The side of Mitt Romney the press refuses to cover

Stryder 2012/05/30 01:25:01
For the past two days, the presidential campaign has been dominated by a Washington Post story that reported Mitt Romney, in high school in 1965, led a group of bullies that pinned down another student to the ground and cut his hair. Obviously, the story makes it seem that Romney was heartless as a teenager 47 years ago. Even if the story is true, however, it’s important to recognize that people are complicated and, to use a word that’s been in the news a lot lately, they can evolve over time. In the years following the alleged hair cutting incident, Romney had a lot of life changing experiences, such as nearly dying in a terrible car accident in France when his was a Mormon missionary, falling in love with and marrying Ann, and raising five children. Though we hear a lot of stories that reflect Romney’s callousness (Google also: “Romney dog on the roof”), we read a lot less about his generosity.

If we’re going to set the standard that whether a politician has been kind to others in real life should factor into voters’ decisions about whether or not to make him president, then it’s only fair to highlight some of Romney’s acts of charity over the course of his lifetime.

In their excellent biography The Real Romney, Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman – no cheerleaders – found many examples of Romney’s private compassion. Such as:

-- In 1995, a Mormon family, the Nixons, had recently moved to the Boston area and got devastating news when two of their sons were rendered quadriplegics by a terrible car accident -- a tragedy that was compounded by the financial strain. Having heard their story, Romney called the parents to see if they’d be around on Christmas Eve. Romney, even though he didn’t know the Nixons very well, showed up with Ann and his sons. They brought the injured sons a new stereo system and other gifts. According to the book, the Nixons “were floored” that Romney had not only taken an interest in them, but that he and Ann had taken time out of their busy schedule to deliver the gifts themselves and turn it into a family event to set an example. Romney also offered to pay for their sons’ college educations and participated in multiple fundraisers for them over the years. “It wasn’t a one time thing,” the father told the authors.

-- One time, Romney found out that a church member had broken his foot by falling off a ladder trying to remover a hornet’s nest. Romney showed up and devised a way of removing it from the inside of the house. “Everyone who has known Romney in the church community seems to have a story like this, about him and his family pitching in ways big and small,” Kranish and Helman write. “They took chicken and asparagus soup to sick parishioners. They invited unsettled Mormon transplants to their home for lasagna.” Another time, a fire broke out near where Romney lived and he “organized the gathered neighbors, and they began dashing into the house to rescue what they could: a desk, couches, books” until the fire fighters made them stop. He also helped build a playground to honor a neighbor’s child who had died of cystic fibrosis. “There he was, with a hammer in his belt, the Mitt nobody sees,” the neighbor, Joseph O’Donnell recounted. “Romney didn’t stop there,” the book reads. “About a year later, it became apparent that the park would need regular maintenance and repairs. ‘The next thing I know, my wife calls me up and says, “You’re not going to believe this, but Mitt Romney is down with a bunch of Boy Scouts and they’re working on the park.”’”

-- As I’ve written before, Kranish and Helman recount a perfect example of the contrast between Romney’s callous public image and his personal generosity from his 1994 Senate race in Massahcusetts against Ted Kennedy. Roughly a week before the election, Romney did a campaign stop at a Boston shelter for homeless veterans. The director of the center, Ken Smith, told Romney that their budget was being hammed by the cost of milk. In his political mode, Romney awkwardly joked that they should just teach veterans how to milk cows. Obviously, that did not go over well. Quietly, Romney later called Smith and asked how he could help. The authors write: “(N)ow, instead of paying for a thousand pints a day, the shelter was paying for just five hundred. And it wasn’t just some political stratagem. ‘It wasn’t a short-term “Let me stroke you a check,”’ he said. ‘It happened not once, not twice, but for a long period of time.’ In fact, Smith said he understood that Romney was still supporting the shelter when Smith left in 1996.”

There are numerous other examples like this, such as the better known one in which Romney shut down Bain Capital so that all the partners could search for the daughter of one of the partners who had gone missing in New York City. Obviously, we know about these stories because members of the mainstream media have reported them. See, also, this CBS report on Romney helping out a victim of California wildfires. But such stories have not been amplified in the same way as stories that feed into the idea of him being cold-hearted.

And a couple more....

On) a cold December Sunday in the 1980s Romney got a phone call from a Mormon bishop in Utah who said the adult daughter of one of his members — a single mother who did not belong to the church — needed help. The woman’s heating oil had been turned off in the dead of winter.

Enlisting his young sons to help, Romney loaded up his Gran Torino with firewood and drove the car from the family’s generous house in the leafy Boston suburb of Belmont to the woman’s home in the hardscrabble Dorchester neighborhood downtown..

Years after a business partner died unexpectedly, Romney helped the man’s surviving daughter go to medical school with loans for tuition — loans he forgave when she graduated.
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Top Opinion

  • RastaFan 2012/05/30 06:00:19
    I have the same queasy feeling I had when I saw Sarah Palin step out on stage.

    The disgusting, Progressive media machine is going to pour their filth all over Mitt. They abhorr goodness. How on earth did we ever let them get this far in America? How could we have?

    It's not working this time.

