October 25th, 2007
05:49 PM ET
12 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. Selby Fauatea Bountiful, Utah

    oh stop using the excuse that Romney switches positions! Is that all the world has? That and being Mormon?! Open your mind!

    October 25, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Daniel, Syracuse, NY

    Hmm . . . As much as I disagree with Hillary on every plank of her platform, I find myself (gasp) agreeing with her adviser when he said that she "needs no lessons on character from a man who switches positions on a daily basis." C'mon now, let's be fair. He doesn't switch positions on a DAILY basis.

    October 25, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Anne E., SLC

    The current occupant of the Oval Office ran HIS campaign under the mantra of restoring honor and dignity to the Oval Office. He touted "family values," too. The entire world has seen how THAT'S worked....'nuff said.

    October 25, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Richard,Orlando,FL

    Romney thinks it's okay to deny children medical benefits but not okay to try and work out problems in a person's marriage. Maybe he should talk his sons into enlisting in the Army so they can serve their country (which has been so good to them) instead of serving themselves.

    October 25, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    Ummm am I missing something. MR (Pres.) Clinton CHEATED on Hillary not the other way around. How does his overactive libido equate to her not having family values when SHE STOOD BY HIS SIDE

    October 25, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Ed, Dallas, TX

    Here is comes. It must be election time. Family Values! The neo-con Repubs like Romney love using this to put down their competition. I wonder if Romney has the same “family values” as his other Repubs members like Larry Craig, David Vitter, Duke Cunningham, or Mark Foley. I guess it’s more important to hide behind the family values label instead of being known as your true self like Bush, a fear-mongering idiot who lies and cheats the public, all while attempting to re-write the constitution for purely political gains. Or should I say a “Family Values Idiot” who sent over 3,000 of our citizens to an early grave because of his incompetence.

    October 25, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. JB Boston MA

    The only thing they got on this guy is that he is a flip flopper.

    Does Hill call her husband a flip flopper as well? Bill was Pro Life until a few years before he ran for President.

    How about Hill's flip flopping. "We need to be out of Iraq immediately". "We will be in Iraq for the foreseeable future"

    That is a flipity flop if I ever saw one.

    Nice attempt at switching subjects as well.

    The infidelity thing is going to hurt her!

    October 25, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Thank you Romney! Please keep standing up for the American Family.

    October 25, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |


    October 25, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Terry, Portland OR

    Romney's great grandfather had multiple wives and he's never condemned that. Romney sat on the board at Marriott and never said anything about all the porn that Marriott was selling for view at it's motels. I bet Romney loses some votes for this judgmental comment. I thought he was a good Mormon.

    October 25, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Mike . Long Island NY

    OMG is that whole family values BS really what people want to hear about. Comments like those make him look ridiculous and obviously playing up to the nutty christian right. I just can't believe anyone would listen to something like what he said and would think that it makes a difference. I dont need a moral judgement by Romney. And for the record, anything Bill did in the White House, Hillary handled expertly and in a " good Christian way"

    October 25, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. pam Eugene OR

    Hillary is the person who should talk about someone switching positions! She filp flops more that a flounder.
    I do not support Rommney but I agree with him about this issue. Bill made a mockery of the White House by using as a brothel.
    It is time to be done with the Bushes and Clintons. Enough is enough, let's see what new blood can do.
    Obama 08

    October 25, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. EdW, Washington DC

    I do admire the Clinton's for their family values, especially the education of their daughter. I think all families should follow the Clinton's in sending their children to the private school of their choice.

    October 25, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Anji

    What demonstrates family values more than staying with your husband after he cheats on you, and working things out for the sake of your family? While Bill may have had some bad behavior, she forgave him and moved on.

    October 25, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Jeff L., Lodi, WI

    Let he or she without sin cast the first stone, Mitt.
    Besides, you'll be too busy switching your political positions and bombing other countries to focus on your family or anybody elses.

    October 25, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Matt, Dallas, TX

    No comment.

    October 25, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Matt, Pennsylvania

    As someone that was a teenager when Bill Clinton was president, I have one thing to say to you, Mitt:

    Teenagers don't care what the President of the USA, or any other country, is doing.

    You and your 'values' do not apply to them, and they could care less. Maybe if you were the entertainment celebrity of the week or the popular kid in their school they would care what you did.

    These 'values based' conservatives need to get something into their heads. People care about real issues, such as global warming, the impending energy crisis, Iraq, the economy, and taxes. The majority of people could care less about abortion and gays. Most people accept it.

    Maybe once their basic needs are taken care of voters will then focus on social issues, but until then it won't happen.

    October 25, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Jeffrey1234, Long Beach, CA

    Wow, talk about values. He supports bombing another country, killing thousands of people, and still supporting that? This guys is nuts. Yes Mr. Clinton cheated on his wife. That is between a husband and a wife. Not between a husband, wife and Mr. Romney. This guys offers nothing to America, nothing. If he did he would be talking about it and not about the Clintons.

    October 25, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Brian Kiely, San Jose, California

    So... if I read this correct, he's saying it's the woman's fault for the man's indiscreation... real smooth Romney, real smooth.

    October 25, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. pl. at the UN for a while.

    help me here. You sound as if you have been able to form a functional family regardless of the fact that it doesn't meet Mr Romney's approval.
    As a diplomat – I have seen, explored, spent time with all sort of very functional, peaceful, loving family structures around the globe; most of them in utter poverty.
    Please tell me how you have managed to do the same in your country–because the odds are against you.

    October 25, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Jim, Garder, MA

    "Some people may have thought their shared last name was just a coincidence, and that she was running for the White House on her own right."

    Ya right. She got to where she is by riding Billy's Willie

    October 25, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Uriew, CA

    Howard says "Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches his positions on a daily basis." How the heck does Clinton campaign respond like this. It was an attack on the Clinton presidency not necessarily Hillary. I am sure Howard is beginning to get scared about the implications this moral stuff will have on Hillary and that Obama will steal the prize from Hillary. Mitt can still teach a lesson on not cheating on your wife. This does not necessarily mean his flip-flopping is OK. However Howard should think about that flip-flopping answer coz Hillary has also perfected that art of flip-flopping. Maybe they should look for another flaw in Mitt that Hillary does not have too. Otherwise it is Obama all the way Baby!!

    October 25, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Albert Olsen, Dallas, TX

    These republicans have nothing tangible to talk about themselves. So, they attack Hillary on Family Values. Guliani can't do that as it will backfire on him. And, who cares about the Family Values boogie-man. What is happening now under the number one Family Value White House:
    *Rampant corruption
    *Too many lies to push illegal war
    *No respect for constitution
    *Govt. waste in biliions
    *3,900 americans dead
    *100,000 innicent Iraqis crushed
    *Sex scandals by prominent republicans under White House watch
    *Dirty politics to expose CIA operatives and false charges against DAs
    *Deny all social programs incl. SCHIP, but spend billions on war
    *Mismanagement on Katrina and ignore poor people

    Even knowing all these scandals, Mitt Romney and other republican hopefuls support Bush's policies. Whats the use of having a Family Value man in the White House, but allow such horrible things happen with their knowledge. I would rather give no more importance to "Family Value" theme, but have some decency in running the coutry.

    October 25, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Jayne, Greenville, SC

    Mitt Romney is firing shots at the Clintons about "values???" Anyone who goes on vacation with the family dog perched to the roof of the car has no "values." Any animal lover knows that

    October 25, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Howard Wolfson said,

    "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."

    A much more funny response, Mr Wolfson, would have been:

    Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches his positions as often as Bill Clinton switches women.

    October 25, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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