Why the New Netflix Documentary About Mitt Romney Fails

‘Mitt’ doesn’t deliver on its promise of going behind-the-scenes to show us the man behind the facade.

In late 2006, Mitt Romney went through a public relations facade, telling the press that he would meet with his family over Christmas to vote on whether or not he should run for President, and later releasing information and video about that staged event. Of course, the decision to run had been made long before—Romney had been running since 2004, had much earlier opted not to run for re-election as governor of Massachusetts, and by the time of the “vote” had already set up elaborate plans for a massive kickoff fundraising event at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (at which the campaign lied to the press about the amount raised).

The new documentary “Mitt,” available on Netflix today, begins with that wintry family gathering as they pretend to vote on whether he should run. The scene is presented without any sense of irony, as just one of a series of supposedly fly-on-the-wall peeks into the behind-the-scenes Romney. But as that scene demonstrates, with Romney, his wife, and his sons, you really need to assume that they are always aware of the fly on the wall; everything is at least partly a show for some purpose.

That’s just good politics—and Romney is a great politician with a great, cooperative political family.

Although you might have read that you’ll see the “authentic Romney” in this film, I was disappointed—or perhaps just more cynical. There isn’t really that much behind-the-scenes footage, and most of what’s shown are set-piece conversations between conveniently well-arranged seated individuals; scenes that are included not for their inherent interest but because they take place before or after a debate or other major high-performance event. There are no chance interactions or exchanges; no facade-down moments caught from the many, many months and years of normal day-to-day campaigning.

I was particularly caught by a brief, wordless montage of Romney, who, after heartfelt discussion with the family, struggled to write the speech announcing he was dropping out of the 2008 race. The viewer is clearly meant to imagine the man straining for the right words to convey the conflicting and heavy personal emotions in his heart.

In fact, the speech he was writing—a portion of which is visible on his computer screen—was in fact a nasty, entirely impersonal, red-meat-for-the-rabid mess. Given at CPAC, it was most notable for his explanation for dropping out:

“I’d forestall the launch of a national campaign and, frankly, I’d make it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win. Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

But that came after a diatribe warning that “the threat to our culture comes from within,” stemming from welfare and Medicare. “Dependency is culture killing … We’ve got to fight it like the poison it is.” He also railed against the “attack on faith and religion,” the tolerance and “even celebration of” pornography; “sexual promiscuity”; the danger of following Europe into “disaster” which is “the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator.” Entitlement spending must be cut, he said, and unions cracked down on—whereas all manner of taxes and regulations must be lifted from business and investors. And, of course, he warned that both Obama and Clinton would “retreat, declare defeat” in the war on terror.

The film skips almost directly from Romney writing that speech in early 2008 to the infamous “47% speech” of 2012. Which, if you know what that earlier speech contained, really doesn’t seem out of character at all.

That is the authentic Mitt Romney—or, one of the authentic Mitt Romneys. The one who worships Ann and adores his grandchildren is also authentic, as is the one who worked relentlessly for a decade, willing to do or say almost anything in pursuit of ultimate power. I was really looking forward to this documentary adding to these portraits we have of the man, but I can’t say it really did so for me.

  • http://marclajoie.info/ Marc Lajoie

    In the first sentence, wouldn’t the word “charade” be more appropriate than “façade”? You can’t really go through a façade.

    • David S. Bernstein

      You are correct sir! My bad.

  • Chase

    Oh so you basically had the preconceived notion that nothing Mitt does could possibly be considered genuine, and therefore the film sucks. Cool.

  • Andrew

    Great review. Clearly unbiased. Thanks for enlightening us on Romney’s true character and motives.

    • Gregory Cmar

      It is rare to find a review written in the first person omniscient. It is compelling when a critic makes himself a character in in his review and can so clearly articulate how much more they know than the people who put this documentary together.

  • joanmcn@aol.com

    That 47% speech was the first honest thing any politician has ever said. Of course the truth is not what the majority of the public wants to hear. Those of us in that 47% were cheering. Anyone can see how that prediction is starting to come true…

    • Grant

      The 47% number is ridiculous. The statement equates paying no income taxes as being “completely dependent on the government.” Those are two entirely different things.

