I wish I could take credit for this awesome find, but I can’t: Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed found it. Turns out that, in 1970, the Globe decided to interview the children of several of President Nixon’s cabinet secretaries, one of whom was then-HUD Secretary George Romney. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the story:
In case you can’t read it:
William [sic] Mitt Romney, 23, uses his father’s famous remark to show where he stands. ”I think we were brainwashed,” says the son of Housing and urban Development Secretary George Romney. ”If is [sic] wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is.”
But young Romney agrees with Theodore Stans, 26, son of the Treasury Secretary, that the President’s move into Cambodia was sincerely motivated. ”I have to believe he’s really doing it to try to end the war faster,” says Stans.
So “William” Mitt Romney thought we were brainwashed about Vietnam. I wonder if anyone will ask him about whether he still thinks that’s true.
UPDATE: Interestingly enough, I just happened upon this BuzzFeed story from January showing Romney four years earlier (1966) as an apparently enthusiastic participant in a demonstration that, while probably not accurately described as “pro-war,” was organized as a counter-demonstration to students protesting the draft. BuzzFeed also mentions that the Globe once described Romney’s “ardent support of the war,” though I have not been able to locate the Globe story in question.
Romney himself, of course, did not serve in Vietnam, as he received student deferments and a ministerial exemption for his Mormon mission to France, during which he lived “in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as ‘palace.’ It featured stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy.”
Here’s the photo of the demonstration as posted by BuzzFeed, which is apparently an AP photo from 1966.