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.