      Included in that 47% number are people who don’t pay income tax because they don’t make enough money to pay income tax (and they still pay into social security and medicare) and seniors who collect from social security or tax-paid retirement accounts.

      But, hey, if Republicans want to run on raising taxes on seniors and the poor, more power to them.

    • pantherjad

      Agreed! 47% comment was fabulous. Finally the hard truth spoken by a politician. Of course, speaking hard truths doesn’t get you elected either. Furthermore, 47% is somewhat theoretical–he doesn’t mean absolutely that the 47% who don’t pay taxes or who are perceived as dependent on government will also absolutely vote for more of that government benefit in the form of a progressive, government-expansionist, candidate. But taken in the spirit of that sentiment I think we can all agree that there is no doubt a significant segment of society who has a personal short-term financial interest in voting for a candidate who promises to keep the flow of government benefits on for their own benefit. That is simply disgusting and a scary proposition for the future of our country. That was the point Romney was making. As Rush Limbaugh said, “you can’t beat Santa Claus.” You can laugh and mock Romney for agreeing but there is roughly 50% of America that agrees too (and 50%, + a few more, that disagree). This country is deeply divided on this concept and by the time we realize our collective error in policy it will be too late. That is the point of Romney’s CPAC speech the author mentions. This author is a progressive in the 50%+ that feels government exists to make people’s live better, financially, by using force to plunder from others and redistribute wealth on the basis of its own judgments. That is not the vision of our country that the founders had in mind–it is not Liberty, it is central planning, it is socialism, and it is a historically failed policy.

      • foxexploder

        Your Bill O’Reilly dog, I can hear you barking!

        Unfortunately its a complete lie!

        Nothing and I mean nothing supports that drool !

        except hatred, prejudice and miss information!

        CPAC? You mean where you welcomed The John Birch Society as a sponsor?except

        The Federal American Constitution addresses economic and social rights prominently but with little specificity. The Preamble states that an overriding purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to “promote the general welfare,” indicating that issues such as poverty, housing, food and other economic and social welfare issues facing the citizenry were of central concern to the framers.

        Many state constitutions, in contrast, articulate positive rights to welfare, health, education, and the right to work. One of the most specific of these provisions, article XVII of the New York State Constitution, states that “the aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns and shall be provided by the state…in such manner and by such means” as the legislature shall determine. The Constitution of North Dakota provides a similarly specific right to education, stating that “the legislative assembly shall provide for a uniform system of free public schools throughout the state.” Alaska’s constitution, adopted at the time of statehood in 1959, addresses the public health of state inhabitants, as does Hawaii’s, which states that “the State shall provide for the protection and promotion of the public health.” Finally, many state constitutions also address the affirmative right to work and the right to organize as members of trade unions. For example, the New York State Constitution states, “employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.” Several state constitutions also specifically address working hours and working conditions.

        In adjudicating economic and social rights, state courts are often dealing with texts substantially different from and more specific than the federal constitutional treatment of these rights. But at a minimum, the state constitutional experience certainly demonstrates that these matters, critical to the general welfare, are of appropriate constitutional concern. In a different time, and with a different Court, the General Welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution might be linked to a more robust understanding of constitutional equality to give substantive meaning to the Bill of Rights. Given the textual support for this approach to federal constitutional interpretation, it is hard to see how even Justice Scalia could object.

        So, your lying about the Founders, as always!

        • pantherjad

          foxexploder–your comments on this site clearly show that you and I will rarely agree on much of anything politically speaking. You and I are a good example of what I said earlier about the country being deeply divided and that half the country believes in a large powerful state who has the responsibility to redistribute wealth, and those that feel government should not redistribute wealth.

          Everything you say points to a fundamental philosophical disagreement I have with your view of government.

