During a Thursday morning appearance on “The View,” Ann Romney compared her five sons’ Mormon missions to serving in the military.
When co-host Whoopi Goldberg — who Mitt Romney singled out as particularly “sharp-tongued and not conservative” while discussing the risks of appearing on “The View” during his infamous “47 percent” fundraiser — asked Ann Romney about her husband and sons’ lack of military service, Mrs. Romney replied:
He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans. So, you know, we find different ways of serving. And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.
Romney later elaborated:
And my boys all did serve missions, and they went away for two years, and I sent them away boys, and they came back men. And what the difference was, and I think this is where military service is so extraordinary too, where you literally do something where you’re helping someone else, you’re going outside of yourself and you’re working and helping others, and that changes you.
Video of the interview is below; the conversation turns to the Romney sons’ missions at the 4:50 mark.
It’s difficult to emphasize how off-base Romney’s comparison is. Although Mitt Romney once claimed that his mission in France was a “lower middle income” existence, in reality he literally lived in a palace, complete with stained glass windows, chandeliers, and a full-time chef (among other amenities). While his sons’ may not have proselytized in such posh conditions, it’s a safe bet that their experience was closer to Romney’s in France than a soldier’s in Afghanistan.
Shockingly, Ann Romney’s off-base comparison is not even the most offensive excuse that the family has made to explain the fact that the Romney boys did not serve. That dubious honor goes to Mitt Romney, who once quipped that, instead of enlisting, “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected.”