I think the video is stark proof of how clueless Romney is on jihad. His previous statements, "jihadism Is not part of Islam" and "Islam is not an inherently violent faith," show a willful ignorance on a crucial issue facing the nation.
This video is from 2007, when then (and current) Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is holding a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa. One of the members of the audience asked him if he would commit the money necessary to continue President Bush's AIDS program in Africa as a way to restore good will toward America. His answer, while not picked up on by the members of the audience, absolutely floored me. He started out by agreeing with the premise of the question, touting America's health care system -- then he dropped the bombshell.
Mitt Romney is praising Hezbollah's healthcare system, and says at the end of the video that we should support muslim countries with our legal and healthcare systems to fight jihadism.
We know that a higher education and living standard are not inversely associated with less terrorism. At all. The 911 hijackers were well educated, and some were well off. The Christmas balls bomber was a UK-educated son of a diplomat. The recent arrest of a Texas Muslim was a US boarding school student who became an Al Qaeda homicide bomber. The Glasgow jihadists were wealthy physicians. Osama bin Laden himself was a scion of an extremely wealthy family.
Romney's ignorance and pandering to jihadists are stunning. It's surprising that this vid hasn't been picked up by Newt Gingrich yet. I am sure that what Romney says here would be a significant blow to his campaign if people knew about it. (hat tip Robert W.)
Romney: ..."Did you notice in Lebanon, what Hezbollah did? Lebanon became a democracy some time ago and while their government was getting underway, Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the people there, and schools. And they built their support there by having done so. That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an interest towards modernity and goodness and freedom for all people in the world. And so, I want to see America carry out that kind of health diplomacy..."
OT but related: Coulter's tirade against Newt on Bull O'Reilly's show last night (watch it here) was not logical or coherent with her positions. Her hatred for Gingrich is visceral, abiding, and inexplicable rationally. There is something more here. Personal, perhaps?
Comparing Newt to Jesse Jackson is an outrageous charge. She is way off base, and O'Reilly ought to have a conservative pundit out as vocal in their support of Newt as she was in support of Romney.
She is ...unhinged, and I hate to use that word because it is used against me with such venom and dishonesty, but you can see she is beside herself. She is staking out positions she wouldn't support in other contexts, like covering for mainstream media reporters.
Romney is more conservative than any of the other candidates? Nuts. More than Santorum? More than Ron Paul, who is largely conservative except for nuts on foreign policy? Something else is happening here. They must know each other and hate each other for some reason we don't know.