Romney’s Harsh Response

Timothy Kincaid

August 28th, 2007

Generally we find that when a public figure is caught in a scandal, political and religious leaders tend express their disappointment but also find a way to display compassion and sorrow (especially with those of the same party).  Phrases like “sympathy for the family”, “hope for recovery”, or “this time of difficulty” tend to abound.

Not so with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his comments on Kudlow & Company about his former co-chair Senator Larry Craig:

Yeah, I think it reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton. I think it reminds us of the fact that people who are elected to public office continue to disappoint, and they somehow think that if they vote the right way on issues of significance or they can speak a good game, that we’ll just forgive and forget. And the truth of the matter is, the most important thing we expect from elected–an elected official is a level of dignity and character that we can point to for our kids and our grandkids, and say, `Hey, someday I hope you grow up and you’re someone like that person.’ And we’ve seen disappointment in the White House, we’ve seen it in the Senate, we’ve seen it in Congress. And frankly, it’s disgusting.

This sort of response is surprising (to me) from a man who until yesterday was a close ally and I think it says several things about the way in which Romney views the world – and the way in which he would preside over the administration of the nation. I’m curious as to what others read into this reaction.

Ben in Oakland

August 28th, 2007

Mitt’s hoping to score points with the religious right, and to distance himself from being “soft” on homosexuality. apparnetly, Craig’s un-straight-ness was an open secret in Washington. Mitt’s just say…”why, had i known…” and “fucking pervs” in his own iniMITTable way.


August 28th, 2007

To me, the interesting thing is that there is nothing Romney said that couldn’t be applied to him – except that he hasn’t been caught doing something wrong.

Would he not describe himself as someone who has “voted the right way on issues of significance” or who “talks a good game”?

His speech is remarkably similar in tone to all of the moralizing from people like Sen.Craig – who are later caught in “disappointing” situations.

It seems like a very strange approach, as if Mitt hasn’t grasped the really crucial element of these scandals, the element that really makes them newsworthy

less than perfect people condemning other people’s perceived inperfections


August 29th, 2007

I was impressed that Romney showed the backbone to call this for what it is. Politicians smooth over their own party’s flaws but condenm the other party. If you want this type of behavior stopped you make a point of it no matter which party it comes from. Good job for Romney.

I’m tired of our elected officials looking like bad behaved Frat boys. I want leadership. Craig, doesn’t even have the guts to admit to it and correct it. I’m glad Romney took this stance.

Randi Schimnosky

August 29th, 2007

Timothy said “This sort of response is surprising (to me) from a man who until yesterday was a close ally and I think it says several things about the way in which Romney views the world – and the way in which he would preside over the administration of the nation.”

And I’m curious as to what you’re thinking about that. So, tell us what you think.

Timothy Kincaid

August 29th, 2007


I had a few ideas that were a bit vaguely identified. But here goes:

First, I think that Romney felt that this was a personal violation. His reaction suggested to me that perhaps he felt that because he put Craig on his campaign then Craig had a special obligation to him. Rather than seeming disappointed, he seemed vindictive.

Second, I found that Romney seems to be very lacking in loyalty. Obviously some politicians have loyalty to a fault and can end up advancing their buddies instead of what is good for the country. But from a political perspective, if you are seen as dumping people the minute they become controversial then volunteers and wonks may become less likely to want to help you. They will feel that you have no loyalty to them so why should they be loyal to you.

Third, it’s rare that you see someone publicly disavow “forgive and forget”. This made him seem to me to be a bit of an unyielding tyrant.

Fourth, Romney’s language seemed to be saying that personal morality is more important in a legislator than good governing. I know that language has been quite strong in the past in the Republican Party (“it’s about character”) but that prioritizing seems to be resulting in miserable choices. The current president would without question be considered by Republicans to be moral in his personal life, but I know that there are many within the Party that would not consider him to have been a particularly effective president. I’m surprised that Romney would want to adopt language and imagery that could tie him to the idea of George Bush, even in the primary.

Now, of course, these are just my impressions.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.