Mitt Romney Defends Conservative Views After 1994 Tape Surfaces

After a tape of a 1994 debate with Ted Kennedy surfaced on YouTube, Mitt Romney felt the need to respond to his then-support of abortion rights and gay rights with a call to the Instapundit Glenn and Helen Show saying “I was wrong on some issues back then…If you want to know where I stand by the way, you don’t just have to listen to my words, you can go to look at my record as governor…Frankly, in the bluest of states, facing the most liberal media in the country, I’ve led the fight to preserve traditional marriage. I’ve taken every legal step I could conceive of, to prevent same-sex marriage.”

Will Romney be able to convince his Christian conservative base that he’s really behind their bigoted, anti-gay, pro-life agenda?

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up go away?

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  1. Cory says

    Maybe he contracted syphilus some where in between 1994 and 2000, when he started changing, err, I mean, not making those “mistakes”. Typical conservative rhetoric.

  2. Matt says

    I enjoy reading this blog and I really don’t like Mitt Romney. I also don’t like that he is against gay rights, but I think this blog is way left. It never attacks anyone but Republicans and Christians. Last time I checked, the Democrats haven’t really done anything for us that I’ve noticed, every other religion for the most part hates us (i.e. Muslims and Jews), and those corporations on the HRC list do not support our rights but support our wallets because they know the LGB community has a lot of disposable income they can get their claws into. The GLB community needs to learn that no one cares about us unless it advances their own agenda in some sort of way.

  3. mark m says


    What have the Republicans done for us? Just curious to hear your thoughts since you’re very quick to point out that the Dems do nothing for us.

  4. EireKev says

    Matt, while I respect your right to vote Republican (and feel the personal attacks on you are unjust and unwarranted) it is clear to me as a non-American that the Democrats have done more for gays than Republican. They haven’t been perfect but they still have been better than the Republicans. And to be honest I don’t see why the Democrats should do more for us when gays, such as yourself, don’t reward what little they do with votes. Gays vote for the Republicans when the majority of them do not seem to regard gays as worthy of respect and pander to the religious right. But regardless at least you vote, offer your opinion etc. There are many out there who don’t think it’s worth it to participate. That’s disgraceful. If they did vote, Republican or Democrat, then maybe politicians would regard us as a force worth listening to.

  5. Zeke says

    I was against it after I was for it.

    Sounds vaguely familiar. Wonder if the right-winger, fundaMENTALists who went absolutely apoplectic when Kerry said it will be equally incensed by Romney.

    Or will they keep their double standard record clean:

    Draft dodge Clinton = Outrage
    Draft dodge Bush = Yawn

    Pot smoking Clinton = Outrage
    Coke snorting/alcoholic Bush = Yawn

    Unfaithful Clinton = Outrage
    Unfaithful Livingstone/Gingrich = Yawn/Hero, conservative media darling, promising presidential candidate.

    Nation Building Clinton = Outrage
    Nation Building/Destroying Bush = Republican hero and “Spreader of Democracy”

    And the beat goes on…

    Had enough yet?

  6. Mitchell says

    Mitt was my govenor in MA. He is vile, hateful and by all accounts a big fat liar. Whatever he said in 1994, he has proven to be a giant genital wart of a man. No one should trust him left, center or right. He will say anything and do anything to get to be President. It’s all about ego and power. He is one scary man.

  7. LiamOg says

    I don’t think Towleroad is “way left”. I would say the blog is progressive and reality-based.

    Towleroad points out the hypocrisy of politics in the USA, whether it comes from the left or the right. It may look like this site is way left (and perhaps it is: so what? Why not? That’s up to Andy) but you have to remember that Republicans have been in power for a long time and they have shaped the discussion and set the policies in this country since the mid-1990s.

    The Republican party has hidden behind their mantle of Christian “decency” because that’s all they have. Christians make up over 80% of the population, and Republicans have used Christianity to further their power.

    As long as they contend that they are fighting for “traditional values” (traditional hate is a more truthful description) they need not face real problems like poverty, environmental distruction, the loss of manufacturing jobs and the lack of health care. They are the proverbial Wizard in hiding, and blogs like Towleroad are Toto pulling back that curtain.

  8. Zeke says

    For the record Matt, I used to be a Republican AND fundamentalist Christian. Having seen both from the inside, I think I’m qualified to critique them.

    I also hammer Democrats, and anti-gay fundamentalists from any religion, on a regular basis.

