December 19th, 2007
09:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Romney comes to the rescue in new spot

Romney is highlighting a personal story in a new ad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Campaign holiday ads are the big trail trend this week, with Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and Barack Obama all debuting gauzy ads filmed in front of Christmas trees. But Mitt Romney is out with a new 30-second spot that's more Times Square than tinsel.

In 'Searched' - airing in New Hampshire this week - Robert Gay, one of Romney’s former business associates, tells viewers how the former Massachusetts governor brought the entire team to New York City to help find his daughter Melissa.

"He said, 'I don’t care how long it takes – we’re going to find her,'" says Gay. "He set up a command center and searched through the night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney."

The 14-year-old had disappeared after attending a rave in the city in 1996, when Rudy Giuliani was still mayor. In information the campaign sent to reporters about the incident, it includes an excerpt from the Boston Globe coverage following Melissa Gay’s safe return, in which Romney reflects on the dark side of life in New York:

"The partners, however, are still taking stock of their visit to the dark corners of New York, putting up posters and talking to runaways outside seedy nightclubs and peep shows. Romney said he can't escape some of the images he carries with him from his week in the New York underworld. 'It was a shocker,' he said. 'The number of lost souls was astounding…"

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Gil - California

    This does nothing to show why anyone would vote for Mitt. I guess if you park your shell companies off shore you can afford to fund rescue operations to that evil New York city.
    The fact that he did this is really a great thing. The fact that he is now using it as a political ad is disgusting. Mr. Romney, you have already earned your reward for this event. Too bad it won't get you elected President.

    December 19, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Sam Beus, Twin Falls Idaho

    The fact that the kid shouldn't have been in NYC for a rave is exactly the point. I'm sure Romney recognized allowing a 14-year-old to go to a rave in NYC was a bad idea, but he still went beyond the call of duty to rescue her.

    It's absurd to think he was taking a passing shot at Rudy Giuliani (via his "lost souls" comment) fully twelve years before either of them decided to vie for the presidency.

    I wonder if one of the lost souls was Hillary looking for Bill.

    December 19, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Wayne, Greenville TX

    This is an awesome story, if you get a chance, watch the video or read about the story in it's entirety. Romney stopped everything at his company and transported a whole lot of people to New York for the express purpose of recovering this 14 year old girl.

    Posted By Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR : December 19, 2007 11:00 am

    Is this an indication of what we can expect from his "inspired" leadership? Is he gonna go into crisis mode at every turn?

    Some of you folks may see evidence of fine leadership in this story – I see a hotshot who decided to do the Police department's job.

    I'm still not impressed with anything about Mitt Romney. And don't tell me about his business skills – George W. Bush has an MBA from Harvard, and he's the worst leader this country has ever had.

    December 19, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Why did he let his 14-year old daughter attend a rave in New York City? Is this really something he wants to publicize?

    Posted By anon New York, NY : December 19, 2007 12:03 pm

    The girl was not Romney's daughter – she was the daughter of a business associate. Romney has five sons, none of whom have served in the military. In other words, Romney is another chickenhawk who has no trouble sending other people's kids off to die.

    December 19, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Brad, Stockton, CA

    Poor Melissa! Hey, I dislike Rudy just as much as I dislike Mitt, but come on... telling me that this happened in 1996 when Rudy was mayor; seems to me the problem would be with Robert Gay, the girl's father, for allowing a 14 year old girl to attend a rave in the city. It's the same double standard that is used with Natalie Holloway. What were the parents thinking? What kind of people does Mitt Romney hang out with?

    December 19, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Robert, Modesto, CA

    Would Mitt have considered doing this for the 14 year old daughter of an inner city slum dweller? I guess it really is "who you know" that counts and unfortunately, those who "know" are those who will reap the benefits of a Romney presidency.

    December 19, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. al

    any one who runs as a christian candidate is making an oxymoronic statement. what would jesus do?

    December 19, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Is this an indication of what we can expect from his "inspired" leadership? Is he gonna go into crisis mode at every turn?

    Some of you folks may see evidence of fine leadership in this story – I see a hotshot who decided to do the Police department's job.

    I'm still not impressed with anything about Mitt Romney. And don't tell me about his business skills – George W. Bush has an MBA from Harvard, and he's the worst leader this country has ever had.

