October 25th, 2007
05:49 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney takes on Clinton 'family values'

Watch Romney's comments on family values Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized the "family values" of the Clinton presidency Thursday, saying as president he would set a better example.

"One of the ways that you help instill, if you will, family values is by having a White House be a place that demonstrates family values," the Massachusetts Republican said in a response to a question at a New Hampshire house party about how he would instill family values as president.

"And, you know, I think during the last Clinton presidency, the White House did not demonstrate that in a way that was helpful to our nation's culture," Romney added.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, is the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Romney went on to say that the president is under a "microscope," making it especially important to "live by higher standards."

"Because the world is looking at you, you're representing not only yourself but your country," he added. "The kids or America are looking at you. One piece [of instilling values] is acting the part, acting the part of higher ethical standards."

Responding to Romney's comments, top Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said, "Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches his positions on a daily basis."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. summus

    all of you non-mormons have alot to learn. When romney is president we're going to teach you how to really live.

    thanks- looking forward to it

    October 26, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I would normally not comment on anything! As I prefer to be an uninvolved witness to the happenings of the world. However when Hypocrisy poses as family values that on the one hand smacks of self aragrandisment and on the other goes against the basic nature of being human, then I must say that unless you define what family values are and how realistic your ideals conform to the human condition, then my dear you have no right to suggest how one One (should) live ones life.

    October 26, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. roger, conway sc

    Here we go again...let the right wing holier than thou start their judging this is the same old story every presidential election...the Clintons like every other family have had their issues and problems & even though MR ROMNEY does not want to admit it I feel certain his life is not perfect like he portrays...we dems are not perfect & we know there is no one perfect but the republicans like to make everyone think they are...a bunch of hypocrites

    October 26, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Ken Howell Chapel Hill NC

    Giuliani Feels The Heat In California

    Rudy Giuliani’s support has dropped sharply in the California Field Poll released Thursday. The former New York City mayor claimed 25 percent of the GOP voters, a whopping 10 percent drop from the same poll in August. In a virtual tie for second, Mitt Romney got 13 percent while Fred Thompson and John McCain both got 12 percent. Fourteen percent of the vote was spread among Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter.

    We have seen it in Michigan, South Carolina and Florida, and now in California. As more voters compare the Republican field, at first there is an increase in those undecided. Then we see a slow and steady increase in support for Mitt Romney. Since August the percentage of California’s undecided Republican voters has risen from 15 percent to 22 percent.

    It seems that the more conservative arm of the GOP is the engine behind this trend.
    Among California’s moderate conservatives, Giuliani holds a 16-percentage point lead over Thompson. But among staunch conservatives, Giuliani’s lead over Romney is only 4 percentage points! Yes, things are getting hot in California, and not just from the wild fires.

    October 26, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Tom, New York, NY

    This guy should just seriously go to his "cult" and work on campaigning to be their leader... he cannot and will not represent all Americans if given a chance to be a leader at a higher level....stay with the people who are like you Mitt and you will be okay...but please stay away from the rest of us...

    October 26, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Atlanta, GA

    Dear GA Voter-

    I respect your point of view, but disagree. You have the right to your opinion – but not to prevent people like me from enjoying freedom and liverty and respect in our country.

    On the day GA legalizes Gay marriage, may your heart be filled with compassion.

    October 26, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    "Family? What family?? Gay marriage is not nor ever will be allowed in Georgia. And no, we do not want your ethical standards taught to our children. Period. Its not a civil rights issue, its a moral issue.."

    Right, just like 40 years ago it would have been

    "Family? What family?? *Interracial marriage* is not nor ever will be allowed in Georgia. And no, we do not want your ethical standards taught to our children. Period. Its not a civil rights issue, its a moral issue.."

    Please give your bigoted views a rest. Gay people can have a family just like everyone else. If you care so much about the Bible's teachings, you would also shun people who divorce then remarry, or people who cheat on their spouses, etc. If those people can have families, so can gay people.

    October 26, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Romney wants to provide America's children with a role model of ethical behavior. That is a noble ambition. However, America's children need (1) health care, (2) good nutrition, (3) good education in quality public schools, (4) protection from abuse, (5) safe cities to run and play in, (6) protection from corporations that would sell them junk food, sick video games, and overpriced clothing, (7) good prenatal care when they are still in the womb, (8) affordable college education, and (9) good paying secure jobs for their parent(s).

    Promising to set a good example for children is about as useful as offering to pray for them. I was waiting for a light to change so I could cross the street a few years ago. A bum was panhandling at the same intersection and was near enough so I could hear him speaking to the drivers waiting at the same red light. A woman rolled down her window and sweetly said, "God bless you." to the bum. He said, "'God bless you!' Do you think I can eat 'God bless you'? Do you think its gonna make my life any better because you say 'God bless you' Lady? ..." The woman responded by rolling up her window and speeding through the red light to get away from this irate homeless guy.

    Only well-fed, educated, thoughtful children who can read will appreciate the ethical lessons of presidential behavior.

    October 26, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Terry, El Paso, TX

    I would like to thank Wayne of Greenville TX for actually looking up some facts to include in his informative posts. I have read several of them and each of you reading this should search (ctrl-f) for "Wayne" so you can read his post above.

