August 8th, 2007
04:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney quizzed on sons' military service

Watch Romney respond to a question on his sons' lack of military service Wednesday.

(CNN) - At a campaign stop in Bettendorf, Iowa Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was asked whether any of his sons were enlisted in the military and what they were doing to “support the war on terror.”

“The good news is, we have a volunteer army, and we’re going to keep it that way,” the former Massachusetts governor responded. “My sons are all adults…. They’ve made their decisions about their careers and chosen not to serve in the military and I respect that decision.”

The question came from a reputed war protestor while Romney was discussing Iraq. The presidential hopeful continued his answer by calling for a “surge of support” for those enlisted and their families.

According to The Associated Press, the woman is a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good and is the sister of an Army major who has served in Iraq.

Romney’s five sons, ranging in age from 26 to 37, have been active campaigners on behalf of their father. They maintain the “Five Brothers” blog on Romney’s official Web site, chronicling their crisscrossing campaign events.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Ben, Chicago IL

    Big surprise there that one of the biggest supporters of the war and torture, Mitt "I'd double Guantanamo" Romney, who himself avoided service in Vietnam, does not have any immediate family in the army. You would think one of the 5 kids would realize how hypocritical this makes the Romney campaign.
    It should also be no surprise that of all the Repub candidates, one of the few that actually served in the army wants the Iraq war to end ASAP. And its no surprise this candidate received the most donations from people in the military.
    Go Ron Paul!

    August 8, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Grovin, Darnassus, IL

    And we expected anything different? Just like their father, can't commit to anything.

    Did they all shift their opinions on the issues every time he did, too?

    August 8, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Jason, Seattle WA

    Wow, this article speaks volumes! Its pretty interesting that Romney supports the war in Iraq and none of his sons are enlisted. Yet Ron Paul does not support the war in Iraq and he has received more money donations from military service personal then any other canidate. The troops want out of Iraq; Romney and other elitists like Bush haven't had to make any sacrifices for this war that they so fervently support!

    August 8, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Bill, Alabama

    Bush and Cheney both slipped by in the Vietnam conflict with deferrals, so how can any other Republican candidate with the exception of John McCain even evaluate the Iraq war when they have never been in the service. Takes a hypocrite to comment on staying in Iraq when one has never served.

    August 8, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. CorruptCore

    When is Clinton going to be asked the same question? And where are CNN's attacks on her??

    August 8, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. travis

    If I'm not mistaken, only a couple of the candidates running for pres have children in the military including none of the first tier candidates. Why is Romney singled out?

    August 8, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Bob, Oakland, CA

    Serving in the military doesn't make you a instant war expert. If war experience was a requirement there would be no need for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the president. Character and a sense of right and wrong is a more important quality in a president then war experience will ever be. Without those two you end up with someone who can lie to you without blinking and who has no qualms with doing whatever the hell they want to. Which describes 75% of the politicians in office. They always claim they will fix the problem but always seem to break more then they fix.

    I am in the Air Force. Lack of military service will not be the reason I don't vote for someone like Romney.

    August 8, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Mitt Romney's children have no obligation to enlist in the military any more than any other young person in the United States. Because Romney is running for President does not automatically create a military requirement for his children.

    What I do find disturbing the Mitt Romney's own military background. This man is hoping to be the Commander in Chief or our military. Because Mitt is such a proponent of the war in Iraq, his views on the extent of force used to obtain information from prisoners, and his statement he would double the size of Guantanamo he most definitely must have a military background. Unfortunately Mitt was in France passing out pamplets instead of serving in Vietnam.

    If Mitt had more of an anti-war stance, as do many of the other candidates, his military record would not be as much of an issue. This isn't the case however. He staunchly advocates the war in Iraq. I would not vote for this man as the Commander in Chief of my military.

    August 8, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. av3, Washington DC

    CNN I thought you would have enjoyed my previous post on Romney and would have put it up immediately, like you usually do. But, I was mistaken. Could you email me telling me what was so wrong with it that it hasn't been posted?

    August 8, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Teresa, Folsom, CA

    Anyone with adult children knows they make their own decisions. His children's choices to join or not to join the military are no reflection on him. Most candidate's children are not serving currently.

    August 8, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Tony Nazar, Wilton, ME

    Why would Mitt Romney's sons be any different than he is or 99% of the pro-war Republican pols. Except for McCain, they had "other things to do."

    August 8, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    The question came from a "reputed war protestor".

    This question is almost as important as PETA asking Hillary about her leather shoes!

