As a Mormon leader, Romney grew, learned from broadened experiences

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  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Obviously Romney didn't learn a few things along the way. He didn't learn how to bring people together or he would not be running one of the most divisive campaigns ever. He did not learn to rise above the fray and stand for his principles because he has stooped to the level of his competitors (in the Republican primary and beyond) in tactics and rhetoric at every turn. He did not learn to be intellectually consistent and stand firm; he changes his position like he changes his shoes. And of course he did not learn that the truth is important. He is currently running campaign ads that contain severe falsehoods.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Sept. 2, 2012 6:57 a.m. have no idea what you're talking about. Reading between the lines seem to make Mitt out as simply the leader of the "Second Coming" standing on the right hand of Jesus himself.
    Mitt is a politician, a ruthless businessman, and a Mormon. That's about it.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 27, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    @JoeBlow - I wish Romney would attack the accurate context of the "you didn't build that" comments, because the accurate context is just as bad as the twisted context. When he was congratulating the NY Giants, Obama commended them for building a great team. He's done the same for other sports figures, but successful business people need to be lectured about not taking credit for our infrastructure. It's pretty insulting to business people in any context at all.

    I noticed you didn't answer LetsDebate's question about why business people needed the lecture. Instead you chose to parse words - a typical distraction tactic. I suppose because, even in the accurate context, Obama's remarks reveal him, once again, as a bitterly divisive figure who has contempt for capitalistic success.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 26, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    "Just like "you didn't build that." Why are the comments better in Obama's desired context? "

    Obama's "desired context" was the "context" of the speech. LOL. Obama is not CHOOSING the context. The WHOLE speech IS the context.

    It is a complete fabrication to take those words "you didn't build that" in the context of the speech and conclude that they were talking about peoples business and not infrastructure.

    It was very clear what was meant. The right just wanted to twist the words

    Aug. 26, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    @JoeBlow - yes, I get it too. Anytime Obama is held to the same standard he holds his opponents to, it's automatically sleazy and dishonest to all reasonable people. I could just as easily say that only the far left agrees with you. A large number in the middle don't like the tone of Obama's foreign remarks - whether you count them as an apology or just an acknowledgment of our soiled past. Why does he, as our President, feel the need to make such an acknowledgment to the world? If he's not apologizing, or attempting to take America down a notch, or building himself as the new moral compass, what's his point?

    Just like "you didn't build that." Why are the comments better in Obama's desired context? Why do businessmen need Obama's lecture about who built the infrastructure, and protected and educated the populace? Those were not "we're all in this together" motivational comments, they were very clearly "stop taking credit you don't deserve" lecturing comments.

    Lots of people are just sick of his unwelcome condescension. He sells himself as a national savior, and delivers NOTHING. He is a tremendous hypocrite.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 26, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    "If you didn't hear Romney's clarification on the McCain quote"

    It should not have required clarification. It was a classic example of someone misleading by intentionally taking something out of context.

    Look, I get it. Most politicians bend the truth. Heck, make that ALL politicians.

    But that McCain quote was one of the sleaziest, intentionally dishonest moves I have seen.

    And his clarification only came after he was called on it.

    And about the apology bit.

    Nice try, but give politifact some credit. They dug a bit deeper than just looking for the words "sorry" or "I apologize".

    They looked at the spirit of the speeches. And they write "we rate Romney’s statement Pants on Fire"

    The experts disagree with you.

    So do the facts when viewed by reasonable people. Only the far right agree with you.

    Aug. 26, 2012 12:47 p.m.

    @Mike - I don't know how many lies it takes to make a liar. I pointed out three you told against Romney, so you tell me how many it takes.

    So, if someone doesn't literally utter the words "I'm sorry" or "I apologize," then it's not technically an apology? Many people know an apology can clearly be conveyed by other words. You can quote PolitiFact and others all day, but such parsing of semantics over the clear intent of the message is also a dishonest tactic. There are dozens if not hundreds of Google results showing video and commentary of Obama's implied apologies. Denying that Obama was apologizing requires the willing suspension of disbelief.

    Ryan reallocates billions to secure Medicare for the future, not to build up a totally different program like Obama. Obama HOPES his reallocation will work out, Ryan PLANS for it to work out. Romney said he won't raid Medicare, so pinnng Ryan's plan on him is also dishonest.

    If you didn't hear Romney's clarification on the McCain quote, then you weren't paying attention. It was widely covered. Clinging to falsehoods based on ignorance is also rather dishonest.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 26, 2012 11:59 a.m.


