Skip to comments.NBC's Alexander to Romney Sons: 'Are You Out of Touch?'
Posted on 07/20/2012 8:37:36 PM PDT by Kaslin
Earlier in the segment, Alexander explained the role of the sons: "For a candidate who at times has struggled to connect, the campaign hopes the sons can also help explain some of their father's more idiosyncratic moments." In a preview of the interview on Thursday's Today, Alexander proclaimed: "For a candidate who's been called aloof, even awkward, the Romney boys help highlight their father's human side."
NBC's Alexander to Romney Sons: 'Are You Out of Touch?'
In one line of questioning in the wide-ranging interview, Alexander bizarrely jumped from asking about their missionary work to grilling them on why they didn't serve in the military: "...they all went overseas on a two-year mission to spread their Mormon beliefs. All of you served your church going on missions. Did you ever consider serving your country by putting on a uniform, by serving in the military?"
After Matt Romney described how they "look at those guys [in the military] with a tremendous amount of respect" Alexander turned to Ben Romney and pressed: "Ben, do you regret you never served? Do you?" Ben, a doctor, replied: "I'm in residency and I spend a lot of my time at the VA hospital. I get to work with vets who have made great sacrifices for this country and I look at their lives and hopefully I get to serve them a little bit, too."
Near the end of the segment, Alexander tried to get the sons to react to attacks against their father: "They've called your dad a flip-flopper. They have said that he was aloof. Newt Gingrich called him a liar. Does any of that stuff sting at any point?...What got under your skin?"
Matt Romney dismissed such attacks: "...we know what a great father he is, we know how much he loves the country, we know how much he loves our kids, you know, his grandkids. It's not ambition that's driving him, it is really a desire to give back. And this is how he thinks he can give back and we agree."
Following the interview, host Brian Williams wondered: "The nice way of putting it is they don't make kids like that anymore. And the cynical way of putting it is they don't make kids like this anymore. So can they be that earnest? What are they really like?"
I think it's fair to say that they are guarded, they know they're role in this campaign, there's only so many places that they will go in the course of the conversation, and talking policy is not one of them. Talking Mormonism is another one that they're not as comfortable talking about....as the scrutiny gets a little bit more intense, you can see those moments where they start to realize this is the big leagues and the family has definitely put up its guard.
Here are portions of the July 19 interview:
PETER ALEXANDER: For a candidate who at times has struggled to connect, the campaign hopes the sons can also help explain some of their father's more idiosyncratic moments.
MITT ROMNEY: This feels good being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height, the streets are just right.
TAG ROMNEY: He's a little goofy and that's just, you know, that's part of part of his charm I think.
ALEXANDER: We were with him recently and he said, "I was guffawing when I looked at this old picture."
MITT ROMNEY: I'd lost it. I was completely guffawing.
ALEXANDER: Like when you hear him say some of those things, or at one point he was with you guys recently where he said, "I love them like they're my own sons, and they are my own sons."
CRAIG ROMNEY: It's the same corny jokes we grew up with, I mean, we're used to it. It's just kind of part of his personality.
ALEXANDER: We read that there was scripture in mornings that each morning you started the morning with scripture. Tell me about, Craig, tell me about that, if you would.
CRAIG ROMNEY: You know, the scriptures every morning, I think, is a stretch.
ALEXANDER: But like their father, they all went overseas on a two-year mission to spread their Mormon beliefs. All of you served your church going on missions. Did you ever consider serving your country by putting on a uniform, by serving in the military?
MATT ROMNEY: You know, I think we can look at the guys that serve in the military, the men and women, and just say that's the biggest sacrifice you can make for your country. It's just, it's nothing any of us did, but we look at those guys with a tremendous amount of respect.
ALEXANDER: Ben, do you regret you never served? Do you?
BEN ROMNEY: You know, I look at my life that I'm leading right now, and I'm in residency and I spend a lot of my time at the VA hospital. I get to work with vets who have made great sacrifices for this country and I look at their lives and hopefully I get to serve them a little bit, too.
ALEXANDER: Politically, the image of this attractive, well-to-do family cuts both ways. Their life of privilege, plus a reported $100 million trust fund, continues to draw harsh scrutiny in a campaign season focused on the economy. The criticism is that a family like yours, the Romneys, can't really understand what the average American family is dealing with right now. I guess the question, very simply put, Matt, is, are you out of touch?
