First, the example he gives of supporting the military is about his neice's neighbors helping her landscape her yard while her husband is on active duty---so that the homeowner's association won't fine her. He called the gesture "touching." Wow. His best example of Americans coming together to support our troops is a bunch of people working in a yard so his niece doesn't have to pay neighborhood association fines??? Is that really all you got, Mitt? Is he even aware that most average Americans do not have any connection to a "neighborhood association"? Or that their only experience with such an association is to know that they are not permitted to live in the neighborhood? The man is clearly speaking from a place most Americans do not live.
Second, he says that one of the ways his sons are serving their country is by helping him get elected. Yes indeed. Mitt considers driving a winnebago around a few states getting YOUR DAD elected President to be a close second to joining the military and heading to Iraq. I'd LOVE to offer that kind of patriotic service. If only I could afford a winnebago. And afford to take time off work to campaign for my father. And to bring the whole family along since my wife, I assume, can ditch work too.
Yeah. Life as a Romney is pretty good. Too bad for all those brave men and women who didn't realize they could just as proudly serve their country by holding a sign at a polling station. Or, as the case may be, driving a large mobile home for their Dad.
And contrary to the campaign's assertions, reading the transcript does NOT show that the remark was taken out of context. Along with the niece/landscaping/neighborhood association anecdote, it offers perhaps more "context" than they'd like to admit.
Question: "Hi, my name's Rachel Griffiths, thank you so much for being here and asking for our comments. And I appreciate your recognizing the Iraq War veteran. My question is how many of your five sons are currently serving in the U.S. military and if none of them are, how do they plan to support this War on Terrorism by enlisting in our U.S. military?"
Governor Romney: "Well, the good news is that we have a volunteer army and that's the way we're going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they've made their decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty. I respect their decision in that regard. I also respect and value very highly those who make a decision to serve in the military. I think we ought to show an outpouring of support just as I suggested. A surge of support for those families and those individuals who are serving. My niece, for instance, just to tell you what a neighborhood can do and how touching it can be.
"My niece, Misha, living out West, her husband I think he got a call on a Tuesday. He's in the National Guard. He got a call on a Tuesday that he was going to be called up and shipped overseas on a Thursday. And they just bought a home -– they hadn’t landscaped it -– but the rules in the neighborhood were that unless you got your home landscaped within a year of the time that you bought your home, they began fining you, because they didn’t want people having mud holes in front of their homes. And she was very worried and just before the year expired, she woke up one morning and looked out the window and all the neighbors were out there, rolling down sod, putting up trees, getting it all done."
"It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country."