The Greatest Mitt Romney Speech You’ve Never Heard

Instead of writing a witty, insightful column, Oliver Lee Bateman decided to share the greatest Mitt Romney speech you’ve never heard.


Hey guys, this shit’s getting real, isn’t it? I mean, during the primaries, I lost flyover country by a pretty significant margin to an out-of-touch, homophobic, windbag ex-senator who couldn’t even get re-elected in his home state and a wizened old kook who probably wouldn’t stand in your way if you wanted to sell your children into slavery. Considering that I’ve got the best tan, haircut, sweater vests (Rick Santorum’s don’t even have the cool little alligator on them!) and academic pedigree, that was nothing short of ridonkulous.

Well, let me just lay it on the line for you: I’m your typical all-American success story. My great-grandparents fled the country because the federal government was cracking down on the practice of polygamy, and my dad was the governor of Michigan and a former presidential candidate. I’ve also amassed a personal fortune that’s large enough to allow me to pay in cash for the Columbus Blue Jackets and still have enough left over to sign stocky Kansas City Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis to a multiyear deal to wash my laundry. Throw in my beachfront mansion in La Jolla, CA, and we’re talking one relatable dude, right?

No? You don’t think I’m relatable? Look, if you’re willing to make a convincing argument for why Santorum or Obama is more relatable than me, I’ll give you $2,500,000. Chicken feed, to be sure, but times are tough all over, economically speaking. As I noted earlier, I’ve got enough cold hard cash to purchase the Blue Jackets outright, but I’d need to borrow against my considerable holdings to acquire a better-known team like the Cleveland Browns or the Washington Wizards. And is that the kind of country I want my clones … er, sons to inherit? A country where they can’t just walk out the door, buy the Washington Wizards and then kick back while notorious brick-layers like JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and John Wall miss shot after shot? No sir, that’s not Mitt Romney’s America, and it’s certainly not your America, either.

Now let’s talk policies. Elections always turn on policies, so I’ve got a bunch of those. But why don’t we start by discussing your policy needs, since you’ll be the one voting for me. What do you expect from your man Mitt? Tell me what you want — what you really, really want — and I’ll support it for you. Or I’ll oppose what you’re against, if that’s what it takes to win you to my side. Most likely, though, I’ll just engage in convoluted double-talk that satisfies nobody but is very gratifying to me, given that I enjoy playing mind games with you idiots.

Consider the issue of Obamacare. While I was governor of Massachusetts, I signed a somewhat, sort-of, and vaguely comprehensive health coverage bill into law. At the moment that I signed that bill, I thought that signing it was the right decision to make. If I knew how much that was going to anger the Republican base, would I have done it? I honestly can’t say. Possibly yes, possibly no. What I do know is that the positions I’ve held in the past, which I believed in very sincerely, are quite different from the positions I hold today, although I also believe just as sincerely in these new positions and have arrived at them following a very sincere process of reflection on what the voters listening to me right this minute need and expect from me. I anticipate changing those positions throughout the general election, but for now, you owe me the benefit of the doubt.

Then there’s this whole gay-marriage controversy. Look, I’m a big believer in marriage. In fact, if you’re a Mormon supporter of mine, I’ll even find a way to mention how my forebears were all for plural marriage and whatnot. And if you’re a supporter of mine but not a Mormon (and indeed are sort of creeped out by Mormonism), I’d like to remind you that my faith doesn’t inform my decision-making one bit, except in those situations when it might. If you want to find out when it does and when it doesn’t, I encourage you to read one of the two versions of my autobiography that are floating around out there. There’s nothing in either version about faith and decision-making, of course, but reading one or the other (or both!) will keep you busy for a while.

Anyway, back to gay marriage. This is a complicated situation, to be sure. Some people, particularly independent voters who will participate in the general election, are for it, so I don’t want to alienate them. Many die-hard Republicans are against it. Here’s an easy solution that’s sure to please everybody: Leave it up to the states. Wait, here’s an even easier one: Leave it up to the counties and cities. Whoa, whoa, I’ve got one that’s better still: Just call it whatever you want, but keep it to yourself. You don’t have to go around tooting your horns and having pride parades, do you? Just be gay-married or gay-civil-unioned or gay-partnered behind closed doors and leave these Cro-Magnon red-state primary voters alone.

In other words — and this sure is a long speech, isn’t it? — I don’t care what anybody does, as long as he or she votes for me. Bibles, guns, HBO’s new show Girls, Israel, lower taxes, Joseph Kony, no taxes: These are all important topics that any presidential candidate should be aware of. I’ve heard of them, and I know you have, too. If you make your man Mitt your man in the White House, I can guarantee you that I’ll do whatever it takes to stay there for a second term. And after you’ve verified with my press agent that I did indeed just say what you think I said, you can quote me on that.


About Oliver Lee Bateman

Good Men Project contributing editor Oliver Lee Bateman is a columnist for Al-Jazeera America and Made Man Magazine. His writing has been featured in Salon, The Atlantic, Johnny America, Stymie: A Journal of Sport and Literature, the U.S. Intellectual History Blog, STIR Journal,, and NAP Magazine. He is also one of the founders of the Moustache Club of America and Penny & Farthing, two blogzines specializing in flash fiction and creative nonfiction that he co-curates with web developer Erik Hinton, medical consultant Nathan Zimmerman, and freelance writers Christie Chapman and J. R. Powell. Oliver is a lawyer as well as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Follow him on Twitter @MoustacheClubUS or on Google+.


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