          The needs of others in society does not create a claim on the property of those with more. Because I am poor, or hungry, or cold, or homeless, or sick, I do not have a claim on your property–a claim enforced by the power of government. When the government mandates that you give up some of your property to fulfill my needs it is theft, or what Bastiat might call “legal plunder.” It is not right and it debases humanity.

          It is actually the embodiment of misanthropy because when the state extinguishes natural rights due to the will or desires of other people (the needs of the masses) it actually breeds contempt (class warfare) rather than encouraging empathy. Also, it robs the haves from the very real emotional capital that would have otherwise come from voluntary philanthropy.

          I am not opposed to helping those in need, I feel we have a basic human obligation to help others; but, that obligation should not be fulfilled via government power. Rather, it should take place via private voluntary action. When private voluntary action is the mode for such “redistribution” it actually helps those who give even more because it pays an emotional dividend that creates strong feelings of empathy that are important to an effective human society.

          So, it is my belief that the use of government force as the means for the ends of “positive rights” or “outcome equality” actually creates a more misanthropic society. This of course is backed up by history too–look at the feelings people have for each other in all the historical communist and socialist societies–people are debased as their individualism and humanity is extinguished by the state. The state becomes the only real actor as people lose not only their freedom of decision but the emotional dividends that come with freedom and the consequences of self-determined actions.

          I think the real fundamental disagreement we have is about the nature of man. I think man when left to his own devices is actually good and will do good things (albeit corruptible). Thus, government is there as a last resort protector to ensure that if some men become corrupt it doesn’t lead to the violation of the rights of another.

          It seems to me that progressives (strong state power, forced wealth redistribution, etc) assume that man is fundamentally bad and that strong state action is required to enforce the state’s own moralism on man.

          I suppose this is also born out by your comments aimed at personally mocking or disparaging me and others that disagree with you. ie–“barking dog” “racist” “prejudiced” etc. ie–the fact that you insult by associating me or others with certain people or organizations that you think can be written off by mere mention of their names, etc.

          That behavior seems to indicate that you think there is a flaw in my character and in my morality because I have not “seen the light” of your way of thinking. This is also a common theme with progressivism: humanity is corrupt and only those who become enlightened to the progressive way can escape the damnation of fundamental human corruption.

          I think humanity is fundamentally good but corruptible but that it is through individual human choice that individual humans can fully realize their goodness. I don’t want the state to rob individuals of that fact. Thereby leaving mankind hollowed out and fully absorbed by the state.

          • foxexploder

            Oh Please! Cry me a river! Since Reagan Republican Plutocrats have been “redistributing” the wealth of the Country! Pushing it up the ladder to the 1% Kings.
            Its like saying the surfs after building a life of their own, where they can raise a family and be independent, deserve those in power, “skimming” all the money off the top! This is what we have today! Stock Market, Insurance, Hospitals, Pension Funds, Big Business tax breaks, Oil Company subsidies of Billions, Wall St. bailouts for fraud and pre planned thefts!

            Thats not ” honest hard working successful people! Thats a few, corrupt, Slave owners or Kings, “fixing” the market! Monopoly is not Free Enterprise! Capitalism is not “Crony Capitalism”
            Your confusing the old definitions with what we have today!

            Was the GI Bill a handout?
            Did we get College graduations up from 6%
            to 23%, which built our Middle class! Did the men who fought and died receive “handouts” from the Kings of America?
            Do the million men who have fought for the last 12 years deserve to be called moochers?
            Or “takers”? While the entire South, all the Southern States receive more taxes than they pay in! From who? From the Progressive States who pay a net Positive Federal Tax, while the “moocher” Republican States receive “Welfare”! Should you be called Welfare Moms and Dads, because you can’t pay your own bills! Your dis-belief in Science and belief in the Bible have stunted your growth like it has all over the World! It spirals
            you down to poverty! First mentally then physically!
            Are you not a “Communist sympathizer or worse, a Communist yourself” for belonging to the Party that sold our Countries jobs to the Communist Slave Plantation? It goes both ways right? And the truth hurts. Unions and wage parities demanded in China would have done more to spread Democracy and save our own, than all the Ann Coulters, Hannity’s or Limpballs in the World!

