Mitt Romney on Families & Children

Former Republican Governor (MA); presidential nominee-apparent


Impact of same-sex marriage on kids won't be known for years

Q: Ten years ago, it was Massachusetts when you were governor that really set same-sex marriage rights into motion. Now, with same-sex marriage in 17 states, has it had a negative impact on society?

ROMNEY: I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. And I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in the setting where there's a father and a mother. Now there're many other different settings that children are raised in and people have the right to live their life as they want to. But I think marriage should be defined in the way that it's been defined for several thousand years and if gay couples want to live together, well, that's fine as well.

Q: But do you think it's had a negative impact on society?

ROMNEY: Oh, I think it's going to take a long, long time to determine whether having gay marriage will make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there is a mom and a dad. That's not going to happen overnight. It's something which happens over generations.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 16, 2014

Two-parent families reduce violence on the streets

Q: How do we reduce the culture of violence?

ROMNEY: Good schools, to give people the hope and opportunity they deserve, and perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing. And that is parents. We need moms and dads helping raise kids. Wherever possible, the benefit of having two parents in the home--and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh, to tell our kids that before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea, because if there's a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So, we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity and bring them in the American system.

Source: Second Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 16, 2012

No "storybook marriage"; just family & faith

I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a "storybook marriage." Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.

A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage. I know this good and decent man for what he is--warm and loving and patient.

He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one's fellow man. From the time we were first married, I've seen him spend countless hours helping others, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.

You may not agree with Mitt's positions on issues or his politics. But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President: No one will work harder. No one will care more.

Source: Ann Romney's 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 28, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Family Values compared to Mitt's

Do Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich agree on Family Values? (Yes, but Newt focuses on a moral basis while Mitt focuses on practical aspects). Do they both like school prayer? (No; Newt is for it; Mitt is not). OnTheIssues' paperback book explores how Mitt's economic issue stances differ from Newt's, and where they are similar. We cite details from Mitt's books and speeches, and Newt's, so you can compare them, side-by-side, on issues like these:

Mitt vs. Newt on Social Issues

Source: Paperback: Mitt vs. Newt On The Issues , Feb 3, 2012

Abstinence-only education for 12-to-14 year olds

As his term went on, Romney would make a series of shifts--in some cases wholesale reversals of past positions, in others significant changes in emphasis. After saying he opposed abstinence-only education, Romney adopted just such a program for twelve- to fourteen-year-olds, primarily in Hispanic and black communities.
Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.256-258 , Jan 17, 2012

1983: Urged single mom to put up baby for adoption

In 1983, Peggie Hayes got divorced; and at 23 was back in the Boston area, raising a 3-year-old daughter on he own and working as a nurse's aide. Then she got pregnant again. Single motherhood was no picnic, but Hayes said she had wanted a second child and wasn't upset at the news. By that point Mitt Romney, the man whose kids Hayes used to watch, was, as bishop of her ward, her church leader. Romney called Hayes one winter day and said he wanted to come over and talk. Romney said something about the church's adoption agency. Romney's intent became apparent: He was urging her to give up the soon-to-be-born son for adoption, saying that this was what the church wanted. Indeed, he church encourages adoption in cases where "a successful marriage is unlikely."

Hayes was deeply insulted. She told him she would never surrender her child. Romney would later deny that he had threatened Hayes with excommunication, but Hayes said his message was crystal clear: "Give up your son, or give up your God."

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.124-125 , Jan 17, 2012

1996: Staff searched full-time to find runaway teenage girl

One day in July 1996, Romney's partner Bob Gay sent an urgent message. Gay's 14-year-old daughter, Melissa, was missing. Romney went into high gear. He shut down the Boston office and sent fifty-six employees to New York City to help find Melissa. The quest became big news. "Investment Firm Shuts to Help Find Girl," said a headline in "The Boston Globe." "Shortly thereafter, through a traced telephone call asking if there was a reward, my daughter was safely secured," said Gay.

Romney later said that the search had changed his perspective on life. When Bain Capital ranked its annual accomplishments, the search for Melissa was number one. He said he would never forget talking with runaways in an effort to learn about Melissa's whereabouts. "It was a shocker," said Romney, who had rarely walked into the urban underbelly of America. "The number of lost souls was astounding." The search had put Bain into the public eye in a way that was unusual for the private firm.

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.158-159 , Jan 17, 2012

Polygamy violates marriage covenant

Romney is often providing a talking point something like this: "There is nothing more awful, in my view, than the violation of the marriage covenant that one has with one's wife. The practice of polygamy is abhorrent."

