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Romney Steps on a Duck in NAACP Speech

It seems every time presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gets conservatives looking his way, he does something to turn them off and remind them that one of the greatest concerns they had about him during the primary season was his soft record on the conservative social agenda.

Mitt RomneyAfter drawing solid conservative reviews for his speech about faith and family to Liberty University, his prompt opposition to President Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage and his strong opposition to Obama’s tax increase plan, conservative concerns about Governor Romney have once again surfaced after his recent speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Romney’s speech to the NAACP was an otherwise unremarkable repetition of his standard campaign pitch until he got to this line, which to some young speech writer with a background in establishment Republican politics probably sounded like a good idea: “…I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed and sexual orientation. From the poorest to the richest and everyone in between."

Of course, the President represents “all Americans,” but by including sexual orientation along with race and creed, Governor Romney undid a lot of the goodwill he gained with conservatives through his speech at Liberty University and his opposition to same sex marriage.

Governor Romney and his inexperienced establishment Republican staff apparently failed to notice that by putting sexual orientation on the same plane as race and religion, Romney just undercut the rational and philosophical basis for opposition to same sex marriage. It also played right into the hands of supporters of the radical homosexual agenda.

Since Governor Romney and his speechwriters apparently haven’t figured this out, we will clarify it for them: social conservatives do not believe sexual orientation creates the same kind of constitutional rights that forbid discrimination based on race or religion.

That’s why we support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), for example, and why social conservatives lead support for marriage amendments when they come before voters in state referenda.

The values Governor Romney seemed to share with us in his speech to Liberty University have policy consequences. By pandering to those who want to give sexual orientation the same status under the Constitution as race and religion enjoy, Mitt Romney put many social conservatives back on the sidelines of the presidential campaign, wondering whether what he said at Liberty University is what he really believes -- or if he was just pandering to us, too.

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You have to be kidding me

Romney has played both sides of every issue.Newt was good at that too.How can anyone think of voting for a man who has no real convictions,except that they like money,and they want to be in charge?The Swiss and Bahama bank account should concern people as well.He made money by shutting down factories,not by starting new companies with fresh ideas,or breathing life into existing companies.His father was a little ahead of his time and probably should have stayed as head salesman at AMC.

Liberty versus establishment

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."

-Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, Speech in the US Senate (16 September 1981)