            Ask yourself one thing!

            What have you and your Party of Kings pony boys accomplished? What have you actually done to help keep America from being pushed into poverty?
            Nothing! You have done the opposite for 50 yrs!
            Now, you talk trash about the indentured servants your policies created!
            Did your Presidents balance the budget?
            Did you keep us out of fake or unproductive Wars?
            Did you pass Social Security?
            No! ( you want to put it into the Stock Market where it will be stolen)
            Did you help spur good education or Science leaps forward?
            The list goes on and on!

            Look in the mirror, Its Republicans who are holding America’s Dream back, For a few Kings and the scraps from their tables.

            Do you really think the Koch Brothers won’t get their money back ++ when they buy a State?

            If your last name is not Chase or Morgan etc, then your getting duped to vote against your own interests and for the up holding of the Kings. Exactly what they spend that money for!

          • pantherjad

            Ha! I love it. Great response. I wish we could meet for a beer, it would be a great night! Unfortunately, I moved from Boston in 2004 and am in Texas now (no surprise there right!?). You do make an excellent point about inter-state redistribution and what southern states get. Make no mistake, I am against crony capitalism and corporate welfare too; but, you are right, both parties are guilty of offenses there. It is sad that our system has become so hijacked by big special interests. But, I feel like market forces could eliminate some of that if we allowed it to (no bailouts, no picking winners and losers, etc.).

          • foxexploder

            That always sounds good as a sound bite, and even seems reasonable and correct. However, sadly, its not! Just like going back to the gold standard would be a disaster! Raising minimum wages would also help use market forces to help. More money with the people creates demand. More demand creates investment and jobs. Giving more money up the ladder to the rich, only supports investment in emerging markets like China and the Pacific rim. Not here! Lower taxes never made a difference to Warren Buffet and he’s the smartest Capitalist we have. The money has been shoved up the ladder to people who don’t spend it! Its like sucking the gas out of an engine when its sputtering. Trickle down may once have worked say, in the 18th century, but, I doubt if it even worked then.
            There is no evidence that it ever worked. Its a fact that we only have crony capitalism, which is by another name “A Kingdom”. Exactly what we fought against in the American Revolution. Exactly what Jefferson feared was trying to kill our Democracy in its infancy. He prayed that we reined them in before they could take our Revolution back!
            Well, they did! They have it back!
            When we try to reign them in, they spend millions calling us Socialists or Communists!
            Regulations passed by majority vote in a Democratic Republic is not Socialism! Washington would be putting people in jail or worse for trying to undo the War! But now they have too much power!
            The Tea Party and Libertarians should join the Dems and become the “Brght” Party one who believes Science does not compete with Religion, that they are separate magisterium s! But to be Anti Science is not what our founders were! They loved science!

      • Honeyboy Wilson

        “…I think we can all agree that there is no doubt a significant segment of society who has a personal short-term financial interest in voting for a candidate who promises to keep the flow of government benefits on for their own benefit.”

        You mean how the rich vote Republican because they are promised tax cuts?

        • pantherjad

          There are certainly those that represent special interests, including big business, that vote in support of their own government subsidies and handouts. That is not a good thing either. But your comment about the “rich voting for tax cuts” reveals that you believe the government is entitled to our money and that we are wrong to support efforts to get our money back from the government. This puts the cart before the horse.

          • Honeyboy Wilson

            I guess some personal short-term financial interests are more important than others when it comes to voting for one’s own benefit.

    • foxexploder

      Right! Half the Countries hard working Middle Class, working moms, who just barely make payments and are going down to poverty due to Republican policies for the rich, are all takers?
      Thats your stance?
      But Corporate welfare of Billions is not?
      Oil Companies not paying their leases to America or any taxes at all! Thats not mooching?
      People who only pay Payroll taxes because the system is rigged so they can never get up into another class, is called a Feudal system, the system of Kings we fought the Revolutionary War against!
      And here you are, Mr. Whig, flying their banners and whipping their indentured servants!
      Thats why you can’t win a National Election ever again!

