October 25th, 2007
05:49 PM ET
13 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. Bee

    I don't always agree with Romney but i do agree that CLinton is not an embodiment of family value.

    October 25, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Dan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Larry Craig was travelling through Minneapolis on Romney business! That's Family Values?

    October 25, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Wayne, Williston, VT

    Now that I know Mitt is #1 on family values, I'm DEFINITELY going to vote for him. Right...

    October 25, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Doremus Jessup

    Hey Mitt, ever think that family loyalty is a virtue. Oh, how about the virtue of FORGIVENESS. Oh, how about a genuine, protracted effort at improving the quality of life for all Americans, not just the marketing "wizards" and wall street opportunists and scanvengers. Tax cuts are appealing to the top 1% earners, how about the other 99%. The holier-than-thou tactic aint gonna work when there are genuine issues affecting Americans that have had way too much exposure to the tactics of the current administration (thank you Karl-the-"turd blossom"). Your affiliation with the party of this current administration is a major weakness.

    October 25, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. SK, Seattle, WA

    Excellent posting, Wayne. Romney is a dispicable liar. If he gets into a debate with the wrong person in a key situation, he's going to get absolutely humiliated.

    Furthermore, is this what we really want to teach our children? To lie, deceive, mislead? His entire presidency, everything he'd try to do, would raise skepticism because of how he's a two-faced liar. No one would be able to trust him. Not the Congress, not the judicary, not foreign leaders, and definitely not the American people. We deserve better than this. Why are we wasting our time?

    October 25, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Doremus

    bring it on. Hillary will put you in perspective when the time comes.

    October 25, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. lukas,boston,ma

    blood shedding I meant

    October 25, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    So what exactly are "family values"? I'm sure Mitt Romney displays a degree of "values" with his family. Of course. But does he mean to suggest that because of another candidates husband cheated on her over a decade ago (and they've worked through the pain and humiliation and kept their family together) that she doesn't have "values"?

    And the only reason that PERSONAL issue was made into a national episode was because a group of spiteful–and often hypocritical–men with an agenda made it one. In fact, most of the world thought the embarrassment with the US was the prudish display of fake conservatism played out by political opponents.

    Once again, pandering to the lesser minded voters who can only focus on single issues of little importance in the overall scheme of world affairs.

    October 25, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. COPOK-DVA, Idaho Falls, ID

    Would rather have Clinton's family values that Bush and company's war mongering values

    October 25, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Rob Phoenix, AZ

    I love the idea of family values coming to America from the Mormons!! What a great concept!! More wives for everyone; lets home school all kids so they are easier to control when we contractually marry them out to their cousins at the age of 14; no need for medical care because we tend to each other on the family commune!!
    Great notions on family values – sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons

    October 25, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Bruce Collins, Penny Yan, NY

    No, it just made Bill Clinton a more human president. I don't want a family value cut-out for a president and I don't think many of us do...we want someone like US, not some out-of touch, all talk and no action President.

    October 25, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Romney's comments below apply more appropriately to Giuliani as a presidential candidate, and thus he should not be electable:

    "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."

    October 25, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    The same speech given by Bush when he became President and look what we ended up with.

    October 25, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Mark Matuszewski, DeKalb, IL

    Who is he running against, Bill or Hillary? Either way to attack the values of another person is often fought on a slippery slope.

    October 25, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. lilla

    Just a rumble jumble mormon..bashing Hillry's values,have you taking look at your list .flip flopper,rommney,

    October 25, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. anon, new york, NY

    As far as family values of Hillary is concerned, she has nothing to be ashamed of. There was (is) no fault of her own. Instead, she endured and followed her marriage vow to see the family crisis go through.

    On the other hand, it is questionable that Romney's family values based on the mormon religion should be a model for the american family.

    October 25, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. travis

    All you cry-babies make me laugh! Hillary has no family values. Romney has awesome family values. Must be why none of you are talking about this issue but are just dissing Romney instead.

    BTW, if there where no Bill Clinton, there would be no Hillary Clinton. Think about it. THINK ABOUT IT!

    October 25, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Alan Anderson, Texas

    Haha, to Romneyb***. You might want to learn some things about other religions before you make comments about them. Otherwise the things you say are just comical. Haha, how ignorant. Anyways, I would hope that our future president would uphold higher family values then cheating on his wife.

    October 25, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Art, San Francisco, CA

    Typical Republican "Family Values" bomb them all to hell Romney is calling for the bombardment of Iran.

    But he's all for family values. Guess they don't have families in Iran, huh?

    October 25, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Where the heck is Mitt Romney's campaign manger?

    Someone should tell Romney that Hillary Clinton is running for the presidency in 2008, not Bill Clinton.

    Hillary was the wounded party and she exhibited tremendous character and family values when she didn't leave Bill after his infidelity. I wonder if Mitt Romney would exhibit the same character if his wife was caught messing around with one of the campaign staff? (Note to Tommy from Dedham MA, this is hypothetical and designed to stimulate thinking!)

    Don't get me wrong, I still despise Bill Clinton. The only reason he looks so good now is because the current White House occupant is so pathetic.

    Mitt Romney would be well-advised to go after Freddy Thompson or Rudy Giuliani on family values. He might even be able to beat them on this issue, but Romney is still in the minor leagues when it comes to Hillary Clinton's family values.

    October 25, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    What do you know about family values, Mr. Romney? I believe your religious views put "family values" in a realm that preaches intolerance. Am I correct, sir? Don't you dare chastise Mr. Bill Clinton and his wife when your religious sect is one of the more intolerable groups on the planet.

    October 25, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Congressman Mark Foley's abuse of teen-age Congressional pages. – example of GOP family values

    Bob Livingston to replace Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House until he resigned in disgrace when it was revealed that he admitted to had been involved in several adulterous affairs
    – example of GOP family values

    Dan Burton (R-Indiana): The Chairman of the House Government Reform & Oversight Committee. Following an expose, Burton was forced to admit that he fathered an out-of-wedlock child, a fact he denied for years.
    – example of GOP family values

    Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl, which produced a child
    – example of GOP family values

    Bob Barr (R-Georgia): the principal sponsor of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, has been married three (or is it now four) times. And at a party in 1992, Barr actually licked whipped cream off the breasts of two women, neither of them his current wife. Now that's family values!

    As RightyTighty would say:
    What's to say but OUCH!!

    This doesn't mean the Dems aren't without fault, but I'm tired of the GOP "Family Values" arguement. It is clear that some in the GOP have no 'Family Values.'

    October 25, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. bill, abilene, kansas

    Is having multiple wives a family value?

    October 25, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Liberal Chic

    Well, it's low, but I guess it was coming.

    I am a Clinton supporter, but people, let's not get tacky and start mixing up Mitt Romney with the crazy fundamental Mormons who believe in polygamy.

    October 25, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Michael, Austin, TX

    Clinton spokesman's critisism is just a worthless jab.
    Romney is not a flip flopper. He has changed yes, but he does not change back and forth.
    In other words he was one way and is now another. You can debate on whether it is sincere, but the truth is, he doesn't change positions on a daily basis, but he has changed them once.

    The spokesman's comment is equivalent to a meaningless jab that only shows bitterness in this case to the very obvious fact that as far as family goes, Romeny has Clinton beat.

    October 25, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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