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. Wil, Grand Rapids, Michigan

    I think you all might be missing the fact that Clinton, Obama, and Edwards do not wish to escalate the war in Iraq (unlike Romney).

    August 8, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Dave, Greeley Colorado

    What is sad is that we don't appreciate Iraq for what it could be and the GOP will not change. They stand hawkish on sending military people to die without a plan but they will not send their own kids because they know the risks. Here is a plan: Divide Iraq into three independent states. Let them deal with local security as they have for centuries. Leave the Middle East and work on developing alternate energy. This will stop the insurgency, secure Iraq, ideologically destroy Al Quiada, and will provide a path to the future. A chance to turn the other cheek one might say. Maybe they would help us arrest Usama Bin Ladin then. I don’t suggest we don’t continue to locate and arrest Al Quiada but I do suggest that we quit providing them the fuel and money to keep their fire burning. Fighting occupation is a cornerstone to the religion and we are stupid to occupy the land if democracy is truly our intent.

    August 8, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Dave, Washington DC

    Why is it "anti-war" to ask a political candidate why his family members have not chosen to serve in the war on terror that is the centerpiece of his campaign for president?

    Put differently, why don't supporters of the war encourage military service?

    August 8, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Veronica L. Feinstein, Stamford, CT

    Why hasn't Romney's kids served? Because Neo-con chickenhawks send OTHERS children to die in a WAR OF CHOICE.

    August 8, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Tommy,Atlanta

    All ignorant commentators listen:it is not CNN that questioned Romney's military service or his son's but was asked at a "campaign stop in Bettendorf,Iowa..whether any of his sons were enlisted in the military and what they were doing to "support the war on terror".Is it wrong for CNN to report the news?

    August 8, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Bob Brummel Winslow,Maine

    In one of Michael Moore's movies he asked a number of congressman if they had children in the armed forces only to find that none did.This is a war where the only people making any kind of sacrafice at all are the few that have sons or daughters in the service(my son is in the navy).If more people were involved(bring back the draft?) this war would end a lot sooner.

    August 8, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Jim, Grayson Ga

    Mit Romney's stance on his son's serving in the Military is one that is easily understandable from the view of any parent; even the one's who have lost thier lives in this latest war.

    I dont feel that he is being singled out, for any person wishing to be the Commander in Chief should be required to step up to the plate and defend both his/her's military career and that of his family. However asking for a stance on this issue by GOP Candidates is moot,because after the debacle of eight years of Bush, Abe Linclon,and Ronald Reagan coming back to life and running on the GOP Ticket won't save 2008 for the GOP.

    August 8, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I don't see why Mitt Romney is so scrutinized with his war relations. People complain that he "dodged" the Vietnam Conflict by serving a mission for his church. So, serving God is now considered being a coward and a traitor?

    August 8, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Tedd, San Diego, California

    Everyone should volunteer for their country, not just democrats or independents, but republican's should join as well, including the politician's who have kids that are adults and well off. Just because they have money and feel they don't need to have a job in the military doesn't mean they still can't serve their country in this manner.

    Heck it's a volunteer corps, show your pride for America and join.

    August 8, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Most Americans have chosen not to enlist in the military. It doesn't mean they wouldn't serve if there came a draft or if called upon. The conclusions by some folks here would disqualify the very large majority of us from public service.

    August 8, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. miriam Pittsford, NY

    Why can't you do just a little research? The woman, Rachel Griffiths, who questioned Romney was not a "reputed war protester." Her brother recently served in Iraq, which is the main reason she asked the question. And you folks wonder why we go elsewhere for news?

    August 8, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. leslie d'amico

    another politician who is willing to send you to war but not his own sons and daugthers. Micheal Moore was right, our elected represenatives live in another world. they don't have our well being in mind just their own.

    August 8, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Greg Joseph Easton, Penna.

    Is it me or did you miss the most important part of Romney's response? What happened to the part about "they are helping getting me elected"? It puts the whole response in a different light. (And not very positive for Romeny)

    August 8, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Lee Sterne, El Paso, TX

    Romney's children have the same right as any other man's (or woman's)to either enlist or not; we should have a draft if we are going to have a war, but that is another issue.
    But consider: Romney went on to say "They are serving by helping get me elected."
    The sheer arrogance of this is stunning. Romney considers "assisting me get elected" as equal to the serving in the military in wartime!


