Footloose (with the Facts), starring Mitt Romney!

Mitt Romney said a couple curious things Saturday. Fortunately for him, he did so at Regent “University,” which isn’t a place you’re likely to encounter a lot of critical thinking. The most entertaining assertion was this bit:

“It seems that Europe leads Americans in this way of thinking,” Romney told the crowd of more than 5,000. “In France , for instance, I’m told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past.” (Story.)

Mmmmkay. I’ve turned the Internets inside out and can’t find a scrap of evidence to support this claim. French law requires marriage contracts, which are mainly aimed at allocation of assets, but I can’t find anything that remotely looks like what Romney is saying here.

Ohhh, wait – maybe he heard it here?

(If there is something to what Romney says – I mean, it wouldn’t be unlike the French to try and innovate in the arena of love, I suppose – will somebody point me to a reference?)

Also, Mitt won’t let go of the idea that video games killed all those kids at Virginia Tech.

“We’re shocked by the evil of the Virginia Tech shooting,” Romney said. “I opened my Bible shortly after I heard of the tragedy. Only a few verses, it seems, after the Fall, we read that Adam and Eve’s oldest son killed his younger brother. From the beginning, there has been evil in the world.”

He added: “Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games. The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool.”

Again, I’ll gladly field evidence that supports these claims, but to date I don’t think we’ve seen anything that links Seung-Hui Cho to porn or video games or devil music (and if violent movies and TV cause mass murders I’m going to need to see the math – every American sees incredible amounts of mediated violence, and yet only one person out of 300 million launched a mass murder spree that day; statistically, suggesting that mediated violence prevents mass murder would be the better argument). We know he didn’t play video games, in fact.

So here’s what we can conclude from Romney’s stop at Regent, then.

  • He’ll make things up if it advances his cause.
  • He’ll exploit tragedy and distort the facts in order to advance his narrow, regressive social agenda.

None of this would make him the sort of president we need, but it would certainly make him the kind of president we’re used to.

18 replies »

  1. Mitt is full of a four letter word that rhymes with his idiotic first name. Gladly we find he doesn’t seem to be a major contender…and I would be surprised if he did become one. He’s a funny side-note for now.

  2. Mitt’s a joke. He was a joke as governor, and is even more so as a presidential candidate. His desperate attempts to pander to the far right are so transparent that I will be very surprised if anyone other than the dumbest possible Republicans takes him seriously.

    I think P.J. O’Rourke said it best a few weeks ago on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”: running as a Republican presidential nominee once you’ve been governor of Massachusetts is like being the rabbi of Temple Shalom and deciding to run for Pope.

  3. Mitt must read that Bible religiously (no pun intended) “Adam and Eve’s Oldest Son”, uh I believe his name is Cain, and “his younger brother” that would be Abel. Man, that Mitt knows Biblical History like the back of a ham… I mean, his hand.

    And if he would have read more than a “few verses” he would know that the reason Cain killed Abel was because Abel kicked his ass in Ms. Pac Man. Yet another Golden opportunity missed.

  4. I lived in Boston when Bill Weld was Governor, and Romney makes him look like Jon Corzine. Pardon my lack of eloquence, but what an asshat.

    It’s a can’t lose situation for the Dems…if the nod goes to someone like Romney, it doesn’t matter WHO gets the nomination, because they’ll clown him like it was opening night of Cirque Du Soleil. If it goes to someone more moderate (Giuliani?), that’s proof that the far-right agenda of the conservatives is no longer capable of winning them elections for the nonce.

  5. Not enough has been said about WHERE he said this stuff – Regent “University” (even to use the word “university” with Regent’s name is an insult to the word “university”) – Regent is the “home school” (boy, was THAT fun to write) of Pat Robertson, he of 700 Club and idiotic prophecy fame.

    What’s probably as telling as that Mitt Romney didn’t seem to know Cain and Abel’s names is that no one from Regent seemed able to cue him. I guess that was because they were all playing video games like these.

  6. One of the things mentioned on nearly every newscast I saw (here in Boston) about Romney at Regent was that Pat Robertson’s website lists Mormons as a cult. Can the conservative christian “leadership” get behind Romney on the basis of “shared values” and still hold fast on matters of theology in a convincing enough way to persuade their base to overlook Romney’s faith? One of my hallmates is convinced his Southern Baptist parents would never, ever, vote for a Mormon. I’m not entirely convinced.

