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My Ethics: In politics, ethics matter more than issues
The author says that perceptions of Mitt Romney's and Barack Obama's characters matter more to voters than the issues.
July 7th, 2012
08:00 PM ET

My Ethics: In politics, ethics matter more than issues

Editor's Note: Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., is director of Emory University’s Center for Ethics.

By Paul Root Wolpe, Special to CNN

Every four years, we go through a long and tortuous process of winnowing down a field of candidates to the two that are presumably best suited to lead us. We make our decision by focusing on two things: the candidates’ position on issues and their character.

We seem to spend the bulk of our time on the issues, debating endlessly the details of a candidate’s policies on immigration, health care, foreign affairs or the economy.

Yet the deciding factor, the one that tips the undecided voter, is perception of a leader’s character. We talk about character far less but it weighs upon us far more.

Every age believes it has a deficit of great leaders, and ours is no exception. We are convinced that we lack the caliber of leaders from our past, and it does not help to see the dispiriting parade of sex scandals and financial misbehavior that confronts us in the media almost every day.

At the same time, there has never been more attention focused on teaching about leadership.

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Amazon lists almost 2,000 books on leadership that have been released just in the last 90 days. Leadership programs abound in colleges and universities, and even elementary school children are taught leadership skills.

True leadership takes many qualities, which the leadership books are happy to list for you: mastery of skills, vision, knowing people, being a good listener, transparency, accountability and so on.

But what has emerged more and more in the literature on leadership is a focus on values. What makes a great leader is a strong sense of connection to their deep-set values, and a commitment to use those values as a touchstone in decision-making.

“Principled leadership,” “values-based leadership,” “ethical leadership” - the new buzzwords of leadership are about self-knowledge, the need to understand and clarify one’s beliefs, to demonstrate genuine humility, to lead with an open mind and heart.

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I teach ethics, and my first task with new students is to challenge the common view that ethics is primarily about deciding what is “right” and “wrong.”

Ethics is the expression of our deepest values, how we manifest what we believe in through our actions. Almost every action we take, except for the most trivial, reveals something about our ethical preferences.

One of the key goals of Emory University’s Center for Ethics is training students in “servant leadership.” It requires challenging them to consider and articulate their values: What do they really care about? What are they dedicated to? And how do they plan to realize the things they care about through action in the world?

All the other skills of leadership are important, too. But leadership at any level has to begin with an authentic commitment to who we are as individuals, self-knowledge of what we care about, a sense of the nature of our connection to the people and environments around us, and a decision to realize our values through action.

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Using that standard, we can begin to look at those who want to claim leadership roles – political candidates, for example – in a new light.

When we care about a candidate’s character, we are really asking, Is this person authentic? Are their positions a true reflection of their inner values, or are they politically expedient? Is a change of opinion on an issue a result of the candidate listening to others, learning and making a principled decision, or is it a response to pressure, polls and popularity?

As we look over our choices in this election year, we need to ask ourselves about who the candidates really are.

What does Mitt Romney’s flip-flop on universal health care, his management of Bain Capital and even sticking his dog on his car roof say about who Romney is as a person, as a leader?

What does President Obama’s delays on "don’t ask, don’t tell" and same-sex marriage, his alleged policy of targeted assassinations and his failure of campaign promises like closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay say about his fundamental character?

Sometimes, our European friends think we are politically naïve. They care less about a leader’s character, and more about what they call “realpolitick,” politics based on power and on practical considerations, not ideology or ethical premises.

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It is why the Italians seemed little concerned with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s sexual proclivities, or the French for former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s three marriages.

Looking over European politics in the last century or so, perhaps it is naïve to think that results are all that matter in politics.

Much of the history of 20th century Europe was written by leaders whose values were suspect, to say the least.

The policies of Chamberlain, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and others whose decisions devastated Europe were not totally surprising, given what was already known about their character when they assumed office. A leader’s policies may change, but the set of core values that generate them remains constant.

