July 16th, 2007
12:32 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney blasts pornography, drugs, violence in new ad

Romney is out with a new ad Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the latest effort to tout his family values, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hit the television airwaves Monday with a new ad that criticizes the “culture that surrounds our kids today.”

In the ad, set to run in crucial campaign states Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the GOP presidential hopeful quotes former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan, who wrote following the Columbine shootings that the assailants “inhaled too deeply in the oceans in which they swam.”

“I’d like us to clean up the water in which our kids are swimming,” Romney says in the ad as picturesque beach scenes are displayed.

Romney’s latest ad comes less than two weeks after he faced criticism from some social conservatives who argued he did not try to limit pornography offerings in Marriott Hotels when he served on its board.

"I am not pursuing an effort to try and stop adults from being able to acquire or see things that I find objectionable; that's their right,” Romney told The Associated Press following the criticisms. “But I do vehemently oppose practices or business procedures that will allow kids to be exposed to obscenity.”

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Political ads
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Donna Dortch- Springfield, Illinois

    If we are going to eradicate the use of marijuana, then the public must be made aware of its effects. I for one know the effects of long term use on ones personality.

    July 16, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Danny, Houston, Tx

    yeah so did Sen. Vitter, now look at him. Republicans are the biggest liars in the world.

    July 17, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Why should he try to limit pornography in hotels? If you don't want to see it, don't turn it on.

    July 17, 2007 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  4. c

    good for mitt. he is the only candidate that dares to stand up to a lot of the wackos posting here about the moral values that are country was founded upon and that made us strong.

    some of of think it is important to be moral and upstanding and think our country is stronger that way. it is interesting to see how viral the attacks are against people who encourage morality in society. a society without morals is a soceity on the fall.

    good form him. he does it knowing of the backlash that awaits him when he takes up such an emotional issue for many.

    July 17, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. c

    porn is one of the biggest problems this country faces. as we become more and more sexually perverted, we will become more and more like animals and uncivilized.

    who wants to live in an uncivilized society. the more we degenerate into animals the more our freedoms will be questioned.

    there is nothing good about pornography. it gets people addicted to more and more sick things. it increases pedophilia and rape and it ruins many peoples lives. it demeans womena and their value is is just disgusting in general. it appeals to our natural senses which many cannot fight against.

    it is a very valid point to be made. get rid of pornography! we don't need it!

    July 17, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Tom Dedham, Mass .. keep spinnin' those flip flops buddy!

    any MORE definitions you'd like to change for us?

    July 17, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Shawnie – Grants Pass, OR ... "Romney is intelligent, professional, successful, articulate, strong, focused and dedicated."

    Let me repost his inconsistencies for you shall I?

    Romney: 1) was a liberal in Massachusetts, where he TWICE ran for statewide office as a pro-CHOICE candidate but now says he opposes Roe v. Wade; 2) he was dedicated to "full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens" and now describes himself as "a champion of traditional marriage"; 3) he signed a no-new-tax pledge (that he once mocked) in an attempt to hide his tax-raising record; 4) in Massachusetts, he bucked the National Rifle Association by supporting the Brady Bill and an assault-weapons ban, boasting, "I don't line up with the NRA.", yet Lately (in August of 2006) he bragged that he joined the gun-rights organization as a life member; 5) he was FOR gays serving open in the military before he was AGAINST it; 6) he endorsed federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research in 2005, but now claims he opposes it; 7) he may or may not be an avid hunter since he said "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life," he told a man sporting a National Rifle Association cap – even though he’s been on a total of TWO hunting trips in his 60 years! 8) Romney said he doesn’t believe in overturning juries, yet he fully supported Dubya’s commuting of Scooter Libby’s sentence before a single day of jail time was ever served.

    Does THAT sound intelligent, articulate, strong, focused and dedicated? Probably not to anybody with a hint of brain matter in their head.

    See, EVERY TIME you say those things, I'm going to shoot them down.

    I supported Kerry in '04, but at least I admit he flip flopped! But Romney makes Kerry looked like he's nailed to the floor. Romney either lacks any convictions whatsoever, or he's a horrible liar.

    Pick one already!

    And in the future, either stop bragging about traits he CLEARLY doesn't possess, or start explaining HOW his flip flops are "traceable to bias media articles that don’t tell the whole story".

    July 17, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Ryan, Provo, UT

    I'm a Democrat and Romney is certainly not my first choice for president, but I think all this "flip-flopper" talk is absolutely shameful. It made me angry when Bush did it to Kerry, and it makes me equally angry now.

    Do you really want a politician in office who has never ever changed his opinions on anything? If you hold the exact same positions on issues today that you held 20 years ago, or even 5 years ago, then you are probably a closed-minded, ignorant person.

    What really matters are the positions he holds now and the reasons behind them. People like "Rick" represent the worst of American political thought.

    July 17, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Mike, HI

    In response to 'c':

    I can watch pornography without it damaging my psychological state. I can watch it without thinking any less of women, without wanting to rape anyone (where did you get that notion!?), and I've yet to get addicted to anything "sick." I assume this is true for many other people.

    I'm not going to deny that, for some, pornography may feed their deep psychological problems or addictions (I don't believe it can create said problems, though). However, even if this is true, why should I be denied the enjoyment I get from watching porn? Why should I be punished for someone else's problem? Michael Bay's movies give me a headache-should the government ban his movies from theaters?