    As an aside: what I find interesting about not “knowing” Cain and Abel’s names is that it was a prepared speech, no? Surely someone would have looked it up if he went ‘oh, I can’t remember their names,’ especially since he has quite a bit to prove as far as having things in common with evangelical christians (and certainly biblical literacy would be a good idea).

  7. Jeremie,

    I don’t know how much things have changed, but back in the ’80s there was big dust-up in Wilmington, NC. The city had to basically cancel a church softball league because the “Christians” wouldn’t play with the Mormons. One of the Methodists, I think, said something to the effect of “we can’t extend the hand of Christian fellowship to people who don’t worship the same god that we do.” I’m sure things have progressed a bit since then, but in large parts of the South you’re dealing with Protestants who are taught, as I was, that Catholics are all going to Hell.

  8. Skipping past primaries, what happens, then, in a hypothetical US where Romney gets the nomination? Do those folks just not vote? Or do they get over it and go with who’ll keep fetuses untouched and queers unwed?

    It will certainly be an interesting look at what matters more, that’s for sure.

  9. I don’t think you can count Romney out yet. When the numbers were last released, he had outdone McCain and Guiliani on the fundraising trail. Historically, he (or she with Hill’s enviable piggy bank) with the thickest wallet does best on the campaign.

    Also, I don’t think I understand Martin’s comparison correctly. Did Romney force Bill Weld to crash into guard rail? Or did he convince him to shut down the government for a week and then pay everybody regardless of the budget crisis? As a New Jerseyian, I tend to twitch whenever Corzine’s name is brought up.

  10. Idiotkid–as a born-and-raised Jerseyan who grew up in the eras of Tom Kean and Christie Todd Whitman, believe me when I say that Bill Weld and Romney didn’t need anyone’s help to crash into guardrails. 🙂

  11. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Monica “I plead the Fifth” Goodling and a bucketful of Regent “University” “graduates” have somehow found themselves cushy positions as political officers enforcing the will of the Bush regime.

    I’m sure Romney knew he had to placate the frothing masses to maintain his fragile far-nut-wing credibility…after all, if he wins, these will be the people he recruits to enforce *his* will.

    Believe me, there’s no irony intended when I say “God help us.”

  12. Aren’t Mormons kind of insane? For example, Don’t they believe that the “Original” Native Americans were white people and the reason the Native Americans, we know now, have dark skin is because they were cursed by God?

    As far as Regency is concerned, the Bush administration has several graduates in fairly important posts from there. To call that school’s credentials dubious is an insult to the word dubious.

    The really cool thing is Bush used his “Faith Based Initiative” to give Robertson over a Million buckaroos.

  13. Jeremie,

    I think what Southern Protestants do depends on who the Dems lob up. The Social Right has worked tirelessly to unite all these groups not around what they believe about each other, but around a fear of Clinton Planet. I can see some sitting it out if the Republican nominee is a Mormon, but if the Dems nominate Hillary they’d vote for Hitler….

  14. And don’t forget that the Catholics also teach that the Mormons are just a big cult with a tax exemption. It’s not just evangelicals who are likely to be scared off on Romeny’s religion. Some might hold their nose and vote for him (as the rest of us do for our respective parties, it seems), but I predict if the Dems run anyone but Kucinich we’d see a lot of cross-over votes.

    Romney, Giuliani, and McCain are all flip-floppers of the first class. If the Dems run with that (ha!), they’ll get a big boost. Too bad I expect them to be pandering to fundamentalists in the “center” instead.

  15. I spent some time over at the Kennedy School of Government this semester, cross-registered into Religion, Politics and Public Policy. We spent most of the course looking at the historical roots of major denominational blocs (separated for the class as mainline Protestants, white Evangelicals, black Evangelicals and Catholics), and charting trends in voting behavior, civil participation, stances on certain issues and the like. The question of Romney and Evangelicals came up and it was one of the very few things that was left unresolved because no one felt like there was a way to make any defensible prediction. Though, apparently, last year a Harvard Law student who took the course wrote his final paper (75 pgs worth) on how a hypothetical Mormon candidate for president could convince Evangelicals to support him.