It is in the American character to care about our leader’s values. We should be proud of that.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul Root Wolpe.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (621 Responses)
  1. CarrotCakeMan

    Romney made a secret, illegal contribution to the 2008 California anti-gay H8te Vote. He made it through an obscure Alabama PAC he owns. This proves he has NO ethics and is NOT trustworthy.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Paulie

      If its secret how does anyone know about it?

      July 8, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • shep

      The same way we know about the secret magic Mormon diaper.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      Obviously Paulie is very upset the truth about the guy in the magic underwear is coming out.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • hmmmm

      Obama conducts live sacrifices of babies in his secret White House alter room.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Paulie

      So you are saying the Catholic Church is allied with the Mormons to secretly attack gays? Hoo boy did you forget your meds this morning?

      July 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      He changed his position on ever major issue to suit the way the wind blows. It took that contribution to convince you ? The man is spineless.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      One conducts a sacrifice on an altar.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  2. slickteigkcmo

    This is why almost 5 years ago, I decided to back Barack Obama, he is an ethical, moral man!!!! I admire his courage, beliefs, his leadership, kindness, humor, how he is as a family man, how he is as a person!!!!! He has great character, faith in Americans., is sooo hard working, brave, faithful, faithfilled, optimistic, on and on, so here I go again, I support him and what he stands for, Another 4 for US, for us, for Obama, he is the moral, good , caring, loving president for all citizens. I only disagree with support for abortion, but when it comes down to it, "it's the individual woman" who will have that on her conscience, God gives us freedom of "choice" all the time, it's still up to us as an individual to choose, choose what we do, inspite of what laws are available, we each have our own conscience to choose what we do. I had an unplanned pregnancy and had !!!! I have "my own mind and soul to handle" ,my own, so I had my baby even though abortion was available, the law, the choice, didn't make me have one, just becuz it was available.!!! We can all be grown ups and choose without the president saying we're so dumb we can't even decide big things like if we go to an abortion clinic or not. Obama does not need to "tell " women what to do, we are grown and we have to face God, so Obama can bow out of moral dictation over our lives. God bless you , smart, caring President Obama, God bless all Americans!!!! Thank God you get to live in this blessed country!!!!!! Be good citizens for all of our sakes!!!!!

    July 8, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Paulie

      You realize Obama has shaken the hands of and befriended some of the most brutal regimes in the world that oppress women and children - he helped the muslim brotherhood overtake Egypt and soon they will also run Libya. He pretty much gave those countries to hamas and strict sharia laws which hurt women and brainwash children denying both educations.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      I bet Paulie got those lies about the President from the GOP.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Paulie

      The truth hurts doesnt it. Your problem is you think the government cares about your well being --when they would draft you and send you to die in a war if they had to - they already did this to many children. How's that for truth.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Larry L

      Paulie were you outraged when President Bush "looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul"? I couldn't tell if that was diplomacy or romance... Nixon reached out the China and is today praised for those actions. How about the long-term and close Republican association, especially the Bush family, with the Saudi Royal Family? How do women fare in that nation?

      President Obama has become the worst nightmare of the terrorists. As Commander-In-Chief he has lead masterfully, allowing the Joint Chiefs to plan and execute operations requiring stealth and wise use of intelligence. In similar scenarios the Bush/Cheney debacle would falsify data to start the war, develop no exit strategy, then declare "Mission Accomplished!". Romney would be a similar "chicken-hawk" – more interested in potential profits for defense contracting buddies than the lives of our Service Members. Step away from Fox News and allow your brain an opportunity to re-program without the hate and bigotry.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Poor Paulie,

      Bush demanded free and fair elections in Gaza.
      He got it.
      They voted in Hamas.
      Obama had nothing to do with what happened in Egypt.
      What choice did he have ?
      Keep Mubarick in place by sending troops to support the regime ?
      That would be anti freedom.
      Egyptians wanted free and fair elections.
      They got it and voted in the Muslim Brotherhood.
      What should we do, invade ?
      Idiot.

