Wish George Romney, not Mitt, was running for president - Macleans.ca

Wish George Romney, not Mitt, was running for president

I have no problem at all with the older fellow’s inconsistencies


Mitt Romney, with his wife Ann, mother Lenore and father George at his side, speaks after winning the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Boston, Massachusetts on September 20, 1994. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

The “Etch-a-Sketch” is here to stay. After a primary season of “gaffes” and “flip flops” on everything from animal rights to abortion, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has finally secured the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Whether or not he’ll shake it up and set his programming back a few clicks to moderate mid-nineties Mitt (remember when he was better for gay rights than Ted Kennedy?) or remain on the wrong side of history, has yet to be seen. It’s too bad his father, George W. Romney, is no longer with us–a man so far on the right side of history (they say integrity skips a generation in the Romney family) it cost him the Republican Presidential Nomination against Richard Nixon in 1968.

When asked in an interview about his inconsistent stance on the Vietnam War, he said that he had initially supported the war effort because U.S military officials and diplomats had “brainwashed” him (a term the media interpreted literally) into thinking it was a good idea, and he could no longer support an “overreaction in military terms in dealing with Vietnamese problems.” His popularity plummeted after the interview, and he withdrew from the contest early. Witness the exact moment Romney Sr. blew it:

When Nixon later appointed him Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Romney Sr. went to task desegregating suburbs and increasing housing for the poor; something Nixon didn’t appreciate very much. He was told time and time again to slow the course on civil rights. Like president Obama today, George Romney’s “evolution” on equality was equally unpopular among the GOP.  But it remained a major theme in his political career, one he would have to repeatedly defend within his own (to paraphrase Mitt) “severely conservative” political party.

According to Ronald B. Scott, author of Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics, America would be “better off today if George Romney had found a more circumspect way to say what he did about Vietnam. If he were elected, he would have spared us the shame of Watergate and the ‘enemies list,’ the sadness and horror of Kent State, and the deadly protests that followed.”

Unfortunately though, George’s gaffes cost him the primary and his son’s didn’t. Some say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree because both Romneys flip flopped on significant issues. The difference between Mitt’s glaring inconsistencies on gay rights and health care and his father’s inconsistency on the Vietnam War, however, is that Romney Sr. changed his mind out of personal conviction, while Romney Jr. did so for personal gain.

In the end, though, what can you reasonably expect from a man who beat up a classmate for having “gay hair”… yet remains close personal friends with a man whose hair looks like this.

That’s what I call inconsistent.


Wish George Romney, not Mitt, was running for president

  1. Technically, George Romney didn’t qualify for president….he was born in Mexico.

    Rightwingers aren’t sure Mitt qualifies either.

    • Good point. i should have included that, especially now that Mitt and Trump (King Birther) are so close.

      • It could get worse. Apparently according to Mexican law, anyone born there is Mexican….but so is the offspring of a Mexican citizen no matter where they’re born…which means Mitt is as well.

        And since Mitt is a Mormon, and not considered ‘Christian’…..rightwingers see their choice as being between a Mexican Mormon and a Kenyan Muslim…..neither of them American or Christian, and therefore not acceptable

        Where this leaves the rightwingers I don’t know….but then I didn’t say it made sense. Heh.

  2. A lot of people went from supporting the war, or at least not being against it, to completely denouncing it. It had to do with it’s execution, not people’s inability to maintain a position.

  3. This article is biased trash. Emma, grow a backbone. “They say” that integrity skips a generation in the Romney family? What a weak attempt to denigrate Mitt Romney without you having the courage to take a position and using phantom quotations to boot.
    So to be fair, “they say” that you are a hack, an amateur and a coward.

  4. So… your argument that George Romney had more integrity than his son is based on his reversal on the Vietnam war (as public opinion turned increasingly against the war), and another reversal on civil rights. So in other words, it is only a flip-flop if somebody takes a stance you disagree with. If you agree with them, it is principled evolution.

    Also, Romney wasn’t unique in his assessment of the Vietnam war within the GOP, he was only unique in his propensity for gaffes. Most GOP presidential contenders recognized that the Vietnam war was a sinkhole. Nixon clearly did (when he took office he started “Vietnamization” and drew down American forces), as did Nelson Rockefeller (Kissinger was one of his advisers, prior to working in the Nixon administration). Heck, even right-wingers like Reagan might have acted similarly. Despite his blustery rhetoric, after all, it was Reagan’s second term the Cold War wind down through diplomacy.

    • Gorbachev ended the Cold War.

      • It was a mutual effort. The Cold War would not have ended, had Reagan not reversed the rhetoric of his first term, changed secretaries of state, and begun to engage in summit diplomacy. Reagan’s personality (specifically his earnestness) also impressed Gorbachev, helping convince him that the Americans were serious about their desire for arms reduction talks. Read about the details of the summits – especially Reykjavik (which failed, but convinced both that they were onto something).

        If you don’t believe me, believe Gorbachev’s description of Reagan as: “a statesman who, despite all disagreements that existed between our countries at the time, displayed foresight and determination to meet our proposals halfway and change our relations for the better.”

        • Reagan just happened to be around when Gorbachev ended the Cold War…it’s why Gorby won the Nobel.

          Reagan was genial, amiable….and already ill

  5. who beat up a classmate for having “gay hair”

    Two lies in 8 words. Impressive.

    • You’re right…MItt didn’t beat up a classmate for having ‘gay hair’….he led a gang after the screaming student, and hacked it off with scissors.

      The rest of the ‘gang’ remembers it with shame and guilt…Mitt doesn’t remember it at all.

  6. Seems straight out of the Obama playbook, to be talking about haircuts by teenagers in 1965, children’s games, and non-existent positions on social issues, rather than the severe issues facing Americans today, in a ridiculous distraction from what really matters.