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Friday, September 08, 2006

Romney interview transcript from Hugh Hewitt show

Romney's radio conversation with Hugh Hewitt is available in transcript form here.

The 9 minute audio segment is available here.

Romney shows his pragmatic philosophy and fiscal discipline and he tough stance on radical jihadists all in one fell swoop

. . . any time a person of interest and substance comes to our state, if they require escort or security personnel, or special receptions at the airport and so forth, we provide those things out of a sense of dignity and honor. But Harvard, of course, has every right to invite who they want to come. I would disagree with their selection of invitee here, but they have a right to invite whoever they want. But they don't have the right to expect that the state taxpayers, and our police force, are going to provide this individual with an escort and security services. That, in this case, is simply too outrageous for us to bear.

When Hugh asked him about the timing of the event Romney responded . . .

We have a service here on September 11th at the state capitol, and then meet with the families of those who lost loved ones. As you know, aircraft left Boston that were lost on that tragic day, and so we have families who are still grieving, and will always grieve at the loss of their loved ones. And in that setting, to have someone who is a terrorist, who led a nation which was described by our State Department during his tenure as the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world, having him in our state at this time is acid in open wounds, and is not something welcome.

The liberal media has been labeling Khatami as a "moderate" . . . simply because the current Iranian president, Ahmadinejead, is the most whacked-out leader imaginable. Anyone would look like a moderate compared to him! Romney points this out nicely:
Yeah, I think his rhetoric is not as outrageous as Ahmadinejead, but it's fully outrageous, and it's terrorist in nature. It is the violent jihadist extreme, which we cannot countenance. It's important for America to reach out to voices of moderation and modernity in the world of Islam, and that is the majority of people in the world of Islam. But this person is not one of them, and welcoming him here, and inviting him to speak at Harvard University is simply wrong.

And further . . .

I think one of the sad things is that we have not developed an understanding of the nature of what's going on in the world of Islam, and how it threatens people there, and how it threatens people in their own country. And you know, I recently heard Tony Blair speak on the battle that's going on, the world of Islam. It was really quite effective. I wish it were better heard and understood in our country. We are facing not just a group of al Qaeda lunatics in the hills of Pakistan, but a worldwide effort to cause the collapse of civilization as we know it, and Western societies. And that is a very real threat, and is going to require vigilence on our part, not just military, but Hugh, using Eisenhower's term, we will have to wage full-out peace to help encourage people to, in the Muslim world, to turn to modernity.

Among the final questions Hewitt asked . . .

HH: Now I heard a speech you gave at the Republican state convention in Los Angeles three weeks ago, and you used the term Islamic-facism, a term the president has used, but for which he has been significantly criticized. Do you stand by that term, Governor?

MR: Oh, absolutely. These are violent jihadists. Facism is probably as close a parallel as we can come up with, and I know a number of people have used that term. I think we're having to make sure that people understand that this is something far broader than a group of anarchists in hills. It is a concerted, organized effort which is designed to cause the unification of all the nations of Islam, the reconquering of prior Islamic lands, and ultimately, the conquering of the world. And it sounds absurd to us, but that religious fervor can lead to awful acts of terror, and has already done so. And in no way can we contribute to the legitimizing of these individuals by inviting someone like Khatami to our country.

Hewitt finished the segment with:

Governor Mitt Romney of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, thanks for spending some time with us. Congratulations on your decision concerning Ayatollah Khatami. Very, very blunt, and I think overdue. Thank you, Governor.


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