Mitt Romney Was Against The Vietnam War

Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski finds an interesting indication of where Mitt Romney stood on an issue that divided his generation:

According to a 1970 story that ran in the Boston Globe on views children in Nixon’s cabinet, of which his father George was a member, Romney’s views on the Vietnam War shifted with his father’s. By 1970 it appeared the younger Romney was against the war effort.

Willard Mitt Romney, 23, uses his father’s famous remark to show where he stands, “I think we were brainwashed,” says the son of House of Housing and urban Development Secretary George Romney. “If it wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is.”

But young Romney agrees with Theodore Stans, 26, son of the Treasury Secretary, that the President’s move into Cambodia was sincerely motivated.

(The linked article goes to a Boston Globe archive article that is behind a paywall.)

Certainly Romney’s words aren’t hard-line anti-war but it would seem that, by 1970 at least, he and his father were basically on the same page when it came to Vietnam


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. DRS says:

    Commence backtracking in 5…4…3…2…

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Wow, back when he actually had his own thoughts and opinions!

  3. michael reynolds says:

    So . . . soft on communism?

  4. Hey Norm says:

    So he was right about something 42 years ago?
    Bravo Mitt, bravo!!

  5. Moosebreath says:

    Was that before or after the etch-a-sketch had its chance to work its magic?

  6. Racehorse says:

    The Vietnam War had two big errors: it lacked a plan to win and a plan to get out.
    “Someone wouldn’t let us win.” (John Rambo)

  7. PJ says:

    You do know that John Rambo is a fictional character?

    Just checking…

  8. Racehorse says:

    @PJ: Oh yes, I know that. I have always enjoyed the “Rambo” movies (except the last one) just for entertainment, even though I think his quote has some legitimate thought. The idea that there should have been a plan to win and to get out came from Clark Clifford, who took over after McNamara and would not approve any more troop increases without a “plan to win” from the military leaders.

  9. rudderpedals says:

    I guessed that’s why Mitt didn’t enlist or get drafted

  10. anjin-san says:

    The Vietnam War had two big errors

    Well then theres that whole “don’t commit ground troops to intervene in a civil war, especially when you don’t understand the culture(s) involve” thing.

  11. James H says:

    I’m less concerned with the 1970 Mitt Romney’s thoughts on Vietnam and more concerned with what the 2012 Mitt Romney learned from the military, political, and cultural phenomenon that was the Vietnam War.

  12. Tsar Nicholas says:

    By 1970 if you weren’t against the Vietnam War, in some way, shape or form, then you weren’t sentient. Shit, I’m so far to the right it’s actually scary and if I were aged 23 in 1970 I too would have been against the Vietnam War, whether I was fighting it or not. Ergo, personally speaking, I would have given young Romney neither grief nor accolades for that particular stance of his.

  13. Racehorse says:

    Many of the people I knew felt that it was a huge mistake for the US to get involved in a war in SE Asia (General Douglas MacArthur and other military people warned against this). But once in, we wanted the war won quickly and then get out. That is what should have been done, but there was not a win policy in place. “Winning” was never sufficiently defined in my view. American troops should never be sent off to fight unless the plan is to win.

  14. Davebo says:

    But once in, we wanted the war won quickly and then get out. That is what should have been done

    So we failed at the win quickly and get the hell out approach, then tried the wind quickly and hang around approach.

    We failed miserably at both yet seem to have learned nothing.