Mitt Romney Still Has To Battle To Defend His Faith (UPDATED)
The following statement is not coming from someone who is a Mitt Romney supporter:
There truly is an element of the 1960 Presidential campaign when Senator John F. Kennedy had to battle stereotypes and downright bigotry about his Catholicism in what former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is now going through in having to explain and defend his faith — to Republicans. (And no, with a name like “Gandelman” I am not a Mormon).
Via Huffington Post, we find the You Tube below which shows Romney appearing on a popular conservative Des Moines radio talk show. The first part of the MUST VIEW 20 minute segment is a pro-forma interview…but then talk show host Jan Mickelson gets on and will not get off the topic of Romney’s religion.
Romney deals with it on the air — but watch it to the end and see how the conversation builds and becomes testier and testier off the air. The off-the-air Romney comes off quite well — and he has a good point.
More info on this incident is on The Politico.
But you can’t help but watch this and feel that its a pity that a Presidential candidate can’t be grilled and stand and fall on his position and the record (and Romney has plenty of flip-flops for critics to focus on). It’s instructive that the host is insisting on talking about Romney’s religion on and off the air and is also telling Romney he doesn’t understand his own religion.
Despite what some insinuated in 1960, JFK didn’t get in office and “take orders from the Pope.” And, in listening to Romney, it’s clear that if he got in he would follow his own convictions (whatever they may be at any given moment).
Watch the whole video. It’s sad that in 21st-century America he has to battle to get out his position on policy stances on issues while deflecting constant incoming rhetorical missiles about his faith:
UPDATE: Two differing on this via Americablog.
Guest poster Pam Spaulding:
When you run a campaign taking positions based on personal religious faith (such as his flip-flopping on abortion and marriage equality), you have to be ready to defend those positions, both to those who would support you precisely because they believe in a faith-based campaign, and those who want faith kept out of government.
And then John Aravosis:
I’d go even farther than Pam. Romney isn’t running on positions based on his faith – everyone of faith has positions that are in part based on their faith, whether they know it or not. Romney has intentionally changed every single position he has on everything in order to suck up to religious right Republicans. Romney is running as a religious right Republican. His faith isn’t incidental, he’s given it the number one slot on his ticket. For Romney to now pretend that his faith is somehow off-limits, and under attack, has a deny-me-three-times quality to it that should give every Christian pause.