  • joanmcn@aol.com

    You didn’t even understand the quote Grant- guess I know what percentage you’re in. At the rate things are going we might as well all be in it and get taken care of….

  • http://dotheword.org/2013/08/21/should-we-forgive-the-unrepentant Phaerisee

    I am intrigued by the current GOP field in that if Christie has to bow out, it will open up some interesting possibilities. You could see Romney make a third attempt. A lot of people scoff at that, but when you think about it, he is the only possible contender right now with a billion dollars and connections. I would imagine that much of his organization is still in place or within a phone call. What would REALLY interest me is if Donald Trump considered the GOP nomination. Watching he and HIllary battle it out for New York would be an unparallleled political spectacle.

    • foxexploder

      Trump? really? thats your pick?
      Good luck with that!
      Like taking candy from a baby!

  • Tony

    This film is a great documentary, that leaves the politics out of it and shows what its like to run for President of the United States.

    Frankly, anyone who watches this and comes away with a negative feeling about it, is a clear agenda driven person.

    I didn’t vote for Romney, but after watching this, you can’t help but appreciate what he went through and that he was more genuine than the press made him out to be.

    In fact, David Bernstein is proof that he wasn’t going to get a fair shake.

    Romney’s a good guy. Flawed, but good and genuine.

    If you can watch this movie and still harbor unwarranted negative feelings, then you might be less than human.

    • uncwgrad00

      Well said- I would like to watch the documentary, but it’s still a little too soon after his loss in Nov. 2012. I was then, and continue to be so disappointed that the American people allowed liberals to control the narrative on who Mitt is/was…so we can continue with 4 more years of Obama’s failed policies.

      • foxexploder

        Failed? Your kidding right? His success would fill a book!
        Your delusional on all topics.
        Not a shred of evidence!
        Recession is over, manufacturing jobs are rising, Auto Industry on top of the World, 6 million jobs created in the wind of total right wing obstruction, two wars ended, 51 of the top 53 Alqaeda leaders dead, 40 million people insured, 18 million children now insured under their parents who were branded with pre-existing conditions and uninsured! The list goes on and on! Topping it off with the economy growing at 3%, housing going back up, Stock market almost tripled!
        Your out of your mind!

        • agingcynic

          It’s “you’re”. And if you really think the recession is over, put your money where your mouth is and go long in the market. Some of us (with multiple college degrees and no job) would beg to differ.

          • foxexploder

            Republican’t answer to everything! Get a goofy nut to sit on the football and refuse to move. Don’t put a team on the field, don’t discuss plays, in fact don’t play at all, then criticize everything!
            Thats not Governing, thats a spoiled rich, paid off Plutocrat, barking for the Kings!
            You can’t blame any President because none have ever had to deal with such ignoramus. Anti-American wash outs. They couldn’t run a Sack race, let alone a Country with 350 million people. Run the 3rd fake Tea Party out on a rail, their wasting our time!

    • agingcynic

      Pretty sure that Mitt Romney is more accomplished at his profession that Mr. Bernstein is at HIS. Sour grapes.

    • Legend 44

      No he is not a good guy! Remember what he did to his dog? No good person will do that _ ever! I know I am late with this comment but the Romney lovers piss me off.

  • uncwgrad00

    My guess is that you wouldn’t have been satisfied with any positive representation of Mr. Romney and his family.

    • foxexploder

      Will you ever apologize to Al Gore or John Kerry for all the lies and false witness constantly thrown at him. Or, how about the President? The right never gives up, and, yes I am their enemy!
      If Romney were to have been elected, people, good people, millions of them would have suffered under his hand!
      We were so lucky, I don’t want my enemies coming back to fight again!
      Its not personal against Romney the man, its Romney the Politician that was the enemy of America. Can you imagine the Draconian cuts here in America, which plunged Europe into triple recessions? Can you imagine more tax cuts for the richest 1% and the zero jobs it would have created, like always!
      No, dreaming of insanity is a nightmare!
      Not Romney the Man, the entire Extreme Right !

