Mitt Romney suggested in today’s debate that only rich people should run for office, and then quickly celebrated the fact that he’d forced a rival to take out a loan against his house.
Romney said his father, Michigan Governor George Romney, had told him, “Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay a mortgage.”
“If you find yourself in a position when you can serve, why you ought to have a responsibility to do so if you think you can make a difference,” he recalled his father telling him. “Also, don’t get in politics if your kids are still young because it might turn their heads.”
A few seconds later, he bragged about his run against Teddy Kennedy.
“I was happy he had to take a mortgage out on his house to ultimately defeat me,” he said.
The exchange with Newt Gingrich brought out Romney at his most tone-deaf, and echoed his offer of a $10,000 bet to Rick Perry in an earlier debate.
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stumbled badly on a Constitutional question from moderator George Stephanopoulos, first trying to punt it to “our Constitutionalist” Ron Paul, then demonstrating painful ignorance about the issues of privacy and banning contraception. To his credit, George pursued him like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive.
… “Do you believe states have the right to ban contraception, or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”
Romney immediately tried to evade the question. “George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. Do states have the right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine circumstances where a state would want to do so.”
Stephanopoulos tried to help him out, but Romney plowed on, saying, “I would oppose any effort to ban contraception. So you’re asking — given the fact there’s no state that wants to do so, you’re asking could it constitutionally be done? We can ask our Constitutionalist here.”
Presumably, if elected, Romney will hire a “Constitutionalist” of his own.
“Do you believe states have that right or not?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
Romney dug himself in a little deeper. “George, I don’t know whether a state has a right to ban contraception. No state wants to. The idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do that no state wants to do and asking me if I want to do it or not is kind of a silly thing.”
The audience applauded Romney’s assessment of the obviously far-fetched premise.
Stephanopoulos tried to help him out again. “Hold on a second. governor, you went to Harvard law school. you know very well…”
Then Romney displayed the fruits of that education. “Has the Supreme Court decided states do not have the right to provide contraception?” he asked.
Oof. The first thing you learn in law school is never to ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.
“Yes,” Stephanopoulos answered, “they have. ’65, Griswold v. Connecticut.”
A black woman asks Rick Santorum what his problem is with African Americans, and he sticks to his blah story.
Truth took several hits in New Hampshire, but Fact Check refereed expertly.
The Fact Check link is via The Political Carnival, which also admirably and thoroughly debunked Rick Santorum’s lie about Pres. Obama saying that “every child should go to college.” (He said no such thing.)