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. Dave, Alpharetta, GA

    I see... So Mitt is now judging every divorced member of our American society as "immoral"? Hillary and Bill Clinton went through troubled times and STAYED MARRIED. They have only been married to each other. So how is it that Mitt is better than them?

    Mitt, get a clue... The Republican's Don't Like You.

    October 25, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. theprofessional

    Say what you want about Mitt Romney's flip-flopping on issues, he's got Hillary here. I like the Clintons, but I don't see how the President getting serviced by his interns in the White House and being constantly accused of extramarital affairs and sexual harrassment by women from his past promotes healthy family values.

    October 25, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Fred Anderson, Phoenix, AZ

    Right on Hillary doesn't "switch positions on a daily basis" She just flat out LIES, and has NO redeeming character traits.

    October 25, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Lisa, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Higher standard? Such as when your grandfather flees to Mexico to continue with polygamy after Utah and the Mormon Church agreed to submit to the US law? Or how about when your father who was born in Mexico (after his father fled from the US for polygamy) ran for President although he was not a natural born citizen?

    October 25, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. John, Newport News, VA

    Mitt, you will never defeat Hillary in a general, nationwide election. Not a chance in hell.

    October 25, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Mark, Harrisburg, PA

    Mrs Wolfson and Clinton Campaign - Will you please one politician (or one human being) who has never changed their position. Personally I want a candidate who is willing to research, learn more about a particular subject and make a reasoned change of decision. Don't tell me you don't want the same! Who in the Clinton camp does not wish Bush would change his position on the War in Iraq. Also, I'm pretty sure Clinton has changed her personal view on this too (hypocritically huh?)

    October 25, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Linda, Wentzville, Missouri

    Hmm, the old vote for me – my wife won't screw an intern ploy. The GOP needs to get over Bill Clinton and talk about real issues.

    October 25, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Yeah, old 'Big Love' Romney is going to tell us how to live. You know, before he ran for president I thought he was a pretty smart guy, but his IQ seem to drop every time he sees a microphone. For the last time, I don't need the president as a moral example! I want the president to stop the war and fix the economy! Gas is $3 a gallon, Mitt. Now THAT'S obscene.

    October 25, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |

    WHAT IN THE HELL IS FAMILY VALUE!!! This is one of these feel good terms that is easily sold to the gullible, easily preyed upon so-call value voter christian. The use of this crap is sure way to prey on the weak of mind, want to be lead and in such of a daddy-leader, republican voter. This has become an art form to the religious right. Democrats have evolved to a higher plane.

    October 25, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Wayne, Greenville TX

    So the Mittster wants to star in an "Ozzie and Harriet" remake?

    Posted By Cable King Pittsburgh PA : October 25, 2007 4:15 pm

    But in this "remake", there would be no laugh track. And it wouldn't be a comedy. it would be a tragedy – for America.

    October 25, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. Gabriel Houston, Texas

    What a arrogant hypocrit. Bad enough to be a hypocrit, but an arrogant one. I guess it is O.K. to be caught having a "foot fetish" at any USA airport as long as you are a Republican. Yep, MENDACITY abounds!

    October 25, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Julia Byrd Hayden, Idaho

    Mitt Romney sure has great family values, his Mormon religion believes that a woman can only get to heaven thru the good works of her husband. Sounds like he really isn't for equal rights for any woman. Why hasn't someone ask him to explain that part of his so-called family values.

    October 25, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Allan Toh, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Why does the rightwing always think that only they have family values, only they are patriotic, they wear the silly flag lapels, spout all the moral values stuff, and then one by one, we discover that they are full of bs? They are the biggest hypocrites on earth!
    Instead of debating the policies that are best for this country, they always play this silly “I’m holier than thou” crap! Enough! Let’s do vote on the best policies and ways to run our country, not this swift-boat rubbish. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time!

    October 25, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Gary, Boston USA

    Yes, only the religious have 'family values(tm). Those who don't believe in winged humanoids must not have the mental capacity to take the leap beyond logic to unquestionably follow an ancient, vague, out of context, moral guide. A guide which consists of a compilation of stories written by numerous authors, translated, retranslated, and reinterpreted over centuries to form the final (multi-version/interpretation), TRUE form of textual morality for which is it known today.