    Your stance on porn is exactly the kind of attitude that could destroy this country: sacrificing liberty in the interest of security.

    July 17, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Ryan, Provo, UT ... "Do you really want a politician in office who has never ever changed his opinions on anything?"

    No .. but we certainly don't want someone who changes his opinions on EVERYTHING either.

    "People like “Rick” represent the worst of American political thought."

    Maybe its people like YOU who are too stupid to grasp what a flip-flop and an outright LIE is.

    The FACT is, the FLIP FLOPS posted above PROVE that Romney is anything BUT intelligent, articulate, strong, focused and dedicated.

    Much to Shawnie's dismay and yours too apparently.

    Ryan, congratulations! You are now 0-1 in trying to out debate my point.

    Wanna try 0-2 next Ryan?

    July 17, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Why can't the government learn that it is the parents responsibility to keep bad stuff from kids? Stay out of our lives big government!

    July 17, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    You must have your stuff saved on your computer because you keep repeating yourself word for word, and it is as much nonsense now as it was the last time you cut and pasted it.

    It is ok for me to have my own views and opinions and for you to have yours, however yours is based on slanted media articles in which you did no further research or check the sources. I'm not impressed with your exhaustive laundry list. It is simply urban legend fodder from the other side of the aisle. You keep throwing it out there hoping some of it will stick.

    July 17, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Mike from Hawaii
    You're in denial.

    July 17, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Ryan, Provo, UT

    How about this Rick. Why don't you just say, "I don't support Mitt Romney because I feel like he has changed his position on several key issues just so he can better position himself for the presidency. I think that demonstrates dishonesty and I don't think I could trust him enough to vote for him."

    That's what you really mean. But when you use gross hyperbole and words in all caps, its difficult to take you seriously.

    I am not at all "dismayed" about your points. Several of them are valid and I agree with you that Romney has made some changes that I don't feel are honest. Like I said, I don't support him for president.

    But you, and several political pundits, never clarify the difference between a change of opinion for political gain and a change of opinion because of an honest evolution of thought. I think that some of Romney's changes are the former and some are the latter.

    Criticizing someone just because they changed their opinion is idiotic, and "represents the worst of American political thought." Criticizing someone because you think they've done so dishonestly is a valid opinion.

    July 17, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Rick ~ Chicago,

    Since you’re an expert in flip-flop detection…. Would your list of flip-floppers include Hillary who voted FOR the war before she was against it... and then voted FOR the funding...but continually blasts the President?

    But I will take you up on your challenge about Mitt ("pick one already").

    You suggest it is flip-flopping if someone (Mitt) supports the rights of America's gay and lesbian citizens but then say he champions traditional marriage. You must believe these two ideas are mutually exclusive (can't support gay/lesbian americans without supporting their right to marry)??

    The vast majority of Americans support the rights of all to life freely and not face discrimination. Yet the vast majority of Americans do not favor same-sex marriage. Marriage is an institution originally derived from religion – not governments. Freedom of religion will always remain apart of this country – like it or not.

    If your argument is that withholding marriage is some type of inequality … so too is requiring individuals to reach a certain age (16), pass a written exam, and a driving test before being given a license to drive. So too are the requirements to be the President of the US (you must be born in this country and not an immigrant). So too is the requirement to play in the WNBA (female players only). Gay men CAN marry – women. Just because a person is gay doesn’t prohibit them from marrying a person of the opposite sex (same rules we heterosexual people must play by).

    Traditional marriage is defined by theology, 3000 years of recorded history, and the people of this nation. Those are the facts and do not require exclusivity to upholding the rights of Americans regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation.

    By the way… do you fully support the plight polygamists obtaining the same rights to marriage?

    July 17, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Hey Rick old buddy, I will say it again, Kerry flip-flopped in mid-thought, mid-sentence, mid-day, mid-week and mid-polling. Big difference.

    Now, Romney has changed views on some serious issues since he debated Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy way back in the 90's and moderated a bit more when he ran in Mass. and should be questioned even more on why he changed his views.

    But he actually has and gave detailed and personal responses to the questions.

    Just because you think he flip-flopped doesn't mean that he still can't be intelligent, professional, successful, articulate, strong, focused and dedicated.

    He is all that and I hope the Democrats take him lightly, he will be the next President if they do.

    July 17, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. David, Kansas City Mo

    I think we are missing the point of Romneys ad. First of all he is mentioning "children" not adults. Yes its the parents responsibility to protect thier children but what happens when a kid / child (16 and under) opens an email that is porn spam. What happens when a perfectly sheltered and innocent child opens up the internet and gets a porn pop up?

    In the case of the Marriot hotels there are a couple of things that need to be mentioned. 1. Romney was a board member. He drew a salary of about 20 – 30K annually. Hardly anything for the middle class person to live off. 2. The porn and other movies that hotel patrons can view are pay per view. These patrons have the choice to watch them. They are not impressionable children.

    This ad isnt attacking hotel customers or a grown man looking at porn on the internet. It is specifically refencing children and the atmosphere that surrounds them. Its attacking the industries that target children.

    July 18, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Mike, HI

    "Mike from Hawaii
    You’re in denial."

    Denial of what, exactly?

    July 18, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Fabienne Jacksonville Florida

    Romney will be our next president!

    July 18, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Fabienne Jacksonville Florida ... "Romney will be our next president!"

    Will he be wearing flip flops too?

    July 18, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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