Mitt Romney: Pardons and Stem Cell Research

Mitt Romney is fond of reminding voters he granted no pardons or petitions for clemency as Governor. Not even for the soldier in Iraq who sought a pardon for a conviction at age 13 for using a b.b. gun. The soldier wanted to become a police officer.

He often criticized the pardon and clemency decisions of others -- except for one: He had no problem with GW Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence. He called it reasonable, saying the prosecutor knew Libby had committed no crime. [More...]

That isn't why Bush granted Libby clemency.

"In a written statement commuting the prison sentence, issued hours after Monday's ruling, Bush called the sentence "excessive," and suggested that Libby will pay a big enough price for his conviction.

Bush didn't substitute his judgment for that of a court and jury on the issue of whether Libby was guilty, or say the decision to prosecute Scooter Libby was improper, or that Libby committed no crime.

Under a Romney presidency, the standard will be Mitt Knows Best. He doesn't have much respect for the doctrine of separation of powers. He wants all the power.

His wife appeared on the View today and talked about how he vetoed a bill for stem cell research because of his moral conscience. Translation: his religious precepts prevented him from signing a bill passed by the legislature.

She also said Mitt has always been pro-life, even when he ran for Governor as pro-choice. "Mitt has always been a pro-life person, he governed when he ran as pro-choice." Of course, that sentence makes no sense, since he wasn't governing when he ran for office. Barbara Walters says, "Explain to me what that means?" Ms. Romney responds with the stem cell research example, saying when it came across his desk, he couldn't in good conscience sign it and that afterwards, he wrote an editorial saying he was pro-life.

Could Mitt Romney be any more duplicitous? How does someone run for office assuring voters he believes one thing, and then veto legislation that is in line with that position because of his moral beliefs, which are the same moral beliefs he held before he ran for office? It's not like he converted to a different religion or found religion after being elected Governor. He's always had those beliefs.

Mitt seems to think he's running for Emperor, not President.

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    Someone needs to explain to me how (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:17:25 PM EST
    a man with not even enough moral fiber to tell the truth - except maybe by accident - gets to claim "moral conscience" or claim he is "pro-life" as the reason he denied the life-saving benefits of stem-cell research to the people of his state.

    Among other things.  And among the things he wants to do on a national scale.

    And, if I can just say one more thing: I have to part ways with Obama describing Romney as a "good man" just because Romney loves his family; people are supposed to love their families.  When someone like Romney shows, time and again, that he doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone else's family, when he hides his mean-spirited, selfish, greedy, punitive, regressive, dismissive and condescending self behind religion and morality, that is not a good man.  It just isn't.

    Mitt Romney - and incresingly, his wife - are bringing to mind the phrase, "the banality of evil."

    I couldn't agree more (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by sj on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:35:54 PM EST
    And one more thing:  He brags about how mean-spirited he is in not granting a single pardon or petition for clemency.

    There is something rather soul-curlingly* repulsive about that.

    * I'm not sure I realized before that a soul could actually "curl"...


    This is the same person who put a (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:53:04 PM EST
    dog in a crate on the roof of a car and tried to convince us the dog liked it.  

    This is not a good man, and these are not good people.

    Our souls may indeed be curling in revulsion, but that's because we have souls and have figured out that under Romney's outwardly humanoid exterior is nothing but a dark void.


    Profound succinct statement (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:15:03 PM EST
    Someone needs to explain to me how a man with not even enough moral fiber to tell the truth - except maybe by accident - gets to claim "moral conscience" or claim he is "pro-life" as the reason he denied the life-saving benefits of stem-cell research to the people of his state.

    Another character flaw (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:13:15 PM EST
    the other night I said he was a rude individual but not because he was a bully. I was wrong. I didn't know about the time in prep school he physically tackled a student suspected of being gay because he didn't like his long hair. He and his friends held the guy down and Romney cut off his hair. The student, John Lauber, cried and Romney kept cutting.

    He wasn't disciplined. Today, he'd be suspended and the school would probably call the police.

    The fellow students told The Post that Romney led his friends in tackling the teenager, pinning him down and snipping his hair with a pair of scissors. The teen cried and screamed for help, according to the classmates, and was out of school for a time, later returning with his shorter hair back to its natural brown color.

    He claims not to remember the incident (and laughed during his his answer) but said he's sorry if it happened. He denies it would have occurred because the student was gay. He says he's a different person now, because "I'm married, have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and now 18 grandchildren." .

