Mitt Romney defended his five sons’ decision to not enlist in the military today, saying they were showing their support for the country by “helping me get elected.”
Romney, who did not serve in Vietnam due to his Mormon missionary work and a high draft lottery number, was asked the question by an anti-war activist after a speech in which he called for “a surge of support” for U.S. forces in Iraq.
“The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it,” Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard.”
He added: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”
The Romney camp was quick to get a video of Romney’s statements up on YouTube and then claim that AP News took him out of context. Watch the video and see what you think (H/T to TPM’s Election Central):
Nothing out of context there. It was clear what he was saying and it was clear he was not smart enough to catch it when he said. Talk about hubris.
USA Today’s On Politics reports:
The questioner, 41-year-old Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Ill., told Susan later that she is not a Republican and is in fact a member of a “Progressive Action for the Common Good.”
Asked if she was satisfied by Romney’s answer, Griffiths said:
“Of course not. He told me the way his sons are showing support for the military of our nation is to buy a Winnebago and tour across Iowa and help him get elected.”