In 2007, while running for the Republican nomination for president, Mitt Romney sat with conservative radio host Jan Mikelson of WHO-Iowa, and discussed many topics, including Mormonism. In this video, recorded off-air after the interview was over and while the station was in a commercial break, Romney became unhinged, defensive, and had a bit of an angry meltdown.
Romney also remind us that he is 100% anti-choice, and would govern as such. As Governor, “I vetoed any bill that was in favor of choice,” Romney says.
“I think I know my church better than you!,” Romney rants repeatedly. “Are you disagreeing with me? I understand my faith better than you do.”
And then there’s Mitt’s famous, “Come on, I’m running for president” comment, which he is fond of telling people, especially when they supply him with undocumented workers.
What’s compelling about this video is that Romney was fighting with Mikelson when the radio host was in agreement with him. What’s also compelling about this video is that Romney – possibly in part because of this video — has all but refused to discuss his faith with reporters since.
Also compelling, or unnerving, is that Romney talks about the end times, and the second coming of Christ:
Christ appears, it’s throughout the Bible, Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives, to stop the war that’s coming in to kill all the Jews, it’s–our church believes that. That’s where the coming and glory of Christ occurs. We also believe that over the 1000 years that follows, the millennium, he will reign from two places, that the law will come forward from one place, from Missouri, the other will be in Jerusalem.
It’s unnerving, to say the least.
Also unnerving is what Mitt Romney inadvertently reveals about how he would govern. He says he’s never deviated from his religious beliefs when it comes to governing on abortion, he’s never made a “mistake” on abortion, but he’s made other “mistakes,” meaning, he’s deviated from the Bible’s teachings — and won’t do it again.
Talk about prophetic.
Sarah Posner today at Religion Dispatches adds this interesting take on the video:
The question that’s being raised now, as this video resurfaces and generates discussion, is: does Romney himself really believe this? Does he somehow revel in a “war that’s coming in to kill all the Jews,” or see it as inevitable? I think that’s not evident from the video, or from his answer to Stephanopoulos. (Of course Romney’s a notorious liar, so we may never know.) Romney’s very defensive in the video, under questioning by Mickelson who clearly is trying to get him to admit that Mormon end-times theology is wildly different from evangelical end-times theology (which has many variants, incidentally, but none that include Missouri as a locus for anything except the second coming of Todd Akin). But Romney appears to be suggesting that “our church believes that” rather than saying, “I believe this is a literal prophecy of how world events will play out.” I’ve written before about how Romney’s public pronouncements on the Israel-Palestine conflict are out of touch with non-apocalyptic, contemporary Mormon thinking, but still, he’s never discussed his own beliefs on the end-times, or disagreements, if any, with LDS doctrine.
Apocalyptic beliefs are a Republican problem, though, not just a Romney problem; for example, George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee are all evangelicals who forged relationships with apocalyptic preacher John Hagee. I would very much like to know whether they co-sign Hagee’s apocalyptic visions.
Video hat tip: Joe.My.God.
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