Ex-candidate Romney takes one more dig at 'les Francais'
Republican Mitt Romney, a one-time resident of France, couldn't resist taking another swipe at the French republic
WASHINGTON, Feb 8, 2008 - Republican Mitt Romney, a one-time resident
of France, couldn't resist taking another swipe at the French republic
Thursday as he ended his bid for the White House.
The Morman multi-millionaire politician brandished the specter of a France
in decline to warn what the future could hold for Americans if his country
failes to adhere to core conservative values.
"We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our
prosperity, our security, and our future," Romney told a conservative
conference in Washington.
"I'm convinced that unless America changes course, we can become the France
of the 21st century. Still a great nation but not the leader of the world."
The jibe was not the first against France by Romney, who spent two years
there as a Mormon missionary in the 1960s.
At a recent speech at a university where he defended his conservative moral
values, Romney said: "In France for instance I'm told that marriage is now
frequently conctracted in seven-year terms, where either party may move on
when their time is up. How shallow."
In 2007 the Boston Globe newspaper published an editorial called "Romney's
French complex" in which it leaked elements of a blueprint of Romney's
campaign that criticized Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
"Enmity toward France is a recurring theme of the document", says the
"That's where Hillary and the Dems would take us. Hillary = France."
The campaign had also envisioned distributing "First, not France" bumper
stickers, which according to the Boston Globe had been printed up but not used.
American animosity towards its transatlantic rival made a showing in the
2004 presidential race, when Democratic nominee John Kerry's links with France
including his fluent French were relentlessly taunted by Republicans.