  • Craven Moorehead

    this is by far the most disingenuous review i have read. wow.
    have an agenda?

    • foxexploder

      Yes, and its not creating Hero’s on the right! Its seeing thru propaganda like Fox, Limpballs and the rest!

      The agenda is and must be the saving of America’s middle class! The Hero’s don’t matter! Its policy that does!

      Do you think the right was fair to Al Gore? Even though 4,000 Scientists agree with him? They still act like he’s a lying baboon!

      I will always fight atempts at spinning or softening the once beaten foe! As, Camus said in “The Plague”, its always there waiting in the sewers to infect mankind again!
      Whats next a Cheney Docuementary?
      We have real problems, and, Romney’s not one of them, anymore!
      Tell him to go out and do some good, join Clinton or Bono!
      Use his money to do something but try to get the Mormon Church into the World Banking System!
      The public quickly returns to its old routine, but Rieux knows that the battle against the plague is never over because the bacillus microbe can lie dormant for years. The Plague is his chronicle of the scene of human suffering that all too many people are willing to forget.


  • Pangloss

    How is it possible that someone can watch this documentary and then write such a negative, slanted review? Is the author so bankrupt in terms of awareness and perspective that he couldn’t foretell how laughable and agenda-driven this review would come across? I mean, I read biased reviews everyday, but this one takes the cake by far.

    • foxexploder

      Because “Forrest Gump” was a movie, a fiction, not real !
      Romney had a whole machine built before the “family vote” on whether or not he would run. He was already running!
      So, if the very first scene is BS, then what follows is probably the same! No character shown here except what he wanted to show, and in exactly the way he O.K’d . The final cut was nobody but Mitt’s! So, its bunk!
      I like him even less.
      Can’t wait for the Cheney Docuementary!

      • Pangloss

        See man, the problem is I can’t take you seriously because you have no ability whatsoever to be objective. You would probably prefer to have your testicles cut off than to say one positive thing about Mitt Romney. You have every right to limit yourself to one way of thinking, but just don’t expect people to give credence to what you say.

        • foxexploder

          i don’t think anything “negative” about the human being Mitt Romney, I think he’s probably a fine Dad and Husband! Its his politics that are dangerous! Thats why this film is dangerous! It attempts to soften him for the future. Nobody did that for John Kerry, who was lied about probably was the only one who got it right when he said ” Its a Police action” fighting terrorists, not Warfare with Armies! Now, he just might pull off stopping another War with Iran! Lets Hope!
          But, nobody ever gave him credit, or honor for his multiple wounds!
          Another example is Al Gore, who will end up being right about Global Warning.
          They never softened their stance on him!
          So, why let Romney back in? He did not stand up for himself or his own ideals! I admit he could not have won the primary being himself, and thats a National tragedy, but, maybe he should have been a Democrat! I know its a hard row to plow, dealing with all the misanthropes on the right! I don’t envy anyone who even tries! In the end it was too much for any good man to handle! And, I do think he is a good man! But, we have 359 million people who need good policies, not hero’s!

          • Tony

            You are just being silly now. You think that they filmed for 6 years, through two election losses, just to soften his image so that one day 10 years from the start of the filming, he may be able to win the Presidency?

            That’s the longest con in con history.

            If the Romenys were using the film to soften their image, they would have released it prior to the 2012 election. They had plenty of film recorded. It may have helped him immensely. It helps him none now.

            Either way, I doubt Mitt Romney ever runs for office again, rendering all your comments about his motives moot.

          • foxexploder

            Thats not a for sure. The Republican slate is so thin, he’s still more viable than any other except maybe Jeb.

            Its called having the right to “final cut”!
            Yes, its the editing that counts.
            The filmmaker was just a cameraman in this project.
            Normal Producers keep final cut rights or Directors.
            In this case its with Mitt.
            So, it was always viewed as non dangerous, and controllable!
            Nuff said.
            Again, were so lucky Republicans are not in fulll control again. Can you imagine?
            The Bush nightmare part deux?

