Romney: Closed to the Public

Romney: Closed to the Public December 3, 2007

On Thursday, Mitt Romney is going to appear at Texas A&M University to give his version of Kennedy’s 1960 address to those uncetain about his religious faith. After going to A&M’s public event ticket booth, however, I discovered to my disappointment that this event will be closed to the public. His remarks will evidently be made available later. This is not the best way to address those uncomfortable about his Mormon faith, and I hope he faces criticism for it. (The always worth your time Ross Douthat has thoughts on the strategy of this speech.) The more people see of Romney, the less they seem to like him. TV and radio spots can only take you so far, and his history of blatant opportunism this primary season is exactly the opposite of leaders we should admire – those who stand their ground and fight for their ideas in the democratic arena, no matter the shifting winds of public opinion.

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  • Blackadder

    Was Kennedy’s 1960 speech open to the public?

  • M.Z. Forrest

    Even if it were, it was a different era. I think Kennedy’s was to the Baptist Convention possibly, so I believe that would fit the definition of closed, but I’m running off memory. With intended audience being TV, I can’t blame them for closing the event.

  • jonathanjones02

    I do not know if it was open to the public. But the text was widely available (or as much as it could have been in 1960) several days before the speech.

    The big difference here: we are in the age of television and the Internet, Romney has tended to whine about people asking him about his religion (it’s important to me but shouldn’t be important to you!), and this thing on Thursday just seems shady from the outside: why not have the text available now? Why not publicize it more heavily?

  • Donald R. McClarey

    Romney should, but doubtless will not, make the Mormon equivalent of this statement by Belloc at the beginning of the last century:

    “During one campaign speech he was asked by a heckler if he was a “papist.” Retrieving his rosary from his pocket he responded, “Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament.” The crowd cheered and Belloc won the election.”

    People who soft-pedal their beliefs in order to gain some brief political power nauseate me. I will be following the Romney speech with interest.

  • Policraticus

    That’s a great quote from Belloc. Thanks for that.

  • JPF

    I love that Belloc quote too. But, what aspect of Mormon belief is Romney going to stand up to defend? “As I am now God once was and as God is now I shall some day be and if you don’t like that go to hell!” or “If you don’t like the fact that we are posthumously baptising all of our and your relatives into the Mormon Church go BLANK yourself!”

    Don, if you want a candidate who unfailingly stands by their beliefs, I can probably hook you up with a Ron Pual meet-up group in your area.