MATT ROMNEY: I mean, it's hard for us to obviously tell you that we're very much in touch, but we are. I mean, you know, we have problems just like everybody else. Health challenges, there's challenges with your kids.
CRAIG ROMNEY: You know, we've obviously been very blessed, and because of that, we feel a responsibility to make sure we can do everything we can to, you know, make this country as great as it can be.
ALEXANDER: The press and politics can be a tough place. They've called your dad a flip-flopper. They have said that he was aloof. Newt Gingrich called him a liar. Does any of that stuff sting at any point?
MATT ROMNEY: It's funny, we know our Dad so well that when you hear that stuff you just, you kind of shrug it off because we know who he really is.
ALEXANDER: No one ever said anything that you said, "Alright, alright, enough already." That you felt some obligation to shake the screen or to yell at somebody?
ROMNEY: Of course, of course, things that people say, I mean, you can't...
ALEXANDER: What got under your skin?
ROMNEY: ...you take certain things personally at times.
ALEXANDER: What got under your skin?
ROMNEY: But ultimately-
TAG ROMNEY: But ultimately-
ALEXANDER: Nice, nice, appreciate it.
MATT ROMNEY: But ultimately, you just kind of go, you know, it's okay because you know his true identity will come out and we, we know what a great father he is, we know how much he loves the country, we know how much he loves our kids, you know, his grandkids. It's not ambition that's driving him, it is really a desire to give back. And this is how he thinks he can give back and we agree.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Peter Alexander, in off the campaign trail, with us for just one night. The nice way of putting it is they don't make kids like that anymore. And the cynical way of putting it is they don't make kids like this anymore. So can they be that earnest? What are they really like?
ALEXANDER: I think it's fair to say that they are guarded, they know they're role in this campaign, there's only so many places that they will go in the course of the conversation, and talking policy is not one of them. Talking Mormonism is another one that they're not as comfortable talking about. But the truth is, they seem to be a pretty good group of guys, they enjoy themselves, they've been nice to us, to the reporters that follow them throughout the course of this campaign trail. But as the scrutiny gets a little bit more intense, you can see those moments where they start to realize this is the big leagues and the family has definitely put up its guard.
WILLIAMS: Fascinating conversation. Back on the campaign with you, thank you for stopping in with us. Peter Alexander.
“Excuse me, Mr. Alexander, I was just wondering ... I’m picking up a certain vibe — have to ask: are you a child molester? Because you just seem like one.”
They’re like any other wealthy, close knit family.
Notice, however, that we never hear anything about Mitt from his sisters?
Out of touch with regular Americans? You mean like being raised by an assortment of actual communists in Hawaii, before moving to Indonesia for several years, studying in a massadra, and setting foot on mainland USA for the first time at age 18, having the Saudis bribe your way into Harvard, and then have a deep personal friendship with weather underground terrorists?
That kind of “out of touch” what you mean?
PS,,,i forgot about Kobe steak every night.
If anyone is “out of touch” with America it’s the MSM.
And i missed the story about Peter Alexander’s military service? Surely he must have served, to dare ask them why they havent. And i missed the story about Chelsea Clinton, or the Gore kids being interrogated about their lack of military service. Pelosis kids? Any Kennedy AFTER JFK?
How much do YOU make, Mr. Alexander? Are we allowed to ask that question?
I’m sure this journalist will have an equally tough line of questioning for the Obama kids. NOT!!!
Cannot know; what you have never had. . .Liberals are their 'own' lesson. . .They can only assume and ascribe the worst of motives to others. It is not only 'what they know'; it is all they know. . .
Mmmmm. No mention of military service there!
Who is this "they"? If you are going to attack Romney, just go out and attack him. Why the need for the strawman? Why not give "they" a face and name?
And the cynical way of putting it is they don't make kids like this anymore. So can they be that earnest? What are they really like?"
My gosh, I can't believe this crap! What is Obama really like?
Alexander observed: I think it's fair to say that they are guarded,
And why shouldn't they be guarded when dealing with the media? They are on Obama's side.
Exactly, was thinking the same thing. Off the top of my head i can’t think of too many groups of people that are as unrepresentative of mainstream America as the MSM.
