Now we know why Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wouldn’t go on the “high risk” The View today. The Mitt Romney dubbed “sharp-tongued” Whoopi Goldberg asked a question that was super hard as part of the show’s “Red, White and View” series. Goldberg asked the wife of the man who keeps suggesting that we need to go to another war and he wouldn’t bring the troops home from Afghanistan if the reason Mitt Romney never served in the military was due to their religion.
Whoopi Goldberg: What I read about your husband, what I read, and maybe you can correct this, is that the reason that he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion.
Ann Romney: He was serving his mission. (Explaining that none of her sons have served in the military) My five sons have also served (on) missions. We find different ways of serving… I sent them away boys and they came back men.
Whoopi Goldberg: So when you’re facing these mothers whose children have not come back, how will you explain to them that your sons haven’t gone?
Ann Romney: I think it’s the hardest thing that a president will probably do.
Ann Romney continued by claiming that Mitt “went to every funeral” when he was governor, which seems to be stretching the odds, especially since he was out of the state for 400 plus days in the last two years of his only term, but accuracy is not a Romney trait. This is the man who forgot to mention the troops in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, and who later said you don’t go through a laundry list when giving a speech, you talk about the things that are important.
So there you have it from Mrs. Romney’s mouth — Mitt Romney’s four draft deferements should not be construed as serving in the military being against the Mormon religion. Fox News is outraged, claiming that Whoopi attacked Romney’s religion. However, Romney’s deferements were qualified as “minister of religion or divinity student”, thus bringing his religion into his deferements. Mormon deferements were also a source of scrutiny as the Vietnam War escalated.
As with all things Mitt, this story has taken more twists and turns than any regular dodging of the draft would. Mitt Romney once claimed to the Boston Globe, “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam, but nor did I take any actions to remove myself from the pool of young men who were eligible for the draft.” This was not true. Governor Romney had asked for and received four deferements, after he protested in favor of the war as a college organizer.
At another time*, Romney denied that he sought to avoid the draft and claimed that he had wanted to serve, saying, “I was supportive of my country. I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there, and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam.”
In 2007, Mitt Romney said that his sons are not fighting for the country because “one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected.”
Mitt Romney spent the Vietnam War driving about the French countryside and his sons won’t be serving in the wars he wants to start/continue because they are serving him, which is the same thing as serving our country according to Mitt Romney. Ann Romney thinks that sending her sons off to serve “their mission” is the same thing as sending your sons and daughters off to Iraq or Afghanistan. She sent them away as boys and they came back as men.
The Romneys are war mongers with other people’s children while claiming that their own have served by serving their “mission” and helping Mitt Romney get elected. Military service is not a necessity for a CIC, but being a four time draft-dodger and refusing to send your own children to war is a far distance from simply not having served.
Mitt Romney was overheard dissing the ladies of The View in the secret tape recording, saying, “The View” is “high-risk because, of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative.” Ann Romney claimed today that what he had really said was “”He said ‘sharp and young'”. So, Mrs. Romney is suggesting that her husband said he would not go on The View because The View is “high-risk because, of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp and young and not conservative.”
Ah, yes, that makes sense. It’s all better now.
In case you were wondering if this was still hard, yes, it is. Ann Romney lamented how hard all of this is for her and her kids, “This was a very hard thing for me to decide to go forward again…for the family to have to go through this. The children have a hard time with it. I have a hard time with it.” It is so hard for them, but you wouldn’t understand. Your husband/wife/kids are off in Afghanistan. What do you know about hard?
Update: Mitt Romney did not attend “every funeral”, “Gov. Mitt Romney, who has pledged to return home for important occasions and prided himself on attending the funerals of Massachusetts servicemen killed overseas, skipped the funeral of an Malden Marine on Friday to campaign in South Carolina and Michigan.” (Boston Globe, 10/13/2006)
Update II: Mormons may and do serve in the military. Whoopi confused the reason for Romney’s deferements with a church doctrine.
*Additional Sources: The Real Romney, by Michael Kranish & Scott Helman
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.