    The right-wing claim that Obama apologized for America is "ridiculous," says PolitiFact. The Associated Press, The Washington Post, all have warned that the claim "is not borne out by the facts" and that Obama has issued "no formal -- or informal -- apology. No saying 'sorry' on behalf of America." Show us the video.

    One example of lying you agree with. How many lies does it take to make a liar?

    Medicare. Both Obama and Ryan eliminate Medicare Advantage to free up 716 Billion. Obama reallocates the funds to the Affordable Health Care act. Ryan does not. And, just what it Romney's plan for senior health care? We would all like to know..

    I did not hear Romney's clarification about the McCain lie. But seems to me that's like closing the barn door after the horse has already fled. The lie was widely distributed but his "clarification" was hardly shouted from the rooftops.

    Aug. 25, 2012 4:57 p.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil - the point is, humanity has a terrible history of civility one toward another. Most countries have encouraged slavery, and nations have slaughtered enemies, foreign and domestic, from the beginning of civilization. Government-sanctioned torture has occurred in probably every country that ever existed - much worse and more debilitating and disfiguring torture than waterboarding. Nationalistic arrogance, dismissiveness, derisiveness, and dictatorial approaches were not invented - nor carried out to a larger degree - by the United States than other countries.

    I believe America has led the world in areas of civil rights and correcting wrongheaded policies, and in spreading democratic ideals, and in raising prosperity and living standards through free-market principles that encourage innovation and progress.

    In an imperfect world, we certainly owe no apologies. Middle-Eastern countries view it as a weakness. Many other countries use these apologies to justify their anti-American hatred, as though their countries have better records. It's hogwash, and the apologies are neither necessary nor helpful to us on the world stage.

    I think it reflects Obama's feelings that America deserves a comeuppance in the world, and his narcissistic belief that only his enlightened moral leadership will change our heretofore immoral society. Hogwash.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 4:28 p.m.


    'i hear ya, but you have absolutely nothing to back up your claims to how much the Romneys paid in fast offerings. IF you have something, provide it.'

    Do you ever google anything? It's all out there. Here are the numbers that were reported earlier this year when Romney released his taxes for the past two years:

    Romney charitable contributions

    Tax year Taxable income Charitable donations Donations as % of income
    2010 $21.7 million $2.98 million 13.73%
    2011 (est) $20.9 million $4 million 19.14%

    If he paid 10% for tithing, then he paid 3.73% in other charitable donations in 2010 and 9.14% in 2011....again, millions in charitable giving. This is public information. I don't just make this stuff up.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 25, 2012 4:13 p.m.

    LetsDebtae... you said "Well, Obama has apologized to foreign leaders for America being "arrogant, dismissive, derisive, disengaged, dictatorial of our terms," and asking forgiveness as we "work through our own dark history" and for "acting hastily and going off course.":

    Well - all those things are true. Bush II didn't listen to his father, he rushed into a war in Iraq on false information, we lied to the UN, he didn't have the international support his father was smart enough to lock down before IRAQ version I. We arrogantly engaged in a war our partners asked us not to. I am sorry that some feel the US doesn't make mistakes... but we do, and there is absolutely should apologize when we error.

    Apologizing doesn't make you weak. It means you take responsibility for your actions... hardly a sign of weakness, other than by those whose self esteem can't handle a little reflective introspection. Even the prophet of the church claims the need to repent. If the prophet can humble himself to acknowledge mistakes, surely should our political leaders?

    Weakness is not being able to own up to your mistakes. What a coddled generation we now have.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 25, 2012 4:08 p.m.

    A1994 - i hear ya, but you have absolutely nothing to back up your claims to how much the Romneys paid in fast offerings. IF you have something, provide it.

    As to the adult level conversation, one person running is doing so partially, and largely in Utah based on his credentials as a former church leader. I am sorry, but I absolutely expect better behavior by an organization that is supporting someone who carries with them the name "Latter Day Saint". Perhaps that is trivial and negotiable by some as being relevant. But I would rather have an LDS run, and loose, keeping the standards of the office which he held as Stake President.

    Winning isn't worth the sacrifice in image the church is taking. We are to be an exceptional people, not people who lower our standards to win. And honestly, I think if Romney held his campaign to a higher standard, that would resonate largely with the one demographic group on the right he has issues with - the evangelicals.

    Respect and dignity is something we should demand from all our elected officials, regardless of party affiliation. Reed was wrong, and Obama denounced those items you sited.

    Aug. 25, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    @Mike in Cedar City

    In my opinion, three of four items you raise are lies ABOUT Romney.