    The girl was not Romney's daughter – she was the daughter of a business associate. Romney has five sons, none of whom have served in the military. In other words, Romney is another chickenhawk who has no trouble sending other people's kids off to die.

    Posted By Wayne, Greenville TX : December 19, 2007 3:13 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, I present to you what is wrong with this country in a nutshell.

    I would be the FIRST to say "good job" to any other candidate that did this REGARDLESS of the party affiliation, but not old Wayne here, nah, Mitt panicked and somehow this young girl was saved and her FATHER thinks enough of Mitt in "crisis mode", that he wants everyone to know about it.

    Mitt actually balanced a few budgets, ran a few companies, saved the Olympics etc, etc, but he is as dumb as Bush because, well, he is a Republican, achievment means nothing even when the facts prove it.

    Just for the record Wayne, my two beloved Senators, Kerry who had worse grades than Bush and Ted Kennedy, who got thrown out of Harvard for cheating are not in Romney's league when it comes to intellect.

    As for Mitt not "sending his kids off", the last time I checked the military was a volunteer one, at least it was when I proudly volunteered and served allowing Wayne free speech on any subject.

    But then again in "Wayne's world", words mean more than actions as in "ready to lead, from day one".

    Nuff said.

    December 19, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Wayne, Greenville TX:

    You are not impressed with anything about Mitt Romney because 1) you don't want to be impressed, 2) you are not looking for anything that would impress you and 3) you hate every single Republican out there. You are a sad soul, Wayne.

    As to Gov. Romney, one of these days he will make a great president for our beloved country America. He's got the necessary LEADERSHIP and executive EXPERIENCE to lead us into the future.

    Good work, Governor! Keep it up!

    December 19, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    He brought a team of people from Massachusetts to NYC. On whose dime? For a business associate?

    And here is this guys Daughter, who is FOURTEEN years old, off somewhere, anywhere, attending a Rave? OK, we konw what's going on here.

    Yet Mitt feels it the smart thing to alienate New Yorkers with his comment "The partners, however, are still taking stock of their visit to the dark corners of New York, putting up posters and talking to runaways outside seedy nightclubs and peep shows. Romney said he can't escape some of the images he carries with him from his week in the New York underworld. 'It was a shocker,' he said. 'The number of lost souls was astounding…" Where was she found? In some seedy nightspot? In a shooting gallery full of crack addicted wanton women?

    NO! She went missing after she traveled to New York from Ridgefield, Co. on her own, took Ecstasy at a concert on Randall's Island, ended up at a party under the Whitestone Bridge in The Bronx, where she met a boy there who took her to his house in New Jersey, and stayed with him for a few days, too embarrassed to call her parents and have them come get her.

    Yet this is the picture Mitt wants America to have of NYC? I'm sure the MILLIONS of visitors we have here every year know much better than that!

    I dub this the "Tawana Brawley Factor" for the obvious spin of the missing young girl, who went out on her own, and got more than she wanted and went too far!

    HaHaHaHa Mitt, you ass! You phony arrogant moron!

    December 19, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Tom, Phx, AZ

    For someone to use the resources they have available to good end is what ordinary people do every day. Look at it like this: if a boat sinks in the ocean it's tragic. If the largest boat sinks (Titanic) it's still tragic, the story just seems more dramatic. It is when people go above and beyond their means and commit to self sacrifice that actions become heroic. Though this story sounds big, his actions required no real self sacrifice, Mitt still had his hundreds of millions in his bank accounts. Was what he did a good thing? Yes. However, if Mitt truly exemplified self sacrifice for the common good surely you would think at least one out of his five sons would have become motivated by his father's example and would have decided to serve this country in uniform. Especially as so many other sons and daughters in this country have since 9/11. Oh, that's right, when asked about this Mitt said "his sons are serving the country by campaigning for him"(you can look it up). Want to look at a candidate and a family who exemplify self sacrifice? Then look at John McCain and his boys currently serving in uniform, risking not a minuscle amount of their money, instead risking their very lives for this country. I welcome any Mitt fans to respond.

    December 19, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Doug, New Jersey

    The comments here from various liberal democrats about this amazing story tells decent human beings all they need to know about the left. I know the republicans suck but each and every one of them has so much more charecter, values, morals, common decency, and love in their hearts than liberal democrats.

