From the department of not-so-subtle things.
Mitt Romney has a new TV ad in Iowa and New Hampshire, using a combination of debate footage from the CNBC debate a month ago — and old family movies of his happy home life — to show just what a reliable choice he would be (Hint, hint.)
“I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy. I don’t think you’re gonna find somebody who has more of those attributes than I do,” Romney is shown saying at the debate.
“I’ve been married to the same woman for 25 — excuse me, I’ll get in trouble — for 42 years. (audience laughs). I’ve been in the same church my entire life. I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years, and I left that to go off and help save the Olympic Games.”
The ad continues with debate video, mixed with old family movies: “If I’m President of the United States, I will be true to my family, to my faith, and to our country — and I will never apologize for the United States of America.”
There would seem to be an implicit contrast with the personal life of Newt Gingrich, the candidate who is currently ahead of Romney in the polls in Iowa and many other states.
Gingrich is on his third marriage, and he originally began seeing his current wife Callista during his second marriage — at the same time as he was pursuing the impeachment of President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (And over a decade before that affair, Gingrich was still married to his first wife when he began a relationship with the woman who became his second wife.)
This past March, Gingrich linked his past infidelity to how hard he was working — and his love for America: “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
Also note Romney’s line, “I’ve been in the same church my entire life.” This could be a way of defusing prejudice against his Mormon religion, by explaining that it is the church he was born into, and to which he has remained faithful. In addition, Gingrich has not been in the same church all his life — he was originally a Protestant, but converted to Catholicism — and credited the influence of his wife Callista, and of Pope Benedict XVI.