    "Obama wants welfare recipients not to have to work." My one concession, although Obama clearly approved the ability of states to alter the legislated work requirements of the welfare reform bill.

    "Obama Said, 'if its about the economy we lose.'" Romney immediately clarified that this clip was used to show Obama's hypocrisy and to turn Obama's words about McCain back onto Obama. Not a lie - just holding Obama accountable for standards he set for McCain.

    "Obama has been apologizing for this country to foreign leaders." Well, Obama has apologized to foreign leaders for America being "arrogant, dismissive, derisive, disengaged, dictatorial of our terms," and asking forgiveness as we "work through our own dark history" and for "acting hastily and going off course." It's all on video.

    "Obama strips 746 Billion from Medicare while Romney will not. (take a look at the Ryan Budget)" Romney is the Presidential candidate, and has clearly said he will not raid that money from Medicare. Ryan has to now support ROMNEY'S plan.

    When people resort to outright lies about Romney, how righteous are they?

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    Aug. 25, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    I like the article. As a Catholic, I am curious to the beliefs of all Americans including the faith of Mitt Romney. I think both men are good humans who really care about others. It seems to me however, that Mitt only cares for the people insulated in the faith of his father. Obama is thinking of the bigger picture. How do we, (USA GOV) help those who are not in a ward, or the Mormon faith? How do we care for children of non-believers, who themselves are broken from poverty, unemployment, and mental illness? How do we help the masses of fellow American citizens who are affiliated with us not by religion, but by birth in the same nation? We seem comfortable using taxes to kill opponents in foreign lands, how about using taxes to help Americans at home? This is Mr. Romney's task. Explain how he would care for those he never has care for.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    Mitt Romney has given much and he and his family will give more in 4 years than any other President could give to a nation, his heart. It is in his eyes and mind from 10s of thousands of experiences in his lifetime. He has learned plenty on his own but the experiences he has gained from his father and from all his counselors and presidents of the different Priesthood and auxillary leaders in the Church, neighborhood, 2002 Winter Olympics organizing committee and a myriad of other volunteer and total lifetime experiences from his family, friends and neighbors. He is a true leader and is a generous giver to others, through a kind and generous heart. He doesn't have to speak down to people and will be good for the times and seasons we are in at this point in our nation's history. Being on a mission when he was 19 - 21 years old learning a foreign language and giving of himself when his associates in college were having a good time, shows a kind of love and devotion to his Church and people overall. We need this kind of well-rounded person to lead us.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    I have the deepest respect for any Bishop or Stake President. They do things behind the scenes to help people and improve lives. Those are very time consuming and, I'm sure, emotionally draining positions of leadership. Really, you could say that a Bishop or Stake President is a community organizer in the very best sense of the word. They counsel people who are having life problems. They are in charge of a geographic area to make sure that people are taken care of. They collect from those who have more (on a voluntary basis) and give to those who have less. They organize different groups all in the effort to take care of people.

    I really wish there was more focus on this part of Romney's life. I think the fact that he has this experience, both as a Bishop AND Stake President, is one of the most compelling reasons to elect him President. Couple this with the fact that he has degrees from Harvard and years of success in the private sector as well as successfully balancing the budget of Taxechusetts (WITHOUT RAISING TAXES!), this guy is exactly what this country needs.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Now if the great Mitt the Flip could must be honest in his campaigning. Where are the Tax Records me? And what's this about not wanting to release them because it might embarrass the LDS church?

    Some of the lies. Obama wants welfare recipients not to have to work.
    Obama Said, "if its about the economy we lose"
    Obama has been apologizing for this country to foreign leaders.
    Obama strips 746 Billion from Medicare while Romney will not. (take a look at the Ryan Budget)

    Yes Romney the Chameleon is resorting to out right lies. Just how righteous is he?

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Aug. 25, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Thanks for this article...I liked the focus on what any good bishop learns as they serve, and also that lay leaders and new bishops learn as they go. If there is humility, kindness, compassion and genuine caring, even if there are personality differences or glitches, it will come out all right.

    I have read many places--from many people that knew him--that though Mitt might have lived a privileged and sheltered life, he had genuine care and concern for people not so sheltered or so lucky, and did his best to offer support and solutions to help them find their way to a happier better life.

    I want someone like that for my President.

  • Chris from Rose Park PROVO, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    I agree whole heatedly with A1994. As a person, I like Obama. He seems like a nice guy, he cares for the poor, and he is an avid basketball fan. However, I disagree with him on how I want the government to be run. His tactic of telling the poor and middle class that the rich are fighting against them annoys me. It's not true.