    August 8, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    Well, there’s always Mit Romney, I mean, at least he never changes his stance and loves animals.

    Unless you count the cocker spaniel he strapped to the top of his station wagon for a cross country trip on the interstate I mean.

    But of course, Romney is pro choice, I mean pro life, I mean pro choice, I mean pro life.

    Well, like I said, at least he’s pro animal.

    August 8, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Erin Denver, CO

    Personally I think he flip flops way to much on not only important issues but very political issues. This is just another walk around the block with another politician who is shady! I don't trust anything coming out of his mouth!

    August 8, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Dave Queen Creek, AZ

    Tommy –

    Don't be silly. A liberal media outlet like CNN can report the news. They just choose to 'report' newsthat support their political affiliations. Of course, you being in Atlanta must admire your 'unbiased' hometown internet rag and think they are balanced.

    August 8, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Did Clinton (either) serve? NO – and she voted for the War

    Did Edwards serve? NO – and he voted for the war

    Did Biden serve? NO – and he voted for the war

    Are these candidates to be labeled "gutless chickhawks" being thrown at the GOP and Romney since they all voted FOR the war yet have not served in the military?

    The irony is – the military (as a whole) is more conservative and traditionally support Republicans. Hmmm – wonder why that is?

    Perhaps because Republicans are more staunch supporters of the Military, funding for military resources, and are less likely to be found burning American flags or protesting a War/Troops.

    And for those who want to point fingers that it is Republicans that warmonger – please be reminded it was DEMOCRATIC presidents: Woodrow Wilson (WW1), FDR (WW2), Truman (Korea) JFK (entered Vietnam), and LBJ (escalated Vietnam).

    August 8, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. fmckenna, Rochester, NY

    Idiots!! No wonder the best and brightest of their generation don't run for public office!! Now, you need to have military experience, or a family member who served, in order to run for President!! It's funny how all those with anti-war sentiments want military experience for a candidate. I guess you'll need to have a teenage daughter to be able to talk about abortion, a family member with a middle class income to talk about taxation, an illegal alien as a relative to speak about immigration, etc., etc., etc.!! How foolish is this voting public of ours??

    August 8, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. JR Ricks, Somerset NJ

    I was considering joining the USMC, but I'll just finish this year and graduate instead.

    My father is a huge Bush supporter but promised to brain me if I ever even considered serving "now". This, I can't understand.

    August 8, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    I find it interesting that so many Right Wingers seem to always equate media reporting of facts that don't paint their heros or their heros' supporters in a favorable light as an attack on them. Romney's kids didn't serve. Thats a fact. CNN reported that fact. Get over it.

    August 8, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Casey, Ontario, Canada

    If there was an open draft with no deferrals it would be much harder for an administration to start a war. No war should be fought unless every person in the country is willing to make a sacrifice.

    August 8, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Clark Sheets, Las Cruces, New Mexico

    These brave lads have been advertising executives, sports marketers, and real estate salesman. They also are driving an RV across Iowa. How much more sacrifice could anyone ask of the "Intrepid Five?"

    August 8, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Ali, Ithaca, New York

    I'm very, very disturbed that the litmus test for whether a candidate's views are legitimate has become whether that candidate has impressed his offspring into military service. Give me a freaking break. Are we quizzing all the environmentally-conscious candidates on whether their children are scrupulously Earth-friendly? Oh, no. Guess we're not. Cause the only candidates who will be judged by what their children do, apparently, are the Republicans.

    August 8, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. Mary, Ames, IA

    This should be no surprise. In general, wealthy people's children do not serve in the military these days and Romney is very wealthy. They don't need the sign-up bonuses, or educational assistance or any of the other "benefits" the military offers. Their children are too valuable to them to be in the line of fire; they have "other things to do." They can back the war without much personal cost. And Bush and Cheney have NO idea what combat is like. My father-in-law (a WW2 vet) quotes the poem "Two Sides of War" by Grantland Rice. Check it out.

    August 8, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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