    As for the Jews, at least in America, only the Orthodox which are quickly becoming a fringe sect and the Hassidic/Haredi, which already are, are particularly anti-gay. Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism are very progressive and moderately progressive respectively.

  9. Matt says

    MarkM, the republican’s haven’t done anything either. That’s my point of the post. I’m saying that Democrats and Republicans pander to us during election time and then once they are elected they forget about us. Then when it’s election time again they pander to us with promises and we go right back to them forgetting all the promises they made the first time around.

    Eriekev, I actually vote both Republican and Democrat depending on their views. I am for gay rights. I am for lower taxes. I am for a strong national defense. I am for the government staying out of my business. I am anti-abortion.

  10. noa says


    I don’t understand why you think Andy’s blog is “way left”? What does that mean? Because Andy supports politicians that support the GLBT and other minorites or causes like attention to global warming that makes Towleroad “way left”? Or, is Towleroad “way left” because it has run articles against the Iraq War, sharing an opinion that is held by the MAJORITY of Americans?

    Given the unbridled, vicious criticism unleashed by the Republican party (and it’s closeted gay leaders, like Ken Mehlman), why should Andy be part of their rah-rah club? As one previous commenter pointed out, the hypocrisy from the right is outstanding in boldness.

    Getting back to your “way left” comment, I’ve never seen Andy call for socialization of businesses or grand economic redistribution schemes or any other “way left” blather that existed generations ago.

    That said, BushCo has had 6 years in office. In that time, they’ve done serious damage to nation on many fronts: social, economic, military, science, and environment.

    For 40 years, the Republicans followed the “Southern Strategy,” using racism against blacks to garner votes. Ken Mehlman, the head of the Republican National Committee, apologized for such tactics (for which Rush Limbaugh criticized him because, you know, what’s so wrong with racism?) Now that racism isn’t as pervasive, they’ve picked up homophobia as their battle cry.

  11. Will says

    I know this will be taken as a personal attack, but it is not. It is against all gay men who hold Matt’s view re abortion and vote accordingly.

    As a gay man, how dare you think that you have a right to decide how a woman is allowed to treat her body. And, don’t give me any of that shit about not being able to ingest drugs, etc. If you want to government to keep out of your bedroom when you are having sex, then as a person who will never be faced with an unwanted pregnancy, you should keep out of that as well.

    More generally, the Democrats are much better on privacy issues (no marriage but at least you can’t arrest me for giving head or taking it up the ass) and I don’t know any Democrats who are for a weak national defense. Typical strawman argument from a right-winger. In fact, while the Democrats are a weak postive for gay rights, the Republicans are a strong negative, actively demonizing you and me to win votes from the clueless and bigoted. To throw that all away just to save on taxes is repugnant. Not to mention the fact, that the current deficit, caused entirely by the Republican party, is now at record levels. Sure live it up and let someone else’s grandchild pay for the mess.

  12. Matt says

    I am anti-abortion b/c I think that unwanted pregnancy is a life from the start. It has nothing to do with religion with me or a woman’s rights. To me that is a life. People who are pregnant and want them don’t go around calling their pregancy my fetus, embroyo, or zygote. The call it their baby because that’s what it is. Their baby. To me getting rid of a child that you just don’t want is selfish. I personally am the child of a rape and I am thankful my mother kept me even though in the beginning I was unwanted.

  13. Will says

    Project much, Matt? Your personal experience is not sufficient to allow such control over another person’s body. Be grateful to your mother, not spiteful to others. Someone else’s decision to terminate her pregnancy is not a rejection of you.

    And then let’s deal with your belief. I can do it in one word, irrelevant.

    You can believe anything you want but unless the belief is based on fact and in based in reality, then it has no place influencing or guiding the laws of a free and open society. If that were the case, then let’s just castrate ourselves now and put all the women in chandoors and leave them in the kitchen. Or maybe we should just lock up all the homos in camps and gas them, after all many believe that they are a threat to the natural order. No belief is superior to another because it is simply unsupported opinion. So unless you can give me a rational reason for your opinion, I suggest you keep it between yourself and your god/priest/cult leader.

  14. jmg says

    Since when is there always a rational reason behind an opinion? By your reasoning, Will, people who vote for a political candidate because they think he’s attractive shouldn’t be able to vote. Sorry, that’s not going to happen.

    I like the color green. No rational reason behind it.