      July 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  3. CarrotCakeMan

    Then I guess the guy in the magic underwear should go out and BUY some ethics, huh? Give it a rest, Phoenix, we know your guy is an empty suit in magic underwear.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Paulie

      Why is magic underwear any different than religious items like holy water and holy oil that Catholics use or pressing your forehead to a prayer rug and smelling smelly feet 5 times a day? In the USA we have freedom of religion.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      The Catholic leaders, the bishops, are just as dishonest as the Mormon leaders. The federal judge who revoked the 2008 California anti-gay H8te Vote that deprived LGBT Californians of existing marriage equality had in his possession a letter Catholic bishops wrote to Mormon leaders agreeing to hide from public scrutiny and refuse to report their illegal cash and in-kind contributions to the H8te Vote as required by California law. The letter serves as proof they knew by refusing to report these massive contributions they were violating campaign finance laws, as well as the letter itself being an act of criminal collusion.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Paulie

      Carrotcake: If gays hate church so much-why do they always try to get married (something created by the church)?

      July 8, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      Legal marriage has NOTHING to do with churches, Paulie, but MANY major Christian, Jewish and other denominations WANT to marry same gender American couples right now.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Paulie

      Carrot: Wrong again. Marriage was invented by religions and religious leaders. Without religion there would be no marriage.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Larry L

      Paulie – you just make up "facts" as you go... We know of marriage ceremonies from all primitive societies – largely used to establish ownership of property and build defense relationships. I've wondered why government pays any attention to the rituals of religion as related to marriage. Why not just create government-sanctioned contractual relationships to share property, family and medical relationships, file joint tax returns, and provide all other rights and responsibilities of marriage. Let the churches ritually marry (or not marry) anybody they want? Gay people don't pay taxes to churches and churches don't have the right to cause governments to discriminate. Seems simple..

      July 8, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      *** Paulie

      Carrotcake: If gays hate church so much-why do they always try to get married (something created by the church)?
      ---------------------------------------------------

      STUPID STUPID STUPID
      Marriage originally was a contract between two partys.
      A legal binding agreement.
      Nothing to do with the church......moron.

      July 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  4. Paulie

    Did you know that in 2010, 2011 and 2012 Obama failed to attend the Memorial Services for D-Day and WWII Veterans as most Presidents have done?

    July 8, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Paulie

      Instead he campaigned for donations for his election on those days.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      More lies.
      2010 and 2011 he sent Biden.
      2012 he attended in person.
      It is not a requirement to attend these functions.
      Bush blew them off as well.

      July 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  5. Paulie

    Here is an example of Obama's idea of ethics:

    Citizens must prove they have health insurance--however you do not have to prove you are a citizen.

    Ethics is not one of Obama's strong points to say the least. He is a politician and never stopped campaigning which in itself means he spent the last 4 years lying on a daily basis for votes.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Wrong again squirt boy.
      When you sit down, does your brain hurt ?

      July 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  6. ttttt

    No one knows what the future will bring. You may get seriously hurt in a car accident and can't ever work again. Then what will you do without the healthcare that Romney wants to get rid of?

    July 8, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Paulie

      Claim disability?

      July 8, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  7. bcf14

    I'm sorry, is this the same CNN that falls all over itself praising Bill Clinton's policies?

    July 8, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  8. Kelly

    This is a rambling article that didn't go anywhere. This is an important issue but the writer didn't even make a point.

    In this distorted country values mean it is okay to do things that were forbidden for centuries. Listing three of the least competent leaders in the end of of the article didn't help either.

    The United States has the same fuzzy lack of moral and ethical behavior that this article does. How do you define values without standards.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  9. phoenix02

    Written by a journalist for the Florida Times Union Newspaper. Sandy Strickland

    Reporter The Florida Times-Union 359-4128 "mailto:sandy.strickland@jacksonville.com" sandy.strickland@jacksonville.com

    His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney He was Born: March 12, 1947 & is 65 yrs old.

