Romney name-calls Gregg Jackson (WRKO host) on air, evades question on same-sex marriage.
On the Howie Carr show (major drive-time Boston talk show), on Friday, Dec. 21, 2007: WRKO talk show host and conservative writer Gregg Jackson called in and asked Romney some hard questions. Romney insulted him and refused to give a straight answer, changing the subject. Is this the man you want running your country?
Listen to the broadcast for yourself
Howie Carr: Thanks for the call . . . Put on Gregg Jackson. He's from Pundit Review Radio, which can be heard Sunday night on WRKO. And he's also the author of "Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies". Go ahead, Gregg. You have a question for Mitt Romney?
Gregg Jackson: Thanks, Howie. Mr. Romney, I'm just wondering, why is it that you have claimed that you were just following the MSJC's Goodridge opinion by ordering the Department of Public Health to change the marriage certificates from "Husband and Wife" to "Partner A and Partner B" and also forcing the Justices of the Peace and Town Clerks to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies or resign when there was no specific order from the court for you to do so? I mean, I guess the question is, why did you violate your oath of office that you swore and, was it to fulfill a campaign promise to the Log Cabin Republicans not to oppose same-sex marriage?
Howie Carr: Boy, they don't like, the Log Cabin Republicans have been running ads on our radio station, Gregg, against Mitt. Go ahead, Mitt.
Mitt Romney: Gregg, I'm afraid, is slightly delusional. And let's go through this one by one. First of all, we received a request to change our birth certificates to "Parent A and Parent B" and we refused to do so. So we insisted that they not change the birth certificates. So he's got that wrong, number one. Number two, we did instruct our Justices of the Peace that they needed to understand that given the Supreme Court's decision requiring them to marry people of the same people of the same gender if so requested that they had no choice but to do so or, alternatively, they would be wise not to stay as a Justice of the Peace because they might get sued by somebody. So we were giving them the information they needed to avoid a legal condition. And finally, number three, the idea that I'm not an opponent of same-sex marriage is frankly laughable.
Howie Carr: Right.
Mitt Romney: Everybody in the entire nation knows that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made same-sex marriage legal and that I fought it in every single way I could. I even went to Washington and testified in favor of an amendment to the federal Constitution. I helped collect signatures. I took cases to the court. I did everything in my power. And I continue to fight same-sex marriage. So it's a little silly. By the way, I'm probably the most frequently protested person by many gay groups because of my opposition to gay marriage. So to have the folks on the right wing think that somehow I was trying to promote gay marriage is actually the heighth of silliness.
Howie Carr: [Goes on to the next caller.] OK. We have time for one more question. Can we take one more question . . .
Gregg Jackson brings up the following issues for Mitt Romney to respond to:
(1) Romney changed the Massachusetts marriage certificates from "Husband and Wife" to "Party A and Party B" in order to facilitate same-sex "marriage". Here is the new Massachusetts marriage certificate that Romney had changed.
(2) Romney threatened to fire any Justice of the Peace who refuses to perform same-sex "marriages", according to an April 25, 2004 Associated Press news article.
(3) Romney held "training sessions" for Town Clerks, telling them that the law had changed and that they must perform same-sex marriages. Here are the slides from those sessions.
(3) The Goodridge decision by the Supreme Judicial Court did not "order" the Governor to do anything. But Romney acted anyway. (The ruling did NOT change any laws. The Court had decided that not allowing same-sex marriage was "unconstitutional" but also acknowledged that only the Legislature could change the marriage laws. However, the Legislature did nothing.)
(4) As the New York Times recently reported, Romney met with the homosexual group "Log Cabin Republicans" while campaigning for Governor in 2002. When the subject of same-sex marriage was brought up, says the Times, "according to several people present, he promised to obey the courts’ ultimate ruling and not champion a fight on either side of the issue." (“'I’ll keep my head low,' he said, making a bobbing motion with his head like a boxer, one participant recalled.") Thus, Romney received an endorsement from the group.
Here is how Romney responded:
(1) He said that Gregg is "slightly delusional". An interesting way for a presidential candidate to respond to a media figure (or anyone).
(2) Instead of responding to the question about marriage certificates, he discussed what he did regarding birth certificates -- as if that's what Gregg had asked about.
(3) Romney said he was just giving the Justices of the Peace "information." But according to the Associated Press report, he ordered them to resign if they refused to comply. He gave them no choice.
(4) Romney claims that the SJC did "require" Justices of the Peace to perform same-sex marriages, and that the Goodridge decision made same-sex marriage "legal". In fact, the Court only rendered an opinion and suggested that the Legislature act on it. The Massachusetts Constitution does not allow the Court to either (1) make law or (2) order another branch to do anything. See legal discussion. (Furthermore, the Legislature never did change the Mass. marriage statute, which only authorizes "husband/wife" marriage.)
(5) Probably the reason that homosexual groups protest Romney so much (and not the other Republicans) is that they believe he double-crossed them (see NY Times article above).
(6) Romney refers to Gregg as "the folks on the right wing." Actually, that's how he's always felt about conservatives. At least he's being honest here. (If Romney is running as a conservative, isn't that the same thing as "right wing"?)