Gov. Romney found himself engaged in a heated discussion with an Iowa talk-show host earlier this week. The video of the exchange–via the station’s video recorder–has made its way to YouTube and covers both the on-air and off-air discussions.
Here’s my take:
1. I see Gov. Romney rejecting the idea that executive office holders should wantonly disregard the interpretations of courts. Indeed, he explains how the proper response was to resort to a ballot initiative and an amendment to the state constitution. And he doesn’t even mention his enforcement of a 1913 law to prevent out-of-state gay couples from getting “married” In Massachusetts. If you’re still looking for more on this issue, consider a bit of David’s post on the matter:
When the Governor confronted the Massachusetts Supreme Court, he had two choices: (1) He could fight the decision using legal means; or (2) he could risk contempt citations and impeachment in an ineffectual, grandstanding attempt to block same-sex marriages. Rather than becoming the what the media would undoubtedly call the “George Wallace of gay marriage” and hand homosexual activists a propaganda victory to go along with their court victory, Governor Romney fought using the law and using his enormous gifts of persuasion. As a result, the same-sex marriage movement has lost public momentum, has lost court cases, and has lost at the ballot box. And we have Governor Romney and his principled, courageous, and compassionate defense of traditional marriage to thank for much of that success.
2. I see him defending religious liberty, a cause that people of all faiths can certainly agree on. Without even knowing it, Gov. Romney took on all those who create straw men by claiming that as president Gov. Romney would be “controlled by Salt Lake City.” It could not be clearer that Gov. Romney does not believe that the rest of America should be required by law to obey his church’s teachings.
3. I see him with fire in his belly. Maybe it’s just because I’m a former athlete (and an Italian to boot) but I like it when my candidate shows some fighting spirit.
4. I see him expressing inevitable frustrations with the constant questions about his faith–and with those who claim to know more about it than he does.
5. Finally, I see that he may now be in need of the very speech which I argued against earlier this week. I maintain that the speech should say very little about Mormonism and should functionally be a “social conservative” speech. However, it appears Charles is right–that the Governor needs to explain how his religion leads him to hold the same values of many people who do not agree with his faith but who would be open to supporting him.
CHARLES exults: Victory is mine!