Yes, this...
MR. RUSSERT: So freedom doesn't require religion?
On racism and his Mormon faith:
MR. RUSSERT: You, you raise the issue of color of skin. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court, Brown vs. Board of Education, desegregated all our public schools. In 1964 civil rights laws giving full equality to black Americans. And yet it wasn't till 1978 that the Mormon church decided to allow blacks to participate fully. Here was the headlines in the papers in June of '78. "Mormon Church Dissolves Black Bias. Citing new revelation from God, the president of the Mormon Church decreed for the first time black males could fully participate in church rites." You were 31 years old, and your church was excluding blacks from full participation. Didn't you think, "What am I doing part of an organization that is viewed by many as a racist organization?"Romney went on to claim (as he has on multiple occasions) that both he and his father (the former governor of Michigan) once marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Detroit. Several newspapers, including the Boston Globe, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and the Detroit Free Press have done some research and discovered that claim just isn't true. The Romney campaign's new tactic: claim that Romney "figuratively" marched with King. At a recent campaign event in Iowa, Romney said:
GOV. ROMNEY: I'm very proud of my faith, and it's the faith of my fathers, and I certainly believe that it is a, a faith--well, it's true and I love my faith. And I'm not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.
If you look at the literature, if you look at the dictionary, the term 'saw' includes being aware of in the sense I've described. It's a figure of speech and very familiar, and it's very common. And I saw my dad march with Martin Luther King. I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great effort.Bah. Can you believe this stuff? 100% pure bull.
Interestingly, New Hampshire's Concord Monitor has anti-endorsed Mitt Romney:
Now we watch and see whether the good people of Iowa and New Hampshire agree.
When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we'll know it.
Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no.