    As it stands now I do not have confidence medicare and social security are sustainable programs. I feel like I am mandated to put my money in a pot that will crumble anyways. I believe Romney-Ryan will help to fix that. I do not feel that Obama will fix that. That is one big reason I will vote Romney on election day.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 9:05 a.m.


    Beyond tithing, Romney has donated literally millions to the Church's fast offering and welfare program. Those do go directly tot he poor. I agree with you that we need to keep it on an adult level. I don't dislike Obama for personal reasons. I dislike him for his philosophy on government and his economic policies. Furthermore, he is intentionally divisive. He does exactly what you are talking about by utilizing other people's hatred and emotion. His whole economic platform is based on pitting the poor and middle class against 'the rich.' He uses terms like "paying their fair share." The rich pay more than their fair share of the taxes. Not only is it unfair, more importantly it is bad economic policy. He isn't doing me any favors by jacking taxes up on my boss.

    As far as getting personal, the President has allowed his advisers (Stephanie Cutter) and friends to call Romney a felon, a tax evader, and the cause for a woman's death. Surely you can see the irony in asking for a more adult conversation.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 25, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    I am ever amazed by comments such as juni4ling's, and those that subscribe to this rhetoric. The idea that you have to demonize, make up false histories, in order for your candidate to be good, is rather, silly.

    For example, much is made of Romney's church service. Never is it mentioned that Obama ran the out reach programs for a eight diocese region of the Catholic church - much the same a 8 stake region. Nor does Juni4ling mention his time as director of the Annenberg Project. No mention graduating at the top of his class at Harvard, nor mentioned being the editor of the Harvard Law review, nor a professor at University of Chicago for 12 years.

    This doesn't mean Obama is "better" than Romney, but statements like "Romney's lifelong contributions to the poor dwarf Obama's"... how do you quantify a statement like that. Based on what? Tithing? Tithing isn't a "help the poor fund". What else has Romney done?

    Lets have a grown up conversation, non emotional discussion about who we are hiring here to be president. Romney may be best, but lets decide based on facts, not hatred or emotion.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    Since we all made a decision in the pre-existence for Freedom and Free Agency, Mitt's philosophy of governing is in line with our previous commitment. When government thinks they know better how we should live our lives than we do, we are entering the long slide towards totalitarianism and slavery. Unfortunately this latter view is Obama's.

    Romney and Ryan 2012 for the future of the Republic.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 25, 2012 1:15 a.m.

    Could this paper be any more in the tank for the Romney campaign? Do you have Mitt campaign advisers on staff?

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 24, 2012 10:52 p.m.

    Great article!

    Mitt is a real deal! Ryan is a great compliment to Mitt. Awesome combination of knowledge and experience, exactly what we need to turn around this country's mess for the better.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Aug. 24, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    Thank you for writing this article. It covers the greater part of what being a Mormon leader means; the meat and potatoes, so to speak, overlooked by last night's one-hour program on NBC.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2012 8:27 p.m.

    Thank you for writing this great article. There were many examples of not only leadership, but caring and compassion.

    This is the Mitt Romney we hope the country sees in Tampa, FL, next week. We hope his story is told. We hope he shows by his actions how "in toudh" with people he really is.

    Hope, and yes, we need a change! I hope everyone is watching and listening this time and vote to save the greatest country on earth: The United States of America!

    Romney-Ryan 2012

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2012 6:58 p.m.


    Thank you. People like you give me hope. It blows me away how many clueless lefties there are.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Aug. 24, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    obama had many meaningful experiences as a community organizer and attendee of rev. wright's church. there is no whare that mitt could hang posters on light poles like obama can.

  • juni4ling Somewhere in Colorado, CO
    Aug. 24, 2012 4:19 p.m.

    There are a lot of significant differences between Obama and Romney...

    Obama has never given anyone a job. Obama has never worried about the bottom line, and had to fire someone for failing to contribute. Obama has never created an opportunity for someone.

    But the most significant and extreme difference between Romney and Obama is in commitment to service. Romney's lifelong contributions to the poor dwarf Obama's.

    Obama can call for shutting-down business with massive taxation. Obama can call for class-warfare and hurting those who hire employees. But Obama cannot compare to Romney's lifelong commitment to the poor. As a religious leader, and as a busines leader, Romney made a *personal* commitment to those on the bottom.

    Obama, on the other hand, just calls for bigger government and reduced freedoms for those less-fortunate...

    Yeah, the differences between Obama and Romney are extreme and significant... Romney is a giver. Obama is a taker.