Sunday, June 28, 2009

Romney: "Not all mistakes are the same"

On Meet the Press, Mitt Romney claimed it wasn't his place to comment on whether Mark Sanford should remain in office, but that the affair illustrates a broader point about how public officials should govern their lives.

GREGORY: There's the personal and then there's the political. Governor Romney, I spoke to a Republican this week who said this wasn't just a personal problem, this was political malfeasance. Should he hang onto his job?

ROMNEY: His holding of that job is really between him and his family and the people of South Carolina. It's not for people outside the state to make pronouncements on. This is a matter which is really a heart-breaking matter. And that's what i think you have to focus on. You've got a family that's in great distress...

GREGORY: [interrupting] You're a former governor, it's more than that. This is someone who disappeared. What if there'd been a crisis in South Carolina? This is somebody who lies to the voters and to his staff about where he is. Doesn't it go beyond a personal failing?

ROMNEY: Well, overwhelmingly, the heart-break is what the public's focused on, and what we should be focused on. And seeing his family become healed is our highest priority. At the same time -- and not commenting on particularly on Governor Sanford -- if you look at this setting, we've seen it time and again on both sides of the aisle.

I think you have to recognize that people who are in public life ought to be held to a higher standard. I heard a former governor say "Well, everybody makes mistakes". Well, that's true. But not all mistakes are the same. And not everybody is a governor, or a Senator, or a President, and we expect people to live by a higher standard, because what they do is going to be magnified, their families are going to be hurt more by what they do. The things they care about will be hurt, and the culture and the nation, and the people who follow it will be hurt.