    His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan

    He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

    He is Married to Ann Romney since 1969; they have 5 children.

    Education: B.A. from Brigham Young University, J.D. & M.B.A. from Harvard University

    Religion: Mormon – The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints

    Working Background:

    After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary.

    After going to both Harvard Business School & Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar exam, but never worked as an attorney.

    In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, 1 of the largest such firms in the United States.

    In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts & lost to Ted Kennedy.

    He was President & CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

    In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

    Some Interesting Facts about Romney:

    Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts, turned it into Staples; now over 2,000 stores employing 90,000 people.

    Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kinds of business miracles again & again, with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply & many others.

    He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad's gubernatorial campaign 1 year.

    He was an unpaid intern in his dad's governor's office for 8 years.

    He was an unpaid bishop & stake president of his church for 10 years.

    He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for 3 years.

    He took no salary & was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for 4 years.

    He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.

    Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service & time than most men.

    And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income.... Just for comparison purposes, Obama gave 1% & Joe Biden gave $300 or ..0013%.

    Mitt Romney is Trustworthy:

    He will show us his birth certificate

    He will show us his high school & college transcripts.

    He will show us his social security card.

    He will show us his law degree.

    He will show us his draft notice.

    He will show us his medical records.

    He will show us his income tax records.

    He will show us he has nothing to hide.

    Mitt Romney's background, experience & trustworthiness show him to be a great leader & an excellent citizen for President of the United States.

    You may think that Romney may not be the best representative the Republicans could have selected. At least I know what religion he is, & that he won't desecrate the flag, bow down to foreign powers, or practice fiscal irresponsibility. I know he has the ability to turn this financial debacle that the current regime has gotten us into.

    We won't like all the things necessary to recover from this debt, but someone with Romney's background can do it.

    He never was a "Community Organizer", never took drugs or smoked pot, never got drunk, did not associate with communists or terrorists, nor did he attend a church whose pastor called for God to damn the U.S.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • citizenmn

      Romney belongs to one of the most successful cults in the US. Mormons still believe in polygamy despite their statements to the contrary. He flip flopped on the individual mandate; he signed it into law in MA; now he's opposed to it hence he has no values. He only makes charitable contributions to the Mormon church; hence if you're not a Mormon, you're not worthy. Thru Bain Capital he laid off thousands from their jobs for his financial benefit; he's a job destroyer. We don't want anyone in the White House who wears magic underpants.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      How many times have you posted this? Why bother, no one is fooled by the guy in the magic underwear.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Larry L

      Your long comment is quite telling. As a "birther" your credibility is completely lost. You're just another hateful Fox News bigot. Some of your comments are also incomplete. Romney will release "some" of his tax records. He spent time in France rather than get drafted and go the Vietnam. He didn't get paid for some activities because he was filthy rich and has never had to worry about income. Bain Capital trashed the lives of a lot of working people and made Romney and a few investors even more wealthy. His position(s) on abortion, immigration, healthcare, education, and Social Security have flip-flopped to satisfy the radical Republican base, and then modified to face the general election. He has no true convictions and weak character – the subject of this article.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • MCRUSA

      You are correct about some things, Romney is a devout Morman ; he donated his inheritance to establish a BYU scholarship fund, 80% of his charitable donations go to the Morman church and neither alcohol or a caffienated beverge have ever passed through his lips. Unless you are a Morman yourself, (my guess is you're an evangelical); have you ever considered the possibilty that Romney, deep in his heart, believes that only those of his chosen faith will be allowed to pass through those Pearly Gates??

      Why don't you do a little research on the positions Romney espoused during his senate run in 1994. You may just find he has done a complete about face on the issues that are probably paramount to you : gay rights, abortion, gun control etc..

      Yes, Biden does not make a lot of charitable contributions. He is a rare breed, one of the very few politicians who has not used his enfluence to make himself weathy.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Dat you Mitt ?