    I hate to say it but it is the truth. If this girl is the daughter of a republican, then almost every liberal Democrat in America wishes that she would have been found dead. It hurts to say it, I want to think they are better, but read their comments all over the net, they just are not. Ask yourself, is there really that much evil in you that it rots your soul to the point that you can be a liberal Democrat? Know the type of people you are siding with and what it is that you really are supporting when you vote Democrat, if you accept the truth then I welcome your republican vote next November. Thank you

    December 19, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. Duh, Ca

    Wayne, how ignorant can you honeslty be??? Last time I checked, NO ONE was drafted into this war. NO ONE went into Iraq unwillingly. NO ONE made ANYONE sign up for the military! That was all done by choice. You are incredibly insulting to those men and woman who face bombs, guns, grenades and the like all while you sit on your duff and act like you know something!!

    What does it matter that his kids never served in the military? When was that a requirement? Rembember, Romney didn't send us to war, Bush did. Maybe you should be attacing his daughters? SOmething tells me you wouldn't be above that!!

    December 19, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    Good example Mitt. The best message of Christmas is to take action and DO something that JESUS would have us DO for our fellow man, instead of just talking about stuff from a pulpit. Sounds like a very Christian thing to me. Smart Christmas massage Mitt.

    December 19, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  15. Editor, ExposeRomney.com (Washington DC)

    I found this one line particularly interesting:

    "The 14-year-old had disappeared after attending a rave in the city in 1996, when Rudy Giuliani was still mayor."

    Nice dig on Giuliani, but I expect such underhanded behavior from Romney. Why didn't you mention that when you were Governor on MA in 2006 there were 186 murders and 1,742 forcible rapes? Crime happens, unfairly slipped in the ad. Not to mention New York was transformed under Giuliani. Anyone that's every lived in NYC knows the difference.

    December 19, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. Ron Richey, St. Johns Arizona

    Many commentors here do not get the point. Mitt Romney's business partner's daughter essentially ran away. Mitt was committed enough to his sphere of responsibility and concern, that he did whatever it took to solve the problem. That's what he does, he solves problems, just like he will solve the problems in Washington.

    This story wasn't about Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, slamming NYC or anthing that various comments have accused it of. It was simply to show a candidate for president who is a profoundly decent man who values family and people above money or status, and has the leadership abilities to get the job done.

    December 19, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  17. Michelle D. - Atlanta, GA

    Maybe Mitt could send a team to Aruba to find Natalee Holloway?

    Just a thought.

    December 20, 2007 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  18. Ajay Jain

    Did Romney take his cue from TheHillaryIKnow.com website?

    December 20, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. K Wilkinson MG TX

    Stick with the issues.

    ROMNEY FOR THE ECONOMY!
    2008

    December 20, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Brian, Syracuse NY

    I'm glad Mitt Romney's so afraid of New York – let's hope he stays away forever!

    December 20, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Believer, Durham, NC

    Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim: What was his daughter doing there in the first place?

    Believer: He doesn't have a daughter, it was someone else's. Read the story more carefully.

    Angel: That doesn't make sense. Rich Republicans kids taking drugs is killing America. Obama is the solution.

    Believer: ??? You make no sense at all. But apparently you're convinced Obama can swoop in and save us all. Does he have a cape and drive an Obama-mobile?

    Angel: uh... that's all I had – Republicans are evil.

    December 20, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Ajay Jain

    Romney has gone blitz even before Iowa. Senator McCain just might BEAT you in both NH and Iowa Romney! Save your negative ads for Super Tuesday!! You will need a lot of help that day!!!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 21, 2007 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  23. Melanie B, Chelsea, ME

    I'm not swayed by these kinds of ads, I look at the bigger picture. Many people are saying this was misleading, but y'know what? The single fact that he helped that man...not whether they found her, or why she was missing...is the important point here. Good work and that says a lot about the character of Romney as a man.

    December 24, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  24. Mary Ann, Boston, MA

    Hmmm, ah yes, lost souls...like a 14 year old who goes to a rave, gets trashed, nearly ODs on drugs, and then hooks up with some guy for a few days. Funny how that was left out of the ad. Helping search for the girl was commendable, but warping the incident for his own political gain is sleazy.

    December 25, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
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