July 16th, 2007
09:14 AM ET
10 years ago

YouTube video shows Romney distancing from GOP in 2002

Watch CNN’s Abbi Tatton report on Romney’s YouTube trail.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Already the victim of previous YouTube assaults, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney now faces a new online video that shows the GOP presidential hopeful repeatedly distancing himself from the Republican Party during his 2002 gubernatorial run.

The video, posted on YouTube Thursday by the Massachusetts Democratic Party, shows several clips of Romney tamping down his Republican affiliation and advocating for political balance.

“I lived in a place that had a one-party state that was primarily Republican. I thought, `Well, won't that be nice?' The answer is no," Romney says in one of the video’s clips.

"I've been very clear, I think, to people all across the Commonwealth, that my `R' didn't stand so much for `Republican' as it does for 'reform,"' Romney is also seen saying.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden brushed aside the video, arguing it indicates the “Democratic Party brass” view him as the “greatest threat to them in 2008.”

“You know you're making great progress and you're doing things right as a good Republican when the wrong-way crowd in the Democratic Party starts attacking you,” he added.

A YouTube video of Romney defending abortion rights and gay rights as a Senate candidate in 1994 received wide exposure earlier in the year. Last month, fellow GOP candidate John McCain’s campaign posted a video of then-Gov. Romney in 2005 saying he supported maintaining the state’s abortion rights.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Michael: Cary, NC

    It seems to me that whoever posted the video is reaching for something that is not there. His comments seem less to mean that he is not a Republican but more that he is someone willing to see the big picture.
    Speaking as someone who does not claim an affiliation with either party, this seems rather refreshing. On the other hand, he could be trying to paint himself as a moderate to appeal to all voters.

    July 12, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. South Carolina, one of the EARLY states !!

    Even most replublicans wouldn't vote for a religious nut like Romney. He would certainly be the easy one for the Democrats to beat. Guiliani is one for the Democrats to be afraid of, not Romney. He may have a strong showing early on, but he will fade away like Dean in 2004.

    I know alot of Democrats that would LOVE to see Romney as the nominee, which would lead to a shoe-in for the Dems (even if Hillary managed to get the Dem nomination).

    July 12, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. S. Richard, Olathe, KS

    As an ex-Republican myself, I'm glad that Romney has never been your average Republican. That's exactly why I like him. For example, he's the only GOP-er who has made any attempt to solve the healthcare crisis in our country. By contrast, his GOP critics claim his plan is a massive violation of conservative principles. OK then, so, a GOP-er can claim the high road by doing nothing?
    Also, Ms. Mooney naturally neglected to mention that Mr. McCain's attack video of Romney utilized selective editing to portray Mitt's statements inaccurately. No agendas here...

    July 12, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Mark C, Morehead City NC

    Speaking as someone who does not claim an affiliation with either party, this seems rather refreshing.
    More to the point, however, it is not people with no affiliation with either party that will decide the GOP nomination. It is the GOP hard core.

    July 12, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. bret, atl, ga

    He's trying to paint himself as everything to everyone – which of course means he is nothing to anyone. He is his own proof. Just look at the way he's flopped all over the place on every issue. This guy is only in the race because he's funding it with his own dollars. You can't buy support all the way to the whitehouse, or can you?

    July 12, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Huh? Both the video and the article seem slanted. It was a positive video in that he is innovative and fresh to his approach to politics. I can't imagine any Republican who would be distanced by the video and the Democrats don't care for Romney anyway. Seems like a wasted effort to me to post the video or to write an article about it.

    July 12, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Sara, Vancouver Washington

    Hes got my vote.

    July 12, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Greg Smith Boise, Idaho

    To embrace a two party system, and the dynamics it brings, is hardly the same as not being a loyal Republican (or, a loyal Democrat, if a Democrat were to say that). It's obvious that many Democrats are fearful of the electoral potential of Romney. Why else would they have the gall to show actual video clips, then tell us that he said something other than what he did?

    July 12, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. jon

    no suprise. what would you expect anybody to do if you are running for governor is ma.

    judging by the way he actually governed, I would say he is very republican. fiscally and socially conservative. more importantly, he was extremly competent and proved to be an impressive problem sovler without raising income taxes or expanding government.

    July 12, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Walter Stewart - Sunnyvale CA

    Took a while to find this video on Youtube. Video is made up of multiple one or two-sentence scenes that leaves you totally wondering what else he was saying, and why he keeps getting cut off in mid-thought. He seems to be talking more about a platform is more important than the party. OK? Did you notice it was posted by the Democrats... Pathetic chop job.