Oh I don’t know. My guess is that the Romney’s aren’t veru much like the Kennedys. Whatever else is true about mittens, he sure is no drunkard or druggie
Frankly, Peter...I can call you Peter, right?....I don’t give a damn
I have salvos of crap I would love to put out on the current child occupants in the White Hut...like who is their real daddy, seeing how the purple lipped bastard preferred tube steak over seafood.
You don’t have to be a drunkard or druggie to be hated by your relatives.
Former employees at Bain have described him as mean and spiteful.
Granted, that may be sour grapes, but look at how he treats Gov.Sarah Palin and her family.
If Gov.Romney had true political sense, he would offer her the VP slot. He treats her as an enemy; well, you keep your enemies close and he is being stupid by not doing so. Making her his VP for the next four years would be an excellent way to attract conservative support, yet at the same time neutralize her influence for that period of time.
He is missing a great political opportunity by not drawing her into his inner circle. By not doing so he looks as though afraid of her, and thus weak.
Your Post #2: ROFLMAO....
Notice, however, that we never hear anything about Mitt from his sisters?
And your point is.............
What exactly is your point?
Great minds think alike :)
My nephew attended a private school in Utah, and some of the people he met in that region were related to Romney.
What I’ve heard from Romney relatives is that he is a mean SOB who lets his feeling dictate much of his behavior. Oh, they will vote for him, but only because he is a Mormon.
What I’m saying is one doesn’t have to be a perfect human being to be President, but you should have a keen politcal sense without pettiness.
I am not going to get into to it with anyone. More response was to the idea that the Romneys were typical of all wealthy families. I chose one that I consider to be typical of the left side of the aisle. The Kennedys are nothing to write home about. That was my point.... and only that.
look at how he treats Gov.Sarah Palin and her family.
I adore Sarah Palin. I’d vote for her for President in a heartbeat. But, I must say, I don’t know what Romney has done or how he treated Gov. Sarah Palin and her family. But, Sarah made no secret about it, during the Primary season, that she did not like Romney and she was wrong when she drove her bus almost right through one of Romney’s biggest campaign events ever. So, cut the guy some slack for being a little miffed. I certainly hope that Sarah get a speaking slot at the Convention and I think she will.
ABO is an idiot strategy hatched by talk radio the GOPe and so called “conservative commentators” it may work on the GOP but it wont work on the Independents who will decide the election.
Like it or not folks voted for O because they believed in his rhetoric eg they voted FOR Obama not against Bush..
The talk radio and GOPe echo chamber has deluded good folks into believing that running a GOP liberal is better than a Dim liberal and belief in nothing and winning an election is more important than principle.
They are wrong. The Americans that will decide this election will vote for a conservative candidate NOT for ABO. You true believer GOPe can crawl over all the glass you want to vote for the liberal with a R behind his name but the folks that don't buy that BS never vote for him...Flame Shame Blame or Beg it ain't gonna happen
Here’s a Peter Alexander who is a sex offender. Pete, you ever been to Portsmouth, Virginia?
If this is the game the liberals are going to play (as just recently with the Aurora CO massacre), let’s do likewise.
There have been numerous articles here on FR concerning aides of Romney orchestrating smears against Sarah Palin and her children.
Right now, after reading the Ulsterman Report about how Obama intends to disrupt the coming election, my knee-jerk reaction is to support ABO. I’ve been in a similiar position before, done that, and have regretted my vote in 1976 ever since.
Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon in 1974. The number or registered independents swelled from folks like myself leaving the Republican Party. It became “Anybody But Ford”, and so the former Governor of Georgia, James Earl Carter, won a term in the White House.
Big, huge mistake. I hope we Repulbicans aren’t making another we’ll regret.
Is that the dumb act or the deaf act?
Four years of it and then some say they know nothing. LOL! As believable as Romney is.
I wonder if the guy whose life he saved in Lake Winnepesaukie(sp?) thinks he’s mean and petty.
Unfortunately Mrs Palin shot herself in the foot when she quit the governorship. I understand the reason for it but I’m sure she knew she would never hold higher public office again.
You mean the Romney men - not one of which has EVER served in the military? Those Romney men?
What does she care? She’s got the green.
(Not sorry I seem so cynical.)