    October 25, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. monica, rochester new york

    Yea Romney switches his positions on a daily basis, Hillary just switches hers on a quarterly basis.
    I fail to see much difference between HRC and the Republicans.

    October 25, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Julia Hayden, Idaho

    Is this Romney's values ???
    Mormon women today are still brought up to believe that the most important thing they can do is "to marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority" (McConkie 118). Deborah Laake, who was excommunicated in 1993 for writing Secret Ceremonies, states that "it had been repeatedly impressed on me that if I failed to marry a faithful Mormon man...in a Mormon temple, I would be denied access to the highest level of Mormon heaven" (Laake 4). The temple marriage is so important "that a longing for romance on earth should not be allowed to interfere with it" (Laake 77). Twenty-one year old Mormon men returning from missions are told they should be married within six months (Laake 5

    October 25, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Let's see if I understand this......

    Romney is talking "values" and making it an issue.

    Hillary Clinton had decisions to make within her marriage, and she chose to work through those problems for the betterment of her family/marriage.

    Romney, on the other hand, is a member of a church that opnely promoted polygamy, and in some quarters still does, and has several prominent opponents in his own primary that have had dubious marriages and more than one marriage in most cases.

    Mr. Romney, look to your own company before you point a finger at anybody on the other side of the socio-political strata!!!

    Even more humorous, Mr. Romney, is the fact you are in the party that considers itself the barometer of "Christian values" in this country, butit doesn't consider you Christian by most standards!

    Happy motoring!!!

    October 25, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Richard Seattle WA

    We are not going to get anywhere in this country until we realize that 'Family values' are a non issue when it comes to who will make a better president. Family Values? Who cares?

    October 25, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Well, Bush seems to be faithful to Laura and look at the fine mess we are in. I'll take Hillary, Bill and his cigar any day of the week over another war!!!!!

    October 25, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. North Carolina

    Quit criticizing Hillary Mr.Romney and tell us about Mormonism.

    Plural marriage (also referred to as Celestial marriage, the New and Everlasting Covenant, the Principle, and the Priesthood Work) is a type of polygyny taught by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and introduced to the public by his successor Brigham Young, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The practice became famous during the 19th century when it was opposed and outlawed by the United States government, resulting in an intense legal conflict, culminating in LDS Church president Wilford Woodruff announcing the church's official abandonment of the practice on September 25, 1890.[1] Nevertheless, plural marriage has been continued by several groups of Mormon fundamentalists in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico.

    The institution of plural marriage was developed by Joseph Smith over several years, beginning in the early 1830s.[2] Scholars generally count about 30 wives for Smith, about 10 of them married to other men. On July 12, 1843, however, Smith introduced a revelation limiting the practice to strict polygyny. Plural marriages usually involve sexual relations, but some are marriages of convenience. The practice generally has not included group sex, and often each wife has had her own house.

    October 25, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Susan, Macedon, New York

    It's odd, isn't it, that he doesn't point to George W and Dick Cheney as role models for honesty and "family values"? Could it be that he doesn't approve of the Bush twins partying all night or Dick Cheney's daughter's alternate life style as a model for young americans?

    Bill Clinton may have had his faults regarding sex and marriage, but the Republican party has absolutely nothing to brag about when it comes to integrity or sexual decency. I don't recall Bill ever getting arrested in an airport bathroom. That's a great example for our youth, huh, Mitt.

    October 25, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Kara Candelaria , Fairbanks, AK

    Hillary Clinton is an example of truly good family values....She overcame and forgave her husband and raised a wonderful daughter to boot.

    October 25, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Art , Del Mar, CA

    One of my family's values is to be true to your own beliefs. This man is not the same guy who won the governorship in Massachusetts. Is anyone really taking him seriously any longer? And the GOP's talked about " Slick Willie?"

    October 25, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Corbett, Seattle WA

    Wayne in TX,

    Whoa. Apparently you missed the memo. This is a forum for under-informed, heavily partisan, arm chair pundits to spout off on subjects that they know little about in a futile attempt to get attention.

    All of this evidence and stuff you're posting is...well... a little offensive.

    October 25, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. lukas,boston,ma

    Growing desperate everyday! You are picking on everybody...I wish you could campaign with a better strategy without blood shielding!

    October 25, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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