    All of the smartest comments on this blog come from Texans, natually. (Unfortunately, so do the stupidest ones.)

    October 26, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Chris, Middletown, CT

    We don't look to the White House for values (otherwise during the Clinton years we would of fallen apart...and that didn't happen) – I am a Republican who is a moderate – I think very much like moderates in both parties – fiscally conservative..and socially liberal....we outnumber the right wing.....and we outnumber the left wing.....I am voting for the ONLY moderate running in either party – Guiliani – and no...I will not take marriage advice from him...nor child rearing...thats my personal responsibility – moderates in both parties unite!!

    October 26, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. therealist

    Soory, but comparing interracial marriage, voting, women's or black rights to gay marriage is very hollow. Its demishing your argument if anything..

    October 26, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    Nausiating self-righteous Mormon idiot.

    October 26, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Herb, Pittsburgh, PA

    Can you say "Mountain Meadows Massacre?" Do the church leaders of the LDS still believe in killing "outsiders" over the age of 8, or is that just reserved for their "prophets?"

    October 26, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Mary, Beaver, PA

    The bigots who oppose gay marriage on the grounds that they are protecting "the sanctity of marriage" should wake up and look at themselves and the world around them. Do you know or have you known of heterosexuals who cheat on their spouses, who have a line of divorces to their credit, who have several families as a result of multiple marriages, who annul a previous marriage and bastardize the children from it in order to have a church wedding with their latest fling? Let's face it: Homosexual couples can't make the institution of marriage a bigger joke than some heterosexual couples have already made of it.

    October 26, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign did not return a request for comment on Romney's remarks."

    Perhaps you missed this at the end of the story. Try reading through the WHOLE story:

    Responding to Romney's comments, top Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said, "Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches his positions on a daily basis."

    What can you say, but "Ouch"?

    October 26, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. kate lee, scottsbluff, NE

    The quote from Mr. Romney about "acting the part" is, I find, very troublesome. Having done a fair bit of theatrical work, I certainly can "act the part"; however, that doesn't mean that I live the part. There is some quite flawed logic here when one says he'll act as though he has "family values." The logical conclusion is that, in reality, he has none.

    October 26, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. RuthieM

    Hate to agree with Romney but he has a point here that's why we need Obama for President!!!!

    October 26, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Karen,nj

    Romney will never become the president and that is all there is to it. End of story.

    October 26, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Steve Wittlake Blaine Washington

    Anti Mormons are sure at it again. They talk about things they know nothing about or simply just lie. Mormons have had to put up with this all their lives.
    If these anti Mormons want the truth about the Mormon religion put your questions to Salt Lake City or ask either a local Mormon or a local Mormon Missionary. They will be happy to answer your questions.
    If Mormons commit adultry
    they are excommunicated from the Church. If they held the Priesthood they will never ever be allowed to practice the Priesthood again. The only People practicing poligomy are excommunicated Mormons and people that call themselves fundamental Mormons. These people have nothing to do with the Church in Salt Lake City.
    Poligomy was praticed in the early days because there were about 4 times as many women Mormons as men Mormons and It was practiced at the request of Jesus Christ not Joseph Smith and when the federal government put an end to it the Mormons outlawed it and followed the law over 100 years ago.
    All Mormons know for a fact that the Church is owned lock stock and barrel
    by Jesus Christ and that he directs the Church even today.
    There is nothing strange about Jesus Christ running the Mormon Church Today or even back in the 1830s. Read Acts
    3 verses 19, 20 and 21. God is promising in the days of the refreshing that he will send Jesus Christ again to preach onto men. A prophet by the name of Enoch was called in the days of Adam to round up all the Good people before the flood and these people were translated and taken to heaven. Is there anything wrong with God doing the same thing again before he sends Jesus Christ to destroy the earth. In Isaiah 28 Verse
    12 he says in the days of the Restoration few people will listen which is cerainly what has been happening for past 190 years or so. Acts 3 is not the only place in the Bible that describe an Era of Restoration before the great and dreadful day of the Coming or Jesus Christ in vengence.

    October 26, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. christian, selden, ny

    the stupid thing about this is NO america is not looking at the president like a ROLE MODEL they look at the president to take care of the countries needs. this is ridiculous that the president has to have a perfect life to be president. im really starting to not like this mitt romney. i believe he is an example of whats bad in this country. this pretending to be perfect attitude that just isnt real and if most of the country has GRISWALD families why would we need a president that acts as though its morally wrong to have problems?!!?

    October 26, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Let's make this perfectly clear, Hillary is running for President not Bill. Sounds like Romney's confusion between Obama and Osama.

    October 26, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Hillary set the cause of womenhood back 500 years when she sulked for 3 days and then Bill's affair was OK. Hey, the President of US can do it and walk away with a wrist slap, what's the harm? Right?

    Wrong! And this family should not be in the White House, they are not role models. And yes, the integrity of the office and who holds it matters. It has influence on others.

    Shame on Hillary.

    October 27, 2007 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  23. Shawn S Kansas City MO

    okay.. so he supports civil unions in MA as governor, supported abortion rights, and now that he is running for president. how many times can you flip the switch to win the conservative vote? And let's talk about Clinton's vote on the war in Iraq... how dare his campaign attack her for that.

    October 29, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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