“You mean the Romney men - not one of which has EVER served in the military? Those Romney men?”
Like father like son..
To some there are things more important than the green. Plus if you look at Pres Clinton, he made way more after being pres than Mrs Palin did after being Gov.
Look, I drove around for two years with half a M/Palin sticker on my truck. I don’t need to tell you which half was missing, but when she quit, however good the reason, she was done. Would I vote for her tomorrow, yes, but she isn’t going to be on the ballot. Mitt is. Get used to it or we get Obama again.
I liked your post. I am also firmly ABO. It would’nt matter to me one bit if the GOP convention in August pulls out a surprise nominee. As long as he/she is a registered republican, that is good enough against Barack Hussein Obama from Chicago. Nothing against Chicago, I made a fine living there for 30+ years and miss all those great ethnic restaurants, but do not miss the cold & windy winters.
Hey, I’m in. What can I say?
They know Obama wouldn't have a chance against Newt. So who do they pick - godless RomneyCare, OBAMA light! Talk about DELIBERATE! And Romney DELIBERATELY and VICIOUSLY and COSTLY attacked Newt with LIES! We've seen his hatred of good for four years!
He is mean all right and the EVIL within makes him mean. His is cold, so they call him the Tin Man. Evil is mean and cold. And his accomplishments in MA are rooted in evil.
Did LBJ, Clinton or Obama serve in the military?
Ronald Reagan & George W Bush never served in active military either.
Looks to me like one can be a president without serving in active military. LBJ & Reagan had landslide victories to boot.
Envious of green, yet support Romney? Nothing hypocritical about that./s One can have it but not the other?
Sarah is America and he's not. Sarah is goodness and he's evil. Sarah is Godly and he is godless
But your interest is in green, so this won't concern you.
MILITARY SERVICE OF RONALD REAGAN
Ronald Wilson Reagan enrolled in a series of home-study Army Extension Courses on 18 March 1935. After completing 14 of the courses, he enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on 29 April 1937, as a Private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry at Des Moines, Iowa. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on 25 May 1937. On June 18 of that year Reagan, who had just moved to Los Angeles to begin his film career, accepted his Officers Commission and was assigned to the 323rd Cavalry.
Lieutenant Reagan was ordered to active duty on 19 April 1942. Due to eyesight difficulties, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office. Upon the request of the Army Air Forces (AAF), he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on 15 May 1942; the transfer was approved on 9 June 1942. He was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California. Reagan was promoted to First Lieutenant on 14 January 1943 and was sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank, California. Following this duty, he returned to the 1st Motion Picture Unit, and on 22 July 1943 was promoted to Captain.
In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. He was assigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit, Culver City, California on 14 November 1944, where he remained until the end of the war. He was recommended for promotion to Major on 2 February 1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on July 17 of that year. On 8 September 1945, he was ordered to report to Fort MacArthur, California, where he was separated from active duty on 9 December 1945.
While on active duty with the 1st Motion Picture Unit and the 18th Army Air Forces Base Unit, Captain Reagan served as Personnel Officer, Post Adjutant, and Executive Officer. By the end of the war, his units had produced some 400 training films for the Army Air Forces.
Reagans Reserve Commission automatically terminated on 1 April 1953.
You make a good point. I think ‘that guy’ looks upon Gov. Romney as a fine man and a life saver. No person is entirely one-sided.
Active miliary? We’ve been active for years and where is Romney’s sons? We were active when Mitt was of age to serve but took 4 deferments and took off to Paris. Even though you are mittbot - TRY to keep it honest! And never try to sully Reagan and Bush to push your agenda!!
Lincoln served as a captain of militia, and liked the camplife well enough to re-enlist as a private. He later mocked his own experience, as a battle against the mosquitos rather than indians. Most likeley, however, if he had been elected senator in 1858, and war had come, he would have obtained a commission as a general office. Never a hunter, he was a good shot and was known to test weapons himself.
Or the dog he took for an ‘airing’. If the dog could talk, he’d make sure he’d say something positive about him/THE LIAR!
LBJ was commisioned as an officer in the Navy, 1942. He served in the reserves but was busy inspecting naval facilites on the west coast and around the Pacific Ocean during WWII.
You’ve alot to learn of life.
Nice try professor. But you FAIL big time!
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