    Or is the war protestor suggesting only individuals with some type of military experience should run for President? Oops – there goes Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Richards, Biden, Brownback, Giuliani, Romney, Tancredo, and Thompson.

    We would get to choose from: Ron Paul, John McCain, Mike Gravel, and Chris Dodd.

    August 8, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. will, UT


    August 8, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Jared, Bennington, VT

    Interesting description of the questioner, "reputed war protestor." I find this description to be more appropriate, "The woman who asked the question, 41-year-old Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Ill., the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq."

    August 8, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Jeff C, San Francisco

    Romney and his family are no different from the rest of the U.S. political elite, who ask NO personal sacrifice of themselves or their friends.

    It was a bunch of chicken hawks and draft dodgers (Bush, Cheney et al) who started and who contnue this senseless war, and it is the poor and powerless who get killed and injured.

    I'm no great admirer of either John McCain or John Kerry, but at least they have some personal moral basis for talking about war. Romney and most other politicians have none.

    August 8, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Katwac Oakland Calif

    Who cares whose children have serviced in the military. Look at former President Bush and look at the President George Bush – it did not matter folks!!!!If it did perhaps Bush would have really talked with his Dad about going to war, really talked with then Secretary and General Powell -honestly and openly. I bet we'd be at a different place right now. SO don't bash anyone for not serving or having their children serve. I thought this was America and that we all are proud of our country for the very fact that we make our own decisions period. Serving in the military does not make you a good President candidate look at McCain, poor guy he is so confused and he was a war prisoner.

    August 8, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. bro doc

    at least he's consistent: a republican (or democrat) who seems to be more hawkish the more they lack personal military service. in my opinion, no one, not even the "commander in chief", should send people off to die in any war unless they've marched a mile in their shoes first.

    August 8, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. VanReuter NY NY

    When is Clinton going to be asked the same question? And where are CNN’s attacks on her??
    Posted By CorruptCore

    Yeah, what about her 5 sons?
    You are aware that the Clinton's have ONE daughter? And it's well known how soft the media has always been on the Clinton Family. It must mean that corrupt core means, "soft in the head", caused by a terminal case of CDS.


    August 8, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Jim, Woodstock, IL

    I'm still waiting for Romney to figure out that the Iraq war and 9/11 are two different, unconnected events. He seems to be getting his info from the same source as Giuliani, who also made a bad 9/11 gaff at a previous debate.

    Haven't any of these candidates read the 9/11 report? Even President Bush was forced to admit as long ago as September of '03 that there was no connection.

    Sheesh guys, do your homework. Nothing scarier than a candidate with no grasp of current events. Except, maybe, a president.

    August 8, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Jonathan, Madison WI

    What a surprise!

    Like father, like son. No service.

    War is good, for OTHER PEOPLE'S sons and daughters.

    Pathetic Chickenhawk...

    August 8, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Barbara, College Station Tx

    Has anyone asked "W" who got us into the war in Iraq why neither of his daughters have enlisted?

    August 8, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Skip Van Hook Lexington, Kentucky

    Five sons and no military service- not even by the father? What a disgrace.

    Where are the families like the Sullivan’s? I guess they won't be found among the GOP leisure class with the likes of Cheney and Romney.

    August 8, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    To corruptcore –

    You must be living in a cave if you have missed the barrage of attacks on Hillary Clinton from all sides, most notably from the Republican conservatives and the Bush administration. I don't think CNN is giving her a pass, it's just that this particular story points out the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney as an avid supporter of the Iraq war, when neither he nor his sons have served in combat. If you have ever experienced the horrors of war, as my father did in WWII when he was part of the American forces who liberated the concentration camps of Dachau and Bergen Belsen, then you would know what it means to send our sons and daughters to war. My father despises this ill-conceived war and deplores the needless deaths of our brave soldiers.

    Are you also suggesting that Chelsea should have signed up so that Hillary isn't a hypocrite like Mitt? Let's take each person for who and what they are. Mitt Romney is a big cheerleader when it comes to Iraq, yet he has not made any personal sacrifice. Hillary Clinton is against the war and wants to bring our soldiers home. So where is her hypocrisy?

    August 8, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Jack Greenberg, NYC, NY

    What about Bush's daughters? They have the right to make up their own minds, but what and when did he, as a parent, counsel them to do?

    August 8, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. Roger, Keokuk, Iowa

    So you can't have an opinion on the war without a family member serving in the war. I guess any doctor that has never had a baby can not help pregnant women. If you have never had a family member in jail you can't comment on jail time for another. If you haven't been robbed you can't serve on a jury. How stupid can all this get? Get over it.

    August 8, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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