  • medman47

    This review is pretty bad. While I agree that the documentary needs to be taken with a grain of salt, this review is ridiculously biased. The writer is so cynical it is embarrassing.

  • foxexploder

    As a film maker, I can tell this is almost completely “staged” and edited for PR. The intention is to repair the Robot Wall St Wolf image Mitt the the Corporate Raider earned! We got his real number and he lost, by saying stupid things and having no good policy’s! Had he been elected we would all have suffered. Austerity and simply cutting turned Europe into a triple recession. Thats exactly why we were lucky to avoid a Republican President! This is not a real 6 yr effort. This is a 6 yr staged and picked thru PR event!
    We vetted the real Mitt, found him out just in the nick of time. And were the better for it!

    If someone had camera’s secretly placed and filmed the real goings on, believe me, it would have been totally different. This attempt at Character building is full of holes, right from the first “family vote” its just one big fiction, or, at best cherry picked advertisement!
    So glad he lost.
    Now, the middle class has a fighting chance. We need the Congress to get a break for the average working America! And, Republicans are leaving no stone unturned, legal or illegal, American or anti-American to keep the power in the hands of the Super Rich!

    • Tony

      Filmmaker is one word.

      That’s okay, I don’t think you are lying about your profession. I’m sure there are plenty of lawyers who call themselves “at tourneys”

      Had you left it at trying to be just an expert witness testifying against the film, then maybe you’d be believed. But you couldn’t make it 2 sentences before getting into the agenda driven bias.

      I’m no Romney voter. I like Obama. I think he averted the financial crisis and the saved the housing industry. I’m not sure what the healthcare law will do, but since none of us know, I’m willing to wait for 5-10 years worth of results before forming a conclusion. I’m impressed that he was able to pass healthcare and survive the bumpy road that he knew it would cause. They lost a lot of congress because of it, but the law was held up in court, he won reelection, and the GOP is tattered and bruised.

      He’s a very, very successful President.

      That said, I don’t need to pretend the opponent, Romney, was some phony caricature of a wall street scrooge, who likes to screw people’s lives to better his own. That was never the case. He was a successful businessman and governor and respectable and moderate opponent that independents could get behind.

      In the end, I am glad the way things worked out. I believe Obama deserved a 2nd term and the economy is steadily improving. I hope the healthcare law works out well. His entire legacy probably relies on it. That and averting the financial collapse.

      But MITT was a good documentary. It shows Americans that politics isn’t run by cynical, evil people. The Romneys, the Obamas, both great American families of very diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Yet, both love the country, both are extremely successful and both had their lives intersect.

      For Romney, its the bitter agony of defeat. And it was painful to watch a good man… a patriarch of a nice, close, big family, lose and stamp his life legacy… a “loser” as he admitted at the beginning. He was so concerned with how it impacted his children’s lives and it was reassuring to see a family of the opposite political beliefs from mine, act in such a respectful loving way.

      it reminds us all that we live in the greatest nation to ever exist.

      Those who hold political power will attain it through peaceful challenges and transitions in the form of elections. And they will be ran by good-hearted and intentioned people.

      This film is a great reminder of that.

      • John Gabino Garay

        Tony, I respect your point of view. Compassion is what this world needs more now, aside from all the political gala and spectacle. These are human beings. I think Romney suffered more from conforming to the two parties present within the Republican Party. Had he been true to the work he did in MA, I think he would have carried the country.

        I voted Blue, I voted for whom I could relate more to. I voted for whom would not put my mother on the street. I too feel only time will tell what the ACA act will do.

        I see our country climbing out of a recession by putting one foot in-front of the other. Leadership adverted a complete breakdown of our markets, but lets not kid ourselves, 2008 was a depression, the only reason they don’t call it so is because the Treasury devised a means to keep the credit markets operational.

