I Still Wouldn’t Have Voted For Him… May 11, 2008

I Still Wouldn’t Have Voted For Him…

… but it’s something, I suppose:

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, once criticized for leaving out atheists and nonbelievers when he delivered a much-touted speech on faith in America, now says he missed a chance to discuss their role in society.

Romney, who addressed his Mormon faith on Dec. 6 to allay concerns by hesitant voters, was criticized for asserting in that pre-primary speech that, “freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.”

This week, Romney said he is still convinced of that, but that he regrets omitting atheists and agnostics from his initial address.

“Upon reflection,” Romney said at the Metropolitan Club in New York City, “I realized that while I could defend their absence from my address, I had missed an opportunity – an opportunity to clearly assert the following: Nonbelievers have just as great a stake as believers in defending religious liberty.”

As Siamang points out, he could’ve phrased the rest of his remarks slightly better.

Whether or not Romney actually means all this is still in question. It’s not like atheists weren’t around when he made his original remarks on faith. But he wasn’t trying to get their votes, either.

Too little too late?

(Is it even worthy of being called “too little”?)

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Richard Wade

    Well, the same question gets the same answer from me. In fact I’ll just copy and paste my comment about Siamang’s observations of Romney over here:

    I think the only opportunity Romney regrets missing was the chance to get more votes. This subtly condescending remark is the best he’s ever going to make since he doesn’t actually respect nonbelievers, he respects only their clout.

    His above statement does nothing to cancel out his now infamous “religion of secularism” speech delivered last December, where he was kissing the ass of the evangelical religious right, tying to say “Hey, I’m on your side, join me against those evil nonbelievers.” Fortunately it didn’t work. In this recent statement he has not recanted that statement, in my opinion. Without a specific repudiation of his earlier speech, either he was being a disingenuous manipulator then or he is being a disingenuous manipulator now.

    More likely both.
    With Romney’s movie star looks, he should quit politics and go to Hollywood. He could make a lot more money reciting that kind of fiction than this kind.

  • Romney completely reconstructed himself for the presidential run. I have a friend in Massachusetts who said just about everyone he knew was shocked to see the Mitt that emerged to run for president. He had been among the most liberal of republicans when he was governor of MA. Mitt’ll do whatever it takes to get votes (I shudder to think of 2012), that all he cares about.

  • Darryl

    I repeat myself:

    Romney’s a dick, a pandering dick. . . . He’s now running toward the middle in anticipation of a general election in which he hopes to be McCain’s running mate. What a major loser. How is it that our country has produced people like this?

  • V Profane

    Just how stupid would any atheist have to be to vote for him even if he had have paid lip-service to them in his speech?

  • TXatheist

    I smell someone looking for moderate/independent votes as a McCain’s VP and nothing more.

  • mikespeir

    I rarely get any amens from fellow atheists when I say I plan to vote for McCain. I will say this, though, if he chooses Romney or, worse, Huckabee as a running mate, the deal’s off!

  • Spurs Fan

    Fortunately it didn’t work.

    As an Obama supporter, I actually think this was unfortunate. No matter McCain’s bad policies, his military-hero status will give him credibility. Romney, had he been nominated by the Republicans, would have stood no chance against Obama or Clinton.

  • TXatheist

    Not wanting to argue but listen…why are you supporting McCain over Hillary/Barack…. feel free to email if you don’t wish to post here.

  • mikespeir

    “why are you supporting McCain over Hillary/Barack”

    Because I lean toward the conservative. Nuff said. I don’t want to get into a debate either.

  • I have a friend in Massachusetts who said just about everyone he knew was shocked to see the Mitt that emerged to run for president. He had been among the most liberal of republicans when he was governor of MA

    This is pretty much true. Of course, he still did the Republican lower taxes, increase budget deficit deal. Aside from that, he seemed to have no problem with social issues, having no stated issue with abortion or gay marriage (or so he said, once upon a time). But, yeah, this pandering to atheists is essentially pointless in my view. Though, on the bright side, regardless of his motives, atheists are being pandered to! As far as I am concerned, that is as good of a sign as any! (I’m being overly optimistic here, but that is privilege allowed to someone who expects the very worst of people).

  • Darryl

    I think politics is much like religion in this respect: people who are raised by conservatives tend to be the same; and people who are raised by liberals . . . Just like breaking out of religion, one has to challenge the politics they inherited. It may be that they decide that they’ll hold on to it, but that has to be an informed decision. I was raised by religious conservatives–now I’m an atheist liberal, and proud of it. You conservatives are primitives in my view. Sorry, you just don’t have what it takes to think globally. Atheist conservatives are problematic, like the Neocons.

  • TXatheist

    mike, I was wondering why though…my point is to understand why a few atheists vote conservative. Rather than guess I just am trying to understand.

  • mikespeir

    I don’t doubt your sincere interest, TXAtheist. (BTW, if “TX” stands for Texas, I’m a Texan, too.) But I’m serious about not getting into it here. Such discussions can’t be constrained to large topics, but will always involve wandering across vast tracts of philosophical wilderness and quibbling over fine definitional distinctions. Frankly, I’d rather not grab hold of that tar baby in a venue like this.

    However, that I happen to lean toward conservatism is hardly as much as saying I embrace all that would like to fit itself under that umbrella. One of the few radio stations I can receive well in my little town just happens to headline the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. I sometimes listen to them when I’m out and about, but usually end up gnashing my teeth. (And, I’ll point out, none of those guys are too happy with having to vote for John McCain.)

    Googling “Conservative Atheist” will get you started if you care to head into that territory. (There’s even a site called The Conservative Atheist: http://www.theatheistconservative.com/ )

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