In his first public remarks on the Democratic National Convention, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that the initial decision by Democrats to remove the word “God” from their party platform shows how “out of touch” and “extreme” they’ve become. He also dubbed the convention “a celebration of failure.”
“I think their having removed, purposefully, ‘God’ from their platform suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of American people,” Romney said in a televised interview with Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron. “I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize.”
The word “God” was dropped this year from a paragraph that in the 2008 platform had referred to Americans making the most of “their God-given potential.” After being hammered by Republicans for the change, President Obama ordered the word back in on Wednesday. The platform now reads, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Also under pressure from GOP critics, Obama had a reference to Jerusalem capital of Israel put back in the platform.
Romney also said in the interview that Obama grading his first-term handling of the economy as “incomplete” is the equivalent of asking for a do-over. “ ‘Incomplete’ usually means that you’ve got to go back and take the course again,” Romney said. “I don’t think the American people want to see this president get another four years.”
In another television interview on Wednesday, Romney gave the Democrats’ convention a poor grade.
“So far it’s been a celebration of failure, I’m afraid,” he told the ABC affiliate in Charlotte. “The Democratic Party and the Obama campaign really don’t have a lot to point to in terms of accomplishment. The American people know they’re not better off than they were four years ago. ”
Romney also commented on first lady Michelle Obama’s convention address and on actor Clint Eastwood’s controversial dialogue with an empty chair, representing Obama, at the Republican National Convention last week.
“I have respect for the first lady. I think Michelle Obama’s a lovely person. I actually didn’t hear her remarks but certainly wish her well. My own view is that this is a race where we look at the president’s record, at the results of his policies, and if people think things have gotten better and they’re happy with the way things are right now, why, they should vote for him again,” he said.
Of Eastwood, Romney said, “Everybody has their own way of expressing things. Clint’s obviously a character that expresses his own views in the way he thinks best. I think one of the things he said very well is that we own this country, that we the people are this country. And I think last night at the Democratic convention, when they said that we all belong to the government, I don’t think they could have been wrong, more incorrect. The government belongs to us as the people. And Clint said it in his way, I’ll say it in my way.
This article appears in the September 6, 2012, edition of NJ Convention Daily.