    July 12, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Don't we want someone who is not wed to one sole idealogy and is "willing to reach across the aisle".

    Moderate thinking or at least the ability to see another sides viewpoint.

    July 12, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Romney distancing from the GOP?! Sheesh, I wonder why???

    July 13, 2007 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  13. Ap

    Romney is the worst politician out there right now. He has no stance on anything, just the stance that will get him elected. Like a commenter said earlier, he's trying to be everythign to everyone at once, and that will leave him as nothing. If he somehow wins the nomination for the Republicans (I will rejoice because it will be an easy defeat), he will change his stances again for the mainstream.

    July 13, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Vinny, Boston, MA

    Multiple-choice Romney will say anything to get elected. Look at his 1994, 2002, and 2008 campaigns and you will see three different men.
    He is political slime with no backbone.

    July 13, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Scott, Milwaukee WI

    Romney's flip-flopping would make John Kerry blush.

    July 13, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Vish, Milwaukee

    Romney is a great candidate. Put aside all your stupid partisan views and look at which candidate can drive this economy to the pinnacle of success. He is a superb leader, and extremely intelligent (unlike our current leader in office). I'm extremely moderate, I vote for the person I believe has the strongest leadership characteristics which I believe is Romney. He founder one of the largest private equity companies (Bain Capital), which shows his incredible leadership and cutthroat ability. He turned the 2002 Salt Lake games from a deficit to a surplus in a matter of months! and also lead Massachusetts health care to the no.7 spot in the State by State rankings by subsidizing health insurance and making it required in the state of Massachusettes. Definetly the kind of person I want in office. Someone respectable, intelligent, and a great leader.

    July 13, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Steve Novak, Lyons, Colorado

    Geez, is Madden on cloud 9.

    Democrats would LOVE to have a liar and major flip-flopper like Romney the Unknown running against them next year. His views vacillate so much he makes Clinton look like a steel rod

    Truly, is there really a vialbe Republican in the whole field? Giulliani, no way the far-right that controls this party would allow as the nominee. Just who else is there?

    July 13, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Kerry was a flip flopper in mid thought, mid sentence, mid polling cycle, big difference.

    Romney is not a religous nut. He is clean cut, well mannered and smart who happens to be mormon, I don't care about his faith at all and he also doesn't shove it down peoples throats.

    Just like myself, his ideals have moderated over the last 20 or so years and it is based on his many lessons learned and lifes experiences.

    Do you want someone who thinks exactly like they did 2,3,5,7 or 20 years ago?

    I don't.

    July 13, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. HAWK,TX.


    July 13, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. charles davis la grange texas

    bush should be impeached you guys should get some balls we all know iraq was revenge movivated i mean we had bin laden cornered on a mountain that's the guy we supposed to get 911 and all that hussen had nothing to do with it.

    July 13, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. John, Chicago IL

    Is that the worst people can come up with against Romney? His views seem the most tempered, balanced, and thoughtful I've heard from a politician. Romney represents what's good about Republicans. Those who say he's a "religious nut" are confused and expose their own bigotry.

    July 13, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Tammy Stickers

    Romney has always been someone who would say anything to get elected. I guess he forgot that his statements are recorded.

    Maybe he will learn to mean what he says and say what he means and that honesty counts. You can't keep lying and making things up without getting caught eventually. It happened to Bush. It has happened to the Republican party. It has now happened to Rmoney. It is harder to tailor your message to a particular audience than it used to be.

    July 14, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Chris, Pensacola FL

    It's all part of the plan by those who really choose the next president. Seriously, don't you wonder why there is NO STRONG Republican? Just look at the polls and dollars raised. If you Americans can't see that the next president will be a democrat, you've already lost the game. Outside of Ron Paul, there isn't any candiate that makes the Republican Americans warm and fuzzy. This is because the secret societys want a democrat in to seize the purse strings of America and finish her off financially. Go ahead sheep, don't do research.

    July 16, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Mike, HI

    "His views seem the most tempered, balanced, and thoughtful I’ve heard from a politician."

    Doubling the size of Gitmo and nuking Iran are not all that tempered and balanced, in my opinion.

    July 16, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Steve, Lyons, Colorado

    Please, please PLEASE nominate Romney, Republicans, It would be the easiest campaign ever for Democrats.

    Um, no, no Dem is scared of Romney. Dems are simply reiterating to the American people the hypocritical and dishonest actions of the Republicans of late.

    PLEASE nominate Romney!

    July 16, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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