      July 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  10. Eddard

    Romney is using the office of the POTUS to secure his own wealth, and to be able to pass his wealth down to his family when he dies. Repeal of the estate tax? Who other than extremely rich people would ever benefit from a tax cut like that?

    July 8, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Paulie

      How the heck can he do that before he is even elected. You sound pretty silly as he is spending his own money. Obama is the POTUS spending our money. In fact he took our country's debt from $4.7 trillion to $15 trillion in 4 short years.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • MCRUSA

      Paulie – Romney is not spending his own money to fund his election. Check out his major donors on opensecrets.org to see who believes they will most benefit from Romney's election. One clue – it's not Main Street.

      When Obama was elected we were standing on the edge of an economic abyss – have you forgotten? It was the only time, in my 59 years, that I was afraid out government could actually fall. Are you really sure you want to head back in that direction?

      July 8, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      You sound pretty silly as he is spending his own money.

      That line at the top proves you are an idiot.
      You dont know anything about politics or finances.
      Keep trying to prop up your god.

      July 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  11. ttttt

    You have to ask, what was done to get to the end result. Not just the end result.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  12. ttttt

    The real question is, WHAT did he cut to save 1.5 billion dollars for Mass.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • bill davis

      excess fat...

      July 8, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Schools for the blind and handicapped.
      Hospitals for veterans.
      Massachussetts is still recovering from that mess.

      Do you know how Romney paid for "Romneycare" without raising taxes ?
      He got the money from the fed.
      The other 49 states paid for it.

      July 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  13. Art

    How does character and values "play out" with the attack ads both candidates have authorized to be used against the other?

    July 8, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  14. nolimits3333

    Romney dodged the draft, bullied classmates, stole pension funds, committed Medicare fraud, and kept a secret company named Sankaty that we don't know what it did. He is a thief and a liar.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Paulie

      Do you have any idea what Obama's business practices were? Oh yeah I forgot he never even RAN a business not even a hot dog cart.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Paulie

      What makes you think the choomer-in-chief is so much more honest? He wont even release his college records.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • bill davis

      Bet he never loaned your tax money to someone who went out of business the next day and then filed bankruptcy on the debt.

      Rev Wright, Bill Ayers and friends scare me...

      July 8, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  15. Dave

    Democrats will lie cheat and tell any group what it wants to hear to get their vote. Then once they are in office all bets are off. Dumb Republican? The majority of welfare sucking, living off the goverment are demo high school drop out. Do a little Obama rap for us.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • rmtaks

      "Democrats will lie cheat and tell any group what it wants to hear to get their vote."

      And republicans... won't?

      July 8, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Uhhh?

      It's actually the opposite. Republican states use the most welfare and other Govt. assistance, contribute the least amount of money and collectively have the lowest IQ. That is why you all hate the ACA so much. It makes you contribute to your healthcare, instead of freeloading as you normally do.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  16. Paulie

    Its funny how liberals and democrats will get angry at Romney for keeping his money overseas- and then tell you not to use a bank and use a credit union because banks are the 1%

    July 8, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • bill davis

      China Banks pay 5% interest, it's a business decision....

      Demos made bad loans, lowered interest rates and home values have decreased.

      Gold has gone up for a reason...

      July 8, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  17. ttttt

    Romney said it himself about what a good job he did saving money for the company by sending jobs overseas. A business man does not care about people, they only see $$$$. That's why the hourly wage has been stagnent for 20+ years. If you vote for Romney, ya better have a very healthy amount of money in your pocket. Your gonna need it.How could anyone that does not belong to the 1% even think about voting for Romney?

    July 8, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Paulie

      Really can you find the quote? I want to read it verbatim.

      July 8, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Source : factcheck.org
      -------------------------------------------–
      Obama accuses Romney in a series of TV ads of being a “corporate raider” who “shipped jobs to China and Mexico,” asking if voters want to elect an “outsourcer in chief.” But some of the claims in the ads are untrue, and others are thinly supported.

