Free Expression Report Card: Mitt Romney
Position within the Trump Administration: Romney is being considered for Secretary of State
Previous Positions: CEO of Bain Capital (1984-2002); Governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007); Republican Party Nominee for President of the United States (2012)
- While Romney served as president and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics, his Olympic Committee headed efforts to limit protest zones or “free-speech zones.” He also reportedly prohibited certain music from being played at the Games due to profanity.
- In 2006, when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, Harvard University invited former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami to speak at an event on the “Ethics of Tolerance.” Governor Romney staunchly opposed Khatami’s appearance at Harvard and refused state support for Khatami while in Massachusetts.
- Romney did not support a controversial bill to create 35-foot protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics in his state.
- As the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, Romney announced that, if elected, he would cut state funding for National Public Radio (NPR), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
- Regarding the controversial 2012 film Innocence of Muslims, Romney said, “the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that.”
- On the Internet-regulation front, Romney opposes the Stop Online Privacy Act. In the Jan. 19, 2012 South Carolina debate, Romney warned of the bill’s dangers. “The law as written is far too intrusive, far too expansive, far too threatening to freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet,” he said.