A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States. There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it.
My faith is the faith of my fathers—I will be true to them and to my beliefs. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. Romney did say in June that he favors equal rights for homosexuals in employment, even though his church has been active in working against homosexuals, at least when it comes to marriage.
Kennedy, in his time, was far more clear and candid, and it would be good to see that level of clarity and candor from Romney, as well. But there seems to be no record that Romney took up the cause of civil rights in the LDS church himself. It would be one thing if he had failed to try to change unequal race relations before the 60s, but to have failed to do anything in the s is telling.
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It makes him appear to be more of a company man when it comes to religion than an independent leader with a strong moral compass. Romney has been accused of inconsistency on a number of issues, particularly when it comes to abortion. Others wonder if he might still secretly be pro-choice, and only pretending to be pro-life to succeed in national GOP politics.
During his year political career, Romney has actually changed his tune on abortion multiple times—and always in a way that suited his political needs. If Romney is able to game even the abortion issue, where emotions run strong on both sides, he may be able to hide—or shift—his true views on any topic. In an era, like most, when the United States needs sure-footed leadership, this is a concern. Like his fellow Republican and religious candidates— Rick Santorum , Michele Bachmann , and Rick Perry —Romney is in favor of small government until it is inconvenient.
In other words, when he was in a position to solve problems at the state level, he co-opted federal cooperation and financial assistance to make his plans happen. Marriage has traditionally and persistently been a matter of state law, which is why a federal constitutional amendment would be needed for the federal government to take action on the issue. According to CBS, the pledge Romney took goes even farther than mandating a federal takeover of marriage law.
In , he sent a letter to a gay Republican group saying he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than his Massachusetts Senate opponent, Sen. Ted Kennedy. So what does one take away from the intersection between Mitt Romney and religion? After that, it gets a little cloudy. Podcast: Play in new window Download. Posted in: Politics. Share Tweet Share Share. In part because of his limited time at Stanford, in part because of his collegiate hiatus for his mission work, in part because he attended button-down BYU, Romney stayed above the fray. He avoided military service, first because of a student deferment, then because of his missionary work.
In , when he was finally eligible for the draft, he drew No. No one with a number above was taken that year.
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George Romney wanted his son to go to law school after BYU, but Mitt wanted to attend business school. He opted for both, enrolling in a dual-degree program at Harvard in Ann and Mitt Romney settled in the leafy Boston suburb of Belmont. Romney reveled in the role of husband and father, loading up son Tagg and his four brothers in a station wagon to take the family on vacations and day trips.
In June , the family set off for an outing at a nearby lake. A park ranger told Romney not to launch his freshly painted boat, saying its registration numbers weren't properly displayed. In typical spreadsheet fashion, Romney calculated the fine as an acceptable price for his outing and decided to launch the boat anyway. The ranger quickly arrested him for disorderly conduct and hauled him off to the station. He graduated with honors from law school and in the top 5 percent of his business class, helping him land a prized job at the Boston Consulting Group. He used his analytical and financial skills to help companies streamline their operations and fatten their bottom lines.
With Romney at the helm, Bain Capital helped launch or reshape hundreds of companies, including Staples and Domino's Pizza. Romney's leadership ability was needed in an unusual way in July , when a Bain Capital partner called to say his teenage daughter had gone missing in New York City after a concert.
Romney shut down the company, gathered as many partners and employees as he could and raced to join the search. Soon Bain workers were pairing up to scour the city's parks and bars. Nonetheless, Romney's efforts caught the attention of a local television station, whose report in turn led to a tip from someone in the same house where the missing teenager ended up.
Police traced the call and located the girl. In , Romney decided to follow his father's path into politics. And like George Romney, Mitt did not shy from a political challenge. In one of the bluest of Democratic states, the Republican decided to challenge Kennedy, a liberal icon. Romney started off strong, tapping into a well of Kennedy fatigue. But Kennedy rallied and focused on some of Bain Capital's business deals. He The Kennedy campaign brought in workers from one Indiana business, Ampad, where Bain had laid off employees, cut wages and slashed benefits.
Romney, Eye on Evangelicals, Defends His Faith
The two would meet again for a political fence-mending in , when Romney led Kennedy on a tour of the newly completed Mormon temple in Belmont, less than a half-mile from Romney's home. The structure with its brilliant white spire was the th Mormon temple in the world and a personal achievement for Romney, who worked to spread the faith in New England, where he served as a bishop and later as president of a collection of churches.
He also found an outlet for civic service in the community service organization City Year, according to the organization's co-founder Michael Brown. He would get the dirtiest," Brown said, recalling one year when Romney helped build a new playground. In the late s, Utah, the seat of Romney's Mormon faith, was reeling. Accusations of bribery mired the Games in scandal. Resignations sullied the region's reputation. They turned to Romney. It didn't hurt that the Olympics had an international profile.
Romney took the job of president and CEO of the organizing committee. He pared the budget, boosted revenues and worked to repair the committee's reputation with sponsors. Then came Sept. In the aftermath of the terror attacks, Romney found himself at the helm of a ripe target.
Romney turned risk into reward. Backed by unprecedented federal support, the Games opened under the tightest security in Olympic history. International support for the United States welled at the opening ceremonies, where Romney and President Bush walked to the middle of the Olympic stadium to await the arrival of an American flag from the toppled World Trade Center. The Games cemented Romney's reputation as a "turnaround" king. That prompted his return to the political arena.
While he was trying to salvage the Olympics, Massachusetts' once booming economy had flatlined.
State Republicans, who had held the governor's office since , sought out Romney after Gov. Paul Cellucci headed off to Canada as U. Jane Swift, stumbled. Romney presented himself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate. He opposed new taxes, but he also pledged not to change the state's abortion laws and vowed support for gay rights and other liberal items. The victory only sharpened the parallels with his father's life: successful businessman, dedicated family man and, now, governor.
Is the real Mitt Romney about to stand up?
Romney brought a CEO's focus to state government, as well as a relentless focus on control. His staff put up velvet ropes wherever he went, separating him from reporters and the public.
He also displayed a sense of humor, such as the time he got even with a State Police trooper on his protective detail who had shortsheeted Romney's bed in a Florida hotel. Romney grabbed a piece of hotel stationery, typed a note to himself from a fake hotel manager and said the room's maid had been fired for the linen mishap. Then the governor made sure the note leaked to the trooper.
Daniel Winslow, who served as the governor's legal counsel, said Romney has a "corny sense of humor" and is a big fan of The Three Stooges. Thomas Finneran, who served as speaker of the Massachusetts House during the first years of Romney's term, said Romney always impressed him as "a bright guy. But, Finneran said, "One of the lingering memories I will have is the sense of missed opportunities.
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