    Then there's this one:

    The Post article also describes another episode in which Mr. Romney was accused of mistreating a mostly blind teacher at the Cranbrook School.
    In that episode, students recalled that Mr. Romney purposely guided the blind teacher, known affectionately as "the Bat," into a closed door.

    "Romney giggled hysterically as the teacher shrugged it off as another of life's indignities," The Post wrote.

    He's a bully as well as rude.

    Naw, today Mitt would just call Daddy and (none / 0) (#8)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:16:33 PM EST
    it would be taken care of the old-fashioned way.  Money is still power and the people who perform some of those despicable acts don't always get punished for them.  

    He did it when he was in prep school (none / 0) (#15)
    by nyjets on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 04:35:10 PM EST
    Playing devils advocate, is it fair to call him a bully after hearing about only 1 incident that took place when he was in prep school.

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by sj on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 05:14:01 PM EST
    Depending on the incident.  These qualify.

    What?  You think they accidents?


    Really. It's the magnitude of what he did. (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 05:35:28 PM EST
    And the hatred behind it that concerns me.  And the fact that he laughed when denying it happened.  What sort of sick soul would do something like that in the first place?  And then laugh when asked about it?  There is something wrong with the guy.

    And yet, he was (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 06:02:43 PM EST
    a high school senior.  So at least 17 (if not 18).  Sure, kids of that age can be idiots, but they are old enough to know right from wrong, and in many states, they are considered well old enough (as are kids even younger) to be tried as adults if they commit felonies.  
    And before you answer that this wasn't a felony, I don't give a flying fig.  If you are held responsible legally for certain crimes, then you are responsible for this type of thing.  And at any rate, sounds like "assault" to me.

    On Chris Matthews (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 04:06:10 PM EST
    Hardball, James Lipton rendered his professional opinion of Romney as "the boss who tells lame jokes and waits for everybody to laugh, or else."  And, Lipton continued, voters are faced with a very clear choice, does American need a  president or a boss?"

    I think the apt "boss" characterization of Romney derives not only from his particular business experiences, but also, from his privileged and religious backgrounds.   Nothing augurs well for a Romney temperament in a position of national power.  

    Moreover, that attitude does not fall far from the tree. Tagg Romney, in an interview on a N.C. radio show, joked that he wanted to "take a swing" at President Obama during the debate. Thoughts about reactions from the secret service did give him pause.  But unlike so much of the crude, rude and extreme Romney campaign, defense of the father did , at least,  seem to be honest.  

    I really like the stem cell (none / 0) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:06:05 PM EST
    ad that's running right now against Coffman.  Wish they would do one against Rmoney too.

    me too, especially (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 02:54:34 PM EST
    the little girl at the end. It's a powerful ad. It's also running against other candidates, like Alan West.

    Is our present POTUS's pardon record (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:17:44 PM EST
    something to be proud of?

    How is Obama's record germane to this (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:25:08 PM EST
    discussion?  The issue is Willard's lack of any compassion for other people, among other shortcomings.  

    Uh, well, Obama is running against Romney. (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:53:41 PM EST
    And, you know, voters compare the two on various topics. It's a pretty common thing to do.

    it's better than Romney's (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:36:25 PM EST
    we have two choices, one who gave no pardons in four years and one who has granted more than 20 so far, including for drug offenses. Given those choices, I'll take Obama.

    And you miss a major point, which is that Romney thinks clemency is appropriate if in the president's view, the person didn't commit a crime. From the Office of the Pardon Attorney:

    As a general matter, in clemency cases the correctness of the underlying conviction is assumed, and the question of guilt or innocence is not generally at issue.

    They are generally awarded to people who have demonstrated "Acceptance of responsibility, remorse, and atonement."


    authored in which you discussed how stingy Obama is with his pardons, I'm somewhat surprised that now you apparently laud him for it.

    I can understand why giving pardons can be problematical, just ask Dukakis.


    please read more carefully (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 04:55:24 PM EST
    nobody is lauding Obama on his number of pardons. By comparison to his challenger, his record is better. As for your Dukakis comment, are you suggesting a President shouldn't give pardons because his opponent might misrepresent them, reducing his chances of reelection? That's hardly the kind of president I'd want.

    You've stated your view on this, now please move on.