    Matt is against abortion for his own reasons, and he should be able to express his opinions. Go right ahead, Matt.

  15. Matt says

    Thank you JMG. I have not named called anyone here. Only expressed my opinion. In my post on my reasoning I said it had nothing to do with religion but Will points out that I should keep it between my cult leader/priest. An example of my rationale is the Lacy Peterson case. Her unborn child was considered by the courts to be a human and thus counted as a charge of murder against Scott Peterson. This child is at the exact same stage of development as children who are aborted but yet these are deemed by the state as not human life but fetus or embryos. Which is it? Human life or not? And please Will, I am discussing this in a mature manner. I have not bashed your opinion. I disagree with it but I have not named called you or made fun of you in any manner. Please have the same respect for me. Only through mutual discussion can we understand one another and reach a middle road.

  16. Will says

    JMG, big difference between letting a belief guide how you live your own life and using that same belief as a reason to control how others live. BIG difference. HUGE.

  17. peterparker says

    For the record, on the day Mitt Romney announced his candidacy for President he held a press conference at a fundraising effort in which all his friends, family and major supporters (ie: donors) manned phone lines and called Republican party faithful to drum up cash. The New York Times reported that Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, was on hand that day making calls to help Romney raise money for his campaign. You might want to think twice before you log on to eBay to sell your old iPod or that cardigan sweater your grandma gave you for Christmas.

  18. Will says

    As an attorney, I can tell you that the holding that Lacy Peterson’s fetus/child was a “human” for the purposes of the penal law would not withstand an appeal unless there was some evidence that the child had actually been born prior to, during, or after her murder and actually breathed on its own. I do not know if the decision was appealed. If such evidence was lacking, I don’t see how the decision would not be overturned. Further, the request and decision were merely a sop to Peterson’s family as a way to recognize that she was pregant. That much was all over the papers. This has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    Let me agree with you this much, anyone who aborts a fetus/child (I will not be caught in a trap of semantics) that is capable of being viable outside of the womb is selfish. However, can you point out to me using an unbiased source that actually lists how many women out there abort such fetus/child so far along in pregnancy simply because she now didn’t want the baby anymore???

    Maybe I’d be on your side for (only) such late-term abortions if you could prove that there were tens/hundreds, etc. of women having abortions in the third trimester on a whim. But that is not the case.

    I would still love to hear you address why you think you have a right to prevent a woman from getting an abortion, which is what you do when you vote Republican. If it is just your belief, then that answer will never satisfy me or any other person who believes that our laws should be based on facts, not beliefs or superstitions handed down through the ages by a male-dominated society that only allowed women the right to vote less than 100 years ago. Even divorce law didn’t become equitable in most states until the 1960s.

    So as a gay man, admittedly liberal and enjoying my crime-free sex life, I can do nothing but disagree with any man who thinks that abortion should be banned based on an opinion as unsupported as the one that says I should be locked up for a blow job.

  19. peterparker says


    Republicans often say they are for a government that will stay out of their business. But how is the government staying out of the business of its citizens when it makes laws saying that a woman has no right to terminate a pregnancy? How is government staying out of the business of its citizens when it seeks to determine who can marry whom?

    I think an uplanned, unwanted pregnancy is an absolute tragedy, but I will never support outlawing a woman’s right to choose (in the first trimester). After all, it is her body that must carry the baby.

    As for the GLBT support of Democrats vs. Republicans, I think it can be boiled down to this simple fact: For almost twenty years the Republican party has demonized the GLBT community and sought to restrict our rights while the Democrats have been, for the most part, hands off. I’ll take the guys who are hands off over the ones who are trying to pass an amendment to The Constitution that would make us all second class citizens.


  20. Stephen says

    I don’t believe Matt is trying to “control” anyone else’s life by expressing his opinion. Influence, yes, but not control. Yet isn’t that one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy as American citizens, i.e., discussion of cultural/social/economic, etc. issues that affect us all?

    Hence, my opinion expressed on this blog, in a town hall, in a letter to a newspaper, etc. is typically something that I believe in and attempt to live my life by as an example. By doing so — and expressing it through words (in a non-demeaning manner) I (we) seek to influence others.
    To control others implies that those people (being “controlled”) are no longer acting of their own free will. That’s not Matt is talking about.

