A rereleased video from 2007 that shows a clearly incensed Mitt Romney giving Iowa Newsradio WHO talk show host Jan Mickelsons an off-air piece of his mind has “become a viral sensation,” garnering over 1.8 million hits in just five days.
Romney, then a presidential candidate in the 2008 election cycle, took offense to questions during the interview about his Mormon faith and converting from pro-abortion to pro-life.
Headlines since yesterday are focused on how “testy” Romney became about the tenets of Mormonism. My take-away was, “Wow, this guy is passionately pro-life”….
Romney later said he did not know he was being videotaped. I found his description of the Second Coming fascinating, but here were the key excerpts on the life issue:
Romney: But you’re not giving me the opportunity to explain to you that my faith has very strong beliefs that if I commit an abortion, encourage an abortion… I was beaten up in Boston because I pointed out time and again that I encouraged girls not to get abortions, that I told them to have adoptions. I have never done anything that in any way violates the principles of my Church - in that regard, I’ve made other mistakes – but in that regard.
But the Church does not say that a member of our Church has to be apposed to allowing choice in society. It does not say that. And therefore, there are Mormon Democrats. There’s a Democratic party in Massa… in Utah, filled with Mormons, and the Church doesn’t say they’re wrong, they’re being excommunicated. No, it says, look, we are vehemently apposed to abortion, ourselves, and for ourselves. But we allow other people to make their own choice. I disagree with that view. Politically, I looked and said, you know what, that’s wrong. And its not a Mormon thing, it’s a secular position to say you know what, I was wrong, we should have as a society a prohibition on abortion in the following circumstances. But its not violating my faith, let me assure you.
Mickelson: I hope we can do this, and we we can spend some quality time on the air rather than the sound bites.
Romney: No, I mean I don’t like coming on the air, and having you go after my Church, and me and my-
Mickelson: I’m not going after your Church.
Romney: I know, that’s right, but I’m not running as a Mormon. And I get a little tired of coming on a show like yours and having it all about Mormon.
Mickelson: See, I don’t mind it being about that.
Romney: I do. I do.
Mickelson: I agree with the ethics of your Church, for Pete’s sake.
Romney, getting up to leave: So do I. So do I.
Mickelson: I was trying…
Romney: No you’re trying to tell me that I’m not a faithful Mormon or that I’m not [inaudible] my Church.
Mickelson: No I’m trying to get you to reconcile what I think is a disparity.
Romney: And have a great discussion about Mormonism, and the Mormon Church, and reading the doctrines of the Church, and where my view is, and you know what, I’m not running to talk about Mormonism.
Mickelson: Yeah, but the point is the people who are likely to vote, don’t want to elect a Ted Kennedy, who comes back – or a Senator Harkin – who comes here to Dowling, and comes here to Iowa, and says, “I’m pro-life,” and then when he gets to Washington stands up and becomes pro-choice.
Romney: Here is your opportunity to have that settled in your mind. I was governor four years. This is not just what I’m talking about. I was governor four years. I had a number of pieces of legislation that came to my desk that dealt with abortion, abstinence education, RU-486, and so forth. I vetoed any bill that was in favor of choice. I was entirely consistent in favor of life. And so it’s not just my word that you have to take. Look at my record.