(thanks to Nicole for her help)
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney did not discuss his Mormon faith as he continued his outreach Saturday to conservative Christians in a graduation speech at Regent University, the school founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.
Instead, Romney, who is intensely courting this key segment of the Republican base in hopes of winning the party's 2008 presidential nomination, expounded on conservative themes such as the importance of child-rearing and marriage and the presence of evil in the world.
Nothing like a good fear mongering to send those graduates from a fourth tier school out to make their way in the world. But Romney's examples were bizarre, to say the least. First, there was the requisite French-bashing:
"In France, for instance, I'm told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past."
Um, huh? I did a little searching and the only thing I can come up with is that Mitt is confusing French civil law with a 2003 French romantic comedy (would the GOP respect him if they knew he watched a French sex romp? Quelle horreur!) Apparently, Mitt never got the memo that France-bashing is so played.
Another popular theme for conservatives looking to appeal to the 28%ers is how popular media is so decadent and violent. Not one to pass up this little gem, Romney invoked the VA Tech killings not once, but twice:
"We're shocked by the evil of the Virginia Tech shooting," Romney said. "I opened my Bible shortly after I heard of the tragedy. Only a few verses, it seems, after the Fall, we read that Adam and Eve's oldest son killed his younger brother. From the beginning, there has been evil in the world."
He added: "Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games. The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool."
Yeah, well, not so much, Mitt. But hey, why let little things like the truth get in the way of trying to distract these potential Bush administration appointees that their founder has called your faith a cult?
Personally, it's more disheartening--but not entirely surprising--that the WaPo reporter, Perry Bacon, Jr., didn't feel compelled to contextualize this kind of blatant misinformation with oh, vetted facts.