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  • rose 2012/05/31 21:40:55
    Mitt Job Romney is a loser with out a long form birth certificate.. He was born in Mexico
  • CAPISCE 2012/05/31 01:48:19
  • texasred 2012/05/31 01:11:47
    People can say whatever they want about Romney. I believe he's more good than anything we've seen in a long time and I'm not going to listen to their tripe.
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2012/05/31 01:00:23
    And how about when Mitt shut everything down in Boston and relocated to New York, until they found a missing kid?
  • rose Temlako... 2012/05/31 21:39:11
    So he well shut the whole United States down until they find a missing kid?? Thats a good reason not to vote for Mitt Job Romney
  • Calm down! 2012/05/30 18:43:13 (edited)
    Calm down!
    Romney is a good guy and will be a great President!

    romney guy pesident
  • Blueskys Calm down! 2012/05/30 19:25:31
    No he is not good, he is a capitalist and supports a system designed to keep people in poverty.
  • Stryder Blueskys 2012/05/30 19:50:30
    It's the Democrats who keep people in poverty by throwing endless entitlements at them. They'll keep throwing them a bone as long as they get their votes for payback.

    Conservatives want to see people pick themselves up, make something of themselves, and succeed.
  • sick'n'... Blueskys 2012/05/31 01:05:39
    sick'n'tired PWCM
    Eeeeevillll capitalists vs heroic communists?
  • texasred Blueskys 2012/05/31 01:12:51
    Get off your butt and you have the opportunity not to be in poverty.
  • CAPISCE texasred 2012/05/31 01:49:10
  • Ironhead60 Blueskys 2012/05/31 10:36:56
    You've got it all mixed up....You live under a rock or something???
  • rightside 2012/05/30 17:35:10
    Sad that the lame stream media will not mention a word about this. I'm so sick of them that I will not even watch them anymore. All they can do is overlook bama's poor record and history and even lie to make him look good.
    Very sad.
  • TheTruth1313 2012/05/30 17:02:47
    It does seem that the liberal biased media has missed this. Very nice post Stryder. Good bunch of fact finding. Kudos!!
  • Stryder TheTrut... 2012/05/30 18:53:28 (edited)
    Thanks. Tho, I can't take credit for the article. My friend sent it to me. But I will take credit for spreading the word. :o)
  • TheTrut... Stryder 2012/05/31 07:48:35
    Thank you again Stryder.
  • Blueskys TheTrut... 2012/05/30 19:29:44
    Still on that kick about the media being liberal?
    You guys are such losers, your enemies are people long defeated by everybody else.
    The media is fascist biased. Both parties are variations of fascism..

    Nixon was the last liberal President
  • Stryder Blueskys 2012/05/30 19:43:33 (edited)
    You don't think the media is overwhelmingly biased towards the Left? Seriously? FOX leans right, but has plenty of liberals on their shows. Pick any another news network, cable or broadcast, and they're in the pockets of the libs.
  • texasred Blueskys 2012/05/31 01:13:51
    Honey... the loser in this conversation is you.
  • Stryder texasred 2012/05/31 03:02:11
  • TheTrut... Stryder 2012/05/31 07:49:40
    I'll second that. Thanks for the assist as well my friend.
  • TheTrut... Blueskys 2012/05/31 07:50:21
    So the movie "Clueless" was about you I see. LOL
  • Stryder TheTrut... 2012/05/31 11:28:54
    It definitely wasn't ""Ordinary People".
  • TheTrut... Stryder 2012/06/01 07:46:33
    LMFAO!! Good one!!
  • Stryder TheTrut... 2012/06/01 11:32:46
  • Old Timer 2012/05/30 16:52:45
    Old Timer
    Good Post. Too bad they can't dig up this kind of dirt for the Media to announce.
  • Stryder Old Timer 2012/05/30 18:54:31
    Thank you.
  • Rebel Yell 2012/05/30 16:42:05
    Rebel Yell
    By next week, Willard will be walking on water.
  • LindaM Rebel Yell 2012/05/30 19:24:59
    Gee, five or six good deeds in all these years.. amazing.
  • Lanikai 2012/05/30 16:27:00
    Okay, he is far more awesome than barry the systemic system user. And far more of a humanitarian, and decent guy than the media portrays.
  • Seonag 2012/05/30 15:48:10
    Great post! thanks for sharing it!
  • Stryder Seonag 2012/05/30 18:55:09
    You're very welcome.
  • bob 2012/05/30 15:24:10
    So Mitt Romney loves to dominate Homosexual men.
  • Mike bob 2012/05/30 16:59:49
    Leave that to bling blinghttp://reddogreport.com/...
  • Stryder bob 2012/05/30 18:55:31
  • stormy rae 2012/05/30 14:57:01 (edited)
    stormy rae
    ok, so the fact is I am starting to like the man a little bit more, but he still told the nation on national tv that as president he would have signed obamas ndaa the way it was written, and that he believes in the indefinite detention of americans he agreed to pres obamas war with libya and he was the originator of obamas health care plan... so can you please explain these issues i have with mitt romney, and before you say he does not agree, watch the vid he admits it and obama admits using his policy on healthcare.

  • Wayne 2012/05/30 14:43:27
    Romney is more man than Obama will ever be.
  • UnusualSuspect 2012/05/30 14:35:26
  • Unusual... Unusual... 2012/05/30 16:27:23
    Not exactly ol Mitt's fault, but having an app and misspelling "America" isn't something you want...LOL!

  • Stryder Unusual... 2012/05/30 18:56:41
    I guess he could've been out getting stoned and doin' blow when he could afford it.

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