7) He likes gay people
In 1994, while running against Ted Kennedy for the US Senate, Romney assures the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans that “as we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.” (Remember, that opponent is Ted Kennedy. Romney gets the endorsement.) During his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney operatives distribute bright-pink fliers at Boston’s gay-pride festival that read: “Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference.” Two years later, during his speech at the Republican National Convention, Romney likens the threat from same-sex marriage to the menace of Islamist terrorism.
6) Not that there’s anything wrong with that
During Boston’s 2005 St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, Romney — who is Mormon, and whose great-grandfather Miles was a polygamist — jokes, “I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman . . . and a woman . . . and a woman.” The governor recycles this line during Don Imus’s 2006 St. Patrick’s Day broadcast, thereby undercutting his own campaign to convince evangelical Christians that Mormons aren’t really that weird.
5) Mission accomplished
In December 2005, announcing his intention not to seek re-election the following year, the governor basically says that everything in Massachusetts is peachy. “Frankly, what’s happened is that we got a lot more done than I expected we would,” Romney explains. “I’ve got the job done I set out to do.” Three months later, a panel appointed by Romney to study the case of Haleigh Poutre — a 12-year-old adoptee who was savagely beaten in September 2005 and nearly allowed to die, only to recover miraculously — recommends major reform of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services.
4) And when it got cold, we threw those remnants on the fire
In 1994, Romney allows his wife, Ann, to detail the couple’s background in an interview with the Globe. Mrs. Romney offers the following Dickensian account: “They were not easy years. You have to understand, I was raised in a lovely neighborhood, as was Mitt, and at BYU [Brigham Young University], we moved into a $62-a-month basement apartment with a cement floor and lived there two years as students with no income. It was tiny. And I didn’t have money to carpet the floor. But you can get remnants, samples, so I glued them together, all different colors. It looked awful, but it was carpeting. We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time.”
3) A foolish consistency, etc.
Debating Ted Kennedy during their 1994 Senate race, Romney offers a passionate defense of abortion rights, referencing his mother, Lenore, in the process. “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country,” Romney says. “I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate.” Later in the debate, Romney says a relative once died after an illegal abortion, and adds: “Since that time, my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter, and you will not see my wavering on that.” Romney subsequently wavers on that, telling Fox News’s Chris Wallace in 2006 that he is “very firmly pro-life.”