      Bain Capital, the venture capital firm founded by Romney in 1984, is the focus of the Obama campaign’s attacks. There is no question that Bain invested in some companies that helped other companies outsource work and that some of that work went overseas. That was the core business for Modus Media and SMTC Corp. — two outsource companies featured in a June 21 article in the Washington Post that has been the basis of recent Obama TV ads. Bain also invested in U.S.-based companies that sold goods manufactured here and abroad, and some of those companies closed U.S. facilities and eliminated U.S. jobs.

      July 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  18. phoenix02

    His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney He was Born: March 12, 1947 & is 65 yrs old.

    His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan

    He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

    He is Married to Ann Romney since 1969; they have 5 children.

    Education: B.A. from Brigham Young University, J.D. & M.B.A. from Harvard University

    Religion: Mormon – The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints

    Working Background:

    After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary.

    After going to both Harvard Business School & Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar exam, but never worked as an attorney.

    In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, 1 of the largest such firms in the United States.

    In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts & lost to Ted Kennedy.

    He was President & CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

    In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

    Some Interesting Facts about Romney:

    Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts, turned it into Staples; now over 2,000 stores employing 90,000 people.

    Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kinds of business miracles again & again, with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply & many others.

    He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad's gubernatorial campaign 1 year.

    He was an unpaid intern in his dad's governor's office for 8 years.

    He was an unpaid bishop & stake president of his church for 10 years.

    He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for 3 years.

    He took no salary & was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for 4 years.

    He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.

    Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service & time than most men.

    And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income.... Just for comparison purposes, Obama gave 1% & Joe Biden gave $300 or ..0013%.

    Mitt Romney is Trustworthy:

    He will show us his birth certificate

    He will show us his high school & college transcripts.

    He will show us his social security card.

    He will show us his law degree.

    He will show us his draft notice.

    He will show us his medical records.

    He will show us his income tax records.

    He will show us he has nothing to hide.

    Mitt Romney's background, experience & trustworthiness show him to be a great leader & an excellent citizen for President of the United States.

    You may think that Romney may not be the best representative the Republicans could have selected. At least I know what religion he is, & that he won't desecrate the flag, bow down to foreign powers, or practice fiscal irresponsibility. I know he has the ability to turn this financial debacle that the current regime has gotten us into.

    We won't like all the things necessary to recover from this debt, but someone with Romney's background can do it.

    He never was a "Community Organizer", never took drugs or smoked pot, never got drunk, did not associate with communists or terrorists, nor did he attend a church whose pastor called for God to damn the U.S.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • chuck

      Phoenix get a grip, he doesn't care about the middle class, bottom line.

      July 8, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Paulie

      Obama doesnt care about the middle class. He gave us all another bill to pay in the mail every month or pay a fine come 2014.

      July 8, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Violet Weed

      Praise you for your comments! Right on!

      July 8, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • dantx94

      Never got drunk? Really? I don't know a single Earthling that has never gotten drunk. I'm gonna make a safe bet that he has gotten drunk at least once in his life and so when he tells me he "never" did that in the debates, it will say something about his character.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Saint Willard.
      You must be kneeling in front of that magic underwear.

      July 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  19. clarinet

    What BS. There is so little discussion of the issues it's embarrassing. The media continues to think the public is stupid as a lump of clay.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  20. shep

    Americans are stupid. John Kerry went to Vietnam and killed Viet Cong. George Bush was AWOL from the National Guard and Dick Cheney was a physical coward who recieved 5 college deferments. But John Kerry was the one who got swiftboated. Why? Rich Republicans will use any issue, abortion, gays, guns to distract our dumbest citizens. It works. Look at the popularity of Fox Fake News. Two cowards get into the White House, but they are perceived as strong on the military. And now, with unlimited campaign contributions, we will probably get more cowards. How did Mitt Romney avoid serving in Vietnam?? The world may never know.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Uhhh?

      Went to France, to spread the word of Mormonism.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.