More on Mitt Romney the Benefactor

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Contemplating tonight’s debate, I fear viewers will witness an attempt by President Obama to paint a less than attractive picture of Mitt, which will stem from his own poor performance the first time out as well as by poll numbers changing in Mitt’s favor. Thus, it seems useful to once again revisit some of the stories that have recently come to light and that reflect Mitt’s true values. Anyone who looks closely at his life is bound to see the fine person he is, which is why the Obama Campaign goes to such lengths to cast Mitt as some sort of mash-up of Simon Legree, Gordon Gekko, and Jack the Ripper, all rolled into a figure whose appearance is “straight out of Hollywood casting,” as he has been described over the years.

The first debate went a long way to dispel that negative image, but more can be done to help counter the attacks that will without a doubt intensify over the final three weeks of this election. To that end, Glenn Beck highlighted four stories four weeks ago that demonstrate the sort of person Mitt Romney is. Unfortunately those stories have received little or no attention over the years.

As Tiffany Gabbay described Beck’s motivation for airing those stories on The Blaze TV, she also added a crucial observation about Mitt:

One of the common criticisms leveled against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is that he almost comes across as being “too” put-together and restrained when it comes to showing emotion. While Ann Romney has provided much warmth and been a good focal point for campaign-watchers seeking insight into the softer-side of her husband, those whose lives have been touched and changed for the better by the GOP nominee are speaking out to share their personal stories of compassion, comfort and support.

Unlike the president, whose critics often cite the unusual nature of his seeming lack of friends, peers, colleagues and girlfriends from the past, Romney’s life appears to have been full of personal connections with everyday people who remember him fondly.

I wrote about one of those stories four weeks ago in response to reactions on the Left to Mitt’s “47% comment” that has made the rounds in the press. That specific demonstration of Mitt’s kindness involved the sons of the Nixon family who were paralyzed in a terrible car accident. While Mitt did various things for the family over the years, most notable was the fact that he personally covered the entire cost of the education for both of the boys.

All four of the stories at The Blaze TV are interesting, but one in particular that caught my attention was the one told by Ken Smith, former director of the New England Center for Homeless Veterans. He explained during his interview with Beck how he had invited Mitt Romney and Senator Kennedy to tour the center during the 1994 election. The center he directed at the time is the largest in the country and houses 500 homeless veterans in an old VA hospital in downtown Boston.

Smith said that Senator Kennedy accepted his invitation but stopped by for less than half an hour and then left. During Mitt’s visit, however, Mitt asked to see the books, which he studied for close to an hour before asking for more information regarding what Director Smith considered to be his biggest challenge. He responded, “Paying the milk bill!” and went on to explain that they went through 7,000 pints of milk each week. As Mitt prepared to leave, he joked that perhaps they should teach the veterans to milk cows.Knowing Mitt, this was without a doubt a joke, influenced by the upbringing he received from his father that involved work at every turn.

The remark was of course viewed as insensitive and was widely panned in the media. Mitt of course called the next day to apologize. Later, and to Smith’s surprise, he noticed over the next two years that the milk bill was half what it was supposed to be, which he was told was due to a donation by a donor who wished to remain anonymous. Smith later learned the unnamed donor was none other than Mitt Romney. As he later explained in a January article on the Veterans Today Web site,:

Romney didn’t send out a press release during his campaign. He didn’t boast about his donation, and he hasn’t mentioned it since. In an election where his Romney’s opponents have painted him as cold and heartless, the donation shows Romney at his most compassionate.

Glenn Beck’s video is certainly worth watching to get the full story:

This entry was posted in Mitt, the Friend, Mitt, the Person by Mike. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike

Michael Bush first met Mitt in 1966 when they reported for a one-week training session in Salt Lake City before heading to France on the 4th of July to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 2 1/2 years. They also served at the same time in Bordeaux for several months in 1968, where they worked together quite often. Mike is on the faculty of Brigham Young University and grew up in Alabama. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Political Science. He also has an MBA from the University of Missouri and a PhD from The Ohio State University in Foreign Language Education with an emphasis in Computer Science. He is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who spent most of his career at the US Air Force Academy teaching French and doing research in the area of computer-assisted language learning. He and his wife Annie have four children and 18 grandchildren. It goes without saying that the things written on this site reflect his views and opinions and are in no way intended to reflect those of Brigham Young University or its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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