But Romney's own modern family story begins in the defiant polygamist settlements of northern Mexico in the late 1800s. He is only one generation away from the polygamist family of his grandmother, Anna Pratt Romney, whose father, Helaman Pratt, was married to 12 wives.

Does Romney consider his ancestors "awful" and abhorrent? Does he not acknowledge that polygamy was presented as an eternal truth of God by a revelation? All this leads many to ask the question, "Who is the real Mitt Romney?" I would argue that no one will truly understand Mitt Romney until they embrace the fact that his core identity is his Mormon heritage and faith.

Source: The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney, by Andrew Jackson, p.197-8 , Jan 1, 2012

Kids working in libraries is fine; don't change labor laws

ROMNEY: Speaker Gingrich said that he would like to eliminate in some cases the child labor laws so that kids could clean schools. I don't agree with that idea.

GINGRICH: I think virtually every person up here worked at a young age. What I suggested was, kids ought to be allowed to work part-time in school, particularly in the poorest neighborhoods, both because they could use the money. Janitors who are unionized are paid more than the teachers. You take half of those janitors, you could give lots of poor kids a work experience in the cafeteria and the school library and front office. I'll stand by the idea, young people ought to learn how to work. Middle class kids do it routinely. We should give poor kids the same chance to pursue happiness.

ROMNEY: To have kids work in the library and to help out in school and to clean the blackboards does not require changing our child labor laws in this country. We of course should encourage more kids to [do that].

Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa , Dec 10, 2011

The Worst Generation precludes children from American Dream

In his 1998 book, Tom Brokaw coined the term "the Greatest Generation." These men & women simply believed that vision, sacrifice & success were vital for their children & to the generations that would follow them. I fear that if we remain on our current track, history will come to know us as this nation's WORST generation--because we will force our children & their children to bear the brunt of our recklessness and the willful neglect of the problems we created.

Avoiding the fate of becoming "the wors generation" won't be easy, particularly given how long we've been on a collision course with debt and decline. But I'm convinced it will be worth it if we face this stark truth: The debts & financial obligations we are on track to leave the next generations will be so huge that they will preclude our children from achieving the American dream. Never before has there been a generation of Americans that has imperiled the following generations' opportunity for achievement & advance as we have done.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.150-151 , Mar 2, 2010

Child development enhanced by having a mother & father

The attack on faith & religion is no less relentless. Tolerance for pornography and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today’s grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock; 45% of Hispanic children; 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school and in life. A nation built on the principles of the Founding Fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through Constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it.

Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

FactCheck: Teenage birth rate declined from 1991 to 2005

Romney also said federal programs to combat teen pregnancy are “obviously not working real well.” Actually, the teenage birth rate declined consistently from 1991 to 2005, dropping 45% for 15-17-year-olds, and 26% for 18-19-year-old. It’s true that the most recent report shows the birth rates for these age groups increased in 2006, but the change was small: a 3% increase for 15-17-year-olds and a 4% increase for 18-19-year-olds. There was a 14% decrease for 10-14-year-olds.
Source: FactCheck on 2007 Des Moines Register Republican debate , Dec 12, 2007

Strong military, strong economy, and strong families

A Boy Scout-led recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer set the stage for former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s family-values appearance in Cedar Rapids. Romney stressed his core beliefs in a strong military, a strong economy and strong families. “Family-oriented American people, God-fearing people who love liberty, who will sacrifice for liberty, that is the source of America’s strength,” said Romney. “It always has been, it always will be.”
Source: Danny Valentine, Des Moines Register , Jun 17, 2007

To strengthen America, strengthen the American family

Romney said, “People, not government, are the source of America’s strength. There is no place that is more important to the future strength of America than the American home. ‘The work that goes on within the walls of a home is the most important work that is ever done in America. And if we want to strengthen America, we need to strengthen the American family.” Romney’s speech stressed family values, the need to cut off investments linked to Iran, and the belief in less government.
Source: Jason Spencer, Spartanburg Herald-Journal , Feb 23, 2007

Other candidates on Families & Children: Mitt Romney on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Ben Downing
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Danielle Allen
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Jay Gonzalez
Jesse Gordon
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Seth Moulton
Setti Warren
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Beth Lindstrom
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Geoff Diehl
Heidi Wellman
Joe Kennedy III
John Kingston
Kevin O`Connor
Shannon Liss-Riordan
Shiva Ayyadurai

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