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Romney Ambushed By Anti-War Activist, Abetted By AP, To No Effect

Wednesday, August 8, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The AP, with lefty bloggers in tow, is trying to make an issue out of an ambush question at a Romney campaign forum today. Rachel Griffiths, a member of the “Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good” asked the “why are your kids chickenhawks” question: “Thank you so much for being here and asking for our comments and I appreciate your recognizing the Iraq War veteran. My question is how many of your five sons are currently serving in the U.S. military and if none of them are how do they plan to support this war on terrorism by enlisting in our U.S. military? Romney responded:

The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard.

I also respect and value very very highly those who make the decision to serve in the military. And I think we ought to show an outpouring of support just as I suggested, a surge of support for those families and for those individuals who are serving. My niece, for instance, just to tell you what a neighborhood can do and how touching it can be, my niece Misha –living out west– her husband, I think he got a call on a Tuesday, he’s in the National Guard, he got a call on a Tuesday that he was going to be called up and shipped overseas on a Thursday, and they’d just bought a home, they hadn’t landscaped it, but the rules in the neighborhood were that unless you got your home landscaped within a year of the time that you bought your home, they began fining you because they didn’t want people having mudholes in front of their homes. And she was very worried, and just before the year expired, she woke up one morning and looked out the window and all the neighbors were out there rolling out sod, putting up trees, getting it all done. It is remarkable how we can show our support for our nation.

One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected because they think’d I be a great president (laughter) and my son Josh bought the family Winnibago and has visited 99 counties most of them with his three kids and his wife, and I respect that and all of those and the way they serve this great country.

AP left out both the text of the question and all of the italicized comments. Nice reporting, eh?

The Romney campaign quickly released the YouTube video of the exchange, though given the fundamental inability of the chickenhawk meme to move the average American voter, and the widespread rejection of such logic by the uniformed military, it might have been better to let the “controversy” play out a bit as a way of demonstrating how in the bag the AP is to the anti-war fringe.

A question for lefties in love with this meme: Have you denounced The New Republic’s and Private Beauchamp’s slanders? Have you talked up the virtues of serving in uniform in time of war? Or do you dispute that we are in a war, and find it convenient to focus on alleged war crimes and other misdeeds of the military? Do you accuse the Administration of fighting for oil, or of misleading us into war? Are you tearing down the military and yet condemning people for not serving in it?

Just wondering.

UPDATE: Jonathan Martin writes:

Said Rachel Griffiths: “He told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected.”


No, not “ouch,” beacuse Romney didn’t say that his son was serving the military by campaigning for him. He said his son was serving the nation by working for him, and it was a laugh line.

Martin should know better than to trust an AP report of an anti-war activist.

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