Although Mitt Romney has been running for president of the United States for about six years, voters are still missing much critical information about his past. Perhaps owing to Americans’ short attention spans, many of the most controversial stories concerning the Republican nominee have hardly been examined — while the mainstream media obsessed over the gaffe-filled, clown-car elements of the 2012 campaign. The result is an incomplete picture of the man who could be Commander-in-Chief.
What follows are 10 troubling stories from Mitt Romney’s past, all of which have been reported by the media — and subsequently forgotten by all but the most ardent political observers.
One of the oddest — and some would say most offensive — practices of the Mormon Church is posthumous baptism, in which deceased members of other faiths are baptized as Latter Day Saints so that they can get into heaven.
When Newsweek asked Romney in 2007 if he had preformed baptisms for the dead, Romney responded: “I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.”
One of the posthumous baptisms that the Romney family performed was on his father-in-law, Edward Davies — despite the fact that Davies was a staunch atheist who considered religion to be “drudgery” and “hogwash.”
Profiting From 9/11
Romney’s involvement with an insurance startup called Endurance Specialty Holdings has largely been forgotten among the wave of questionable business deals that have come to light during the presidential campaign.
Endurance Specialty Holdings was designed to purchase debt from insurance companies that suffered huge losses in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. According to a report by Politicker’s Hunter Walker, Romney was invested in the company through Golden Gate Capital — a private equity firm started by one of his former colleagues at Bain Capital — and CCG Investment Fund, LP. By the end of 2003, Endurance Specialty Holdings was reporting a net income of over $263.4 million.
Sensitive to charges that he had profited from the 9/11 tragedy, the Romney campaign insisted that the Republican nominee had no control over his investments, as they were managed by a blind trust — an institution that Romney himself famously described as an “age-old ruse.”
Potential Voter Fraud
In 2010, Romney voted for Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts’ special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. To prove his Bay State residency, Romney claimed that he was living in his son Tagg’s unfinished basement — which seems unlikely for a quarter-billionaire with multiple houses of his own.
If Romney was lying about his residency, it would constitute voter fraud, a crime punishable by up to five years in jail. Commission of that particular felony would be highly ironic, given the extreme lengths to which Romney’s own party has gone to root out alleged election fraud.
Some observers, like M.S. Bellow Jr. of The Guardian, have speculated that Romney refuses to release his 2009 tax return because it lists an address other than Tagg Romney’s Belmont, Massachusetts home. The vote-fraud story has mostly gone unnoticed by the mainstream media, however.
Profiting From Disposal Of Aborted Fetuses
Another of Romney’s questionable Bain deals that has gone underreported is the firm’s profitable investment in the medical waste disposal firm Stericycle. Bain Capital sank $75 million into the company in 1999 — an odd investment for a staunchly anti-abortion Republican to make. After all, Stericyle has long been attacked by right-wing groups for disposing of aborted fetuses.
The investment raises serious doubts about Romney’s stated timeline of his exit from Bain Capital. Before Mother Jones’ David Corn broke the Stericycle story, Romney claimed that he had fully left Bain in February of 1999. The SEC documentation of the Stericycle deal proved that wrong, however, prompting Romney surrogates to explain that he had “retroactively retired” from the company in 2002.
Had the story garnered more attention, it could have irreversibly damaged Romney’s credibility regarding his business record.
Trying To Block A Lifesaving Abortion
In 1990, Judith Dushku — a professor at Suffolk University in Boston and the mother of actress Eliza Dushku — published an article recounting the story of a 41-year-old woman who had developed a life-threatening blood clot during her sixth pregnancy. While she was at the hospital to undergo the abortion that she needed to survive, her bishop — one Mitt Romney — showed up unnannounced and tried to stop her from going through with it.
According to Dushku, Romney and the woman had the following conversation:
He said – What do you think you’re doing?
She said – Well, we have to abort the baby because I have these blood clots.
And he said something to the effect of – Well, why do you get off easy when other women have their babies?
And she said – What are you talking about? This is a life-threatening situation.
And he said – Well what about the life of the baby?
And she said – I have four other children and I think it would be really irresponsible to continue the pregnancy.
Dushku says that after she went public with the story, Romney — who was once a friend of hers — cut off all contact with her.
If anyone still doubts Romney’s true position on abortion, this story makes his real attitude abundantly clear.