    Regarding this blogsite being “way left,” I cannot give an opinion without the term being defined further. Though I can say that those who have an opinion regarding politics, religion, social issues, sexuality,that veers in anyway from the majority of bloggers on Towleroad are swiftly cast out as if they were the PERSONAL demon of the person(s) taking offense to the opposing opinion.

  21. Will says

    Anyone who thinks that a vote for a republican is without consequences is delusional. A vote is a physical manifestation of an opinion. A vote for a republican is a vote and active action to deny a woman the right to control her own body.

    I never said Matt wasn’t entitled to his opinion, I said that (a) as a fellow gay man I could not understand it (regardless of his personal story), and (b) that his opinion was insufficient reason for a law to outlaw abortion. He can persuade all he wants, but he will never persuade me that our laws should be based on opinions/superstitions, not conclusions based on facts.

  22. jmg says

    “So unless you can give me a rational reason for your opinion, I suggest you keep it between yourself and your god/priest/cult leader.”

    Gee, sure sounds like you are saying Matt is not entitled to his opinion, Will.

  23. Will says

    No, JMG, just unclear. I never said that such opinions should be considered in debate about laws. You can have your opinion but unless you have more to back it up, it doesn’t belong in a debate as to what we put in the penal law.

  24. jmg says

    I guess you have a different definition of “opinion” in mind–like a judicial opinion perhaps.

    But voters influence our society all the time and we vote according to reasoning which often does not involve logic. I suspect lawmakers do that as well, even if they say they don’t.

  25. mark m says

    “MarkM, the republican’s haven’t done anything either. That’s my point of the post. I’m saying that Democrats and Republicans pander to us during election time and then once they are elected they forget about us.”

    And since Republicans are no different in this respect, why do you vote for anyone? Ok, so you have views on abortion and taxes that lead you to vote for certain candidates. But why bother? According to your rationale, they all lie to get elected and rarely deliver on their promises.

    This is simply politics 101.

    So on some level you must be voting for candidates who reflect your values, regardless of whether they walk the walk. It’s the principal of it, right?

    If this is true, then you vote based on your own personal agenda, just like the rest of us. So it’s pointless to call out the Democrats for pandering to us when it’s likely that your candidates are doing the same to you… and particularly where abortion is concerned, because Roe v. Wade is still in place and your anti abortion candidates are merely telling you what you want to hear to get elected because they haven’t done anything to overturn it.

  26. Stephen says

    Regarding laws being made based on conclusion of facts versus opinions/superstitions, the problem becomes this:

    John Doe believes in the God of the Bible and bases much of his opinions from that foundation.

    Jim Doe has no such belief in God, Bible, etc. and his opinion is based on Darwin’s theory/scientists/secularism/etc.

    John’s life would seemingly be one of more integrity (crosses over his faith to his beliefs to his actions — the separation of church and state not applying to individuals), whereas Jim’s life would lean more towards compartmentalization (Jim is his own god, so will choose and apply his opinions randomly as suits the topic).

    John believes wholeheartedly his beliefs are sound. Jim believes the same. Each tries to influence others (politicians, friends, etc.). Hence, laws will always be made based on differing opinions — stemming from what one person believes are facts and another believes are fiction.

  27. Will says

    I wouldn’t call it a judicial opinion. I wouldn’t have a problem regulating abortion if there was proof that it was harmful to women or to society at large such that society would break down or if there was proof of consciousness/self-awareness of the fetus. But there is no proof, just anecdotes from right-wingers. This is what I mean by fact-based.

    I never said we live in a perfect society. Everyone has irrational beliefs, fears and has acted irresponsibly/irrationally. That is what makes us human, to use a trite cliche. But no reason we should not strive for something better and by doing so stepping on some toes.

  28. Matt says

    Will, I am enjoying this debate as I’m learning new viewpoints and opinions. You state in the post above that you need proof that the fetus/child is conscience or self aware. Do we have proof that it is not? What about the movements in the womb? If you say that these are reflexive then you would have to state that when a child is born they are reflexive as well? As for a woman’s right to choose, I am not saying she doesn’t have the right to choose. We all have a right to choose whether the consequences are judicial or personal. A woman can choose to kill herself or others but there are consequences regarding that.

    Also sir, you have not given me one ounce of evidence of why I should change my viewpoint other than a woman has a right to do with her body what she wants too?

  29. brainiac_amour says

    Differences of opinion notwithstanding, it is refreshing and stimulating to read a reasoned and well-articulated debate on a blog. Its one of the many things I like about it; an intelligent readership..