Mitt Romney: “I Stand By What I Said, Whatever It Was

During yesterday’s controversy over the Fred Davis proposal to bring Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Mitt Romney was asked about comments that he himself had made about Wright on Sean Hannity’s show back in February:

“Without question, the legal code in this country is based upon Judeo-Christian values and teachings, Biblical teachings, and for the president not to understand that a wide array of religions and a conviction that Judeo-Christian philosophy is an integral part of our foundation is really an extraordinary thing. I think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard, not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths but instead from those who would like America to be more secular. And I’m not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less Christian nation.

Romney’s response to a question about these comments during a campaign stop are priceless:

QUESTION: “When you did an interview with Sean Hannity in February, you said that you believed that Obama is trying to make America a less Christian nation. It was responding to quote that he had just played for you on the radio. Do you stand by that? And do you believe that President Obama’s world view was shaped by Reverend Wright and do you see evidence of that in his policies?”

ROMNEY: “I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.”

That, my friend, is what you call conviction and moral certitude!

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Fiona says:

    When did Obama ever say that he wanted the US to be less Christian? I’m guessing Romney made that up.

    I saw the clip on the news last night. Sometimes Romney is a complete parody of himself. It’s embarrassing.

  2. Eric says:

    “And boom goes the dynamite.” Romney nailed it.

  3. What conviction. “My people told me to say whatever it was I said about Obama the… *reads cue card, because TELEPROMPTER BAD* Muslim Jew Kenyan. I stand by it, I don’t want to piss off the Koch brothers. Vote for me for whatever I’m running for.”

  4. merl says:

    Even I know that our laws are based in English Common Law and I don’t have 2 Harvard Degrees like Willard has.

  5. J-Dub says:

    I stand by whatever views will get me elected. After that I will just stand by.

  6. al-Ameda says:


    I saw the clip on the news last night. Sometimes Romney is a complete parody of himself. It’s embarrassing.

    It’s not only embarrassing and cringe-worthy, it’s dangerous territory. The only thing that Romney has going for him is that his party hates Obama so much that they’re willing to overlook the fact that he (Romney) is a complete phony.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    “…I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was….”

    Well, there has to be a first time for everything.

  8. sam says:


    they’re willing to overlook the fact that he (Romney) is a complete phony

    On that point, see David Frum, Mitt Romney’s Leadership Secret.

    The secret is his ability to blow smoke up the collective fundament of the GOP and rightly expect the poor rubes to smile through it all.

  9. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @merl: That’s an overly simplistic statement and in various respects it’s simply erroneous. Our criminal codes largely are derived from the Ten Commandments. Our early statutory laws were major departures from English common law and directly were based upon Judeo-Christian principles. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom is the archetype. Our Constitution was a major departure from English common law, especially with regard to the rights of citizens. There is no English common law equivalent, for example, to the Bill of Rights. Even with respect to what might be considered mundane areas of the law there are major variances. From the get-go we codified patent and copyright laws. We didn’t leave them to the common law.

    Concerning Romney, that fatuous quip to that reporter is emblematic of Romney’s worst trait as a significant politician, and it’s not even the fact he’s a phony. He has horrible political instincts. Unbelievably bad political instincts. When giving a prepared speech in a controlled enviroment he can be stellar. In off the cuff moments, however, he’s one of the worst in memory.

  10. legion says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Our criminal codes largely are derived from the Ten Commandments.

    What?!? Are you completely deranged? There’s a commandment about not killing, and another about not stealing, that are actually reflected in our current laws. Those are typically proscribed in every culture that’s ever existed – the Old Testament can hardly claim to have come up with them (a guy named Hammurabi might have prior art). There’s another one about “bearing false witness”, but lying is really only a criminal violation if it’s done under oath (literally bearing false witness). Outside of that, what have you got? Adultery may be grounds for divorce, but it’s not a criminal matter. Neither is disrespecting your parents. And Coveting has never been outlawed by anyone, to my knowledge.

    After that, you’ve got a whole bunch of commandments specific to religion – having no other Gods, no graven images, not taking God’s name in vain, and keeping the Sabbath holy. Not only are those ideas not reflected in our laws, the religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution explicitly forbids laws based on those concepts.

    To even make a statement like that displays a grotesque lack of understanding of both law and religion. You fail.

  11. J-Dub says:

    You can’t by liquor or chicken sandwiches in some places on Sunday. I’m sure those are based on Christian law.

  12. Jr says:

    I am starting to feel sorry for this man.

    He tries so hard…..but he just sucks at being a politician.

  13. @legion:

    Not to mention that we explicitly rejected the biblically derived trial by judge common in most of Europe at the time of our founding in favor of the Norse (i.e. pagan) trial by jury.

  14. legion says:

    @J-Dub: Yup. And such “blue laws” are very frequently found unconstitutional when someone actually has the resources & interest to fight them all the way up the chain.