      • foxexploder

        Lately I’m not bothering to edit. Seems worthless to comment , since, money talks and everyone else doesn’t matter. I am a film Director, Producer and visual Effects Supervisor, so I am used to separating film from the credit. My error. Film maker, film-maker and filmmaker are all in the dictionary and I usually see students refer to themselves as filmmakers, Others as Producers, Directors, etc.
        That said:
        Romney’s opening volley about a family vote, when he was already running and had organized and spent lots of money months prior, seemed so disingenuous to me that it made me think it was just a PR stunt. The filmmaker must have known this and yet, there it is, right up front? There were no real negatives shown. It seems hard to believe that with that much pressure, some bad moments, not just sad one’s would happen. By that I mean short tempered, tired angry remarks, that anyone could make, then apologize later!
        Romney is shrewd and wealthy and has plans for a bright future. This is just a calculation!
        You may think otherwise, thats O,K. by me.
        I think underneath all Politicians have a human side!
        I don’t care about that if the vote to hurt people or don’t stand up to bigots, racists and Religious Fundamentalists!
        I believe all Politicians are corrupted way before the reach Washington. I believe our system is a corrupt system of cronies! A few super rich people have cornered the markets, skim most profits off the top and the result is ” a Kingdom”! Exactly what Thomas Jefferson feared! This plunge of economic benefits really took off with Reagan and seems to be a National calling for Libertarians who want to go back to some 18th Century fantasy land, that never really existed as they feel.
        America is paralyzed by lack of Education and religious fa;se and immoral dogma! Pseudo Science and lack of reason or logic, makes half the Country incompetent and mediocre! And, they Promote this mediocrity!
        It does not matter if Romney or Ryan or Paul are actual human beings! Their policies hurt and kill and demolish the American dream, because they don’t work and never have. They are geared to push money and power up the ladder to their backers and the majority suffers for it.
        Thats the enemy! Not a person, but a constant push of big money trying to gain control. Which they almost have!

        If we don’t get together and start turning the wheel the other way, the America of our Fathers is not coming back! Note I said “coming back”, because, it is gone at this point and has to be fought for once again!
        Forget all the Social nonsense, People will take care of that, and there not going back to 1950.
        Follow the money, see where the lobbyists are pushing and vote Democrat right now!
        Not that their not corrupt as well, but we can start the money going back to America if the Tea Party would join them, instead of the Wall St. pony boys their with now!
        Something has to give or were over! Good Jobs take investment, education and a plan! None has come for 3 years from Congress and they block any attempt!
        Thanks for the good humor of your answer!

        • Dave


          Regarding the family vote at the beginning, I think that neither you nor the author (nor, for that matter, 98% of the country) have any context for meaningfully interpreting the event. I say that because, based on my experience as a Mormon in a Mormon family that has Mormon in-laws and many Mormon family friends, the description of this event sounds 100% authentic as the traditional Mormon decision-making process. It is a heavily-discussed topic for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is based strongly on our beliefs about the nature of God (and, therefore, the behaviors we should emulate).

          All that is not to say that it is CERTAINLY an authentic moment, but that it conforms, in every way, to what I would expect a Mormon family to do. And, what with future political events already planned, the Romney family may have been entirely unwilling to change their course–but Mormons often do things just such as that. Based on these family voting events, families will inexplicably reject what appears to be a great job offer, or will decide to do something they had almost completely written off. Are Mormon families that do that better off? You’d have to ask them. But these events can, and regularly do, produce unexpected decisions.

          Given that creating a deep-rooted culture that would overcome any outside influence is one of the stated objectives of the Mormons who moved to Utah in the 19th century, you should consider the possibility that 100 years of near isolation did just that. The documentary might be somewhat different if viewed as showing people from a culture you know only superficially.

  • Herkermer

    Hey, the guy’s lost; can we cut him a break and admit that, political views aside, he’s a decent person? Can we take to heart the documentary’s core message: that modern American politics encourage dehumanizing, merciless demonization of the opposing candidate? And that there’s something damagingly divisive about that, and it hurts our ability to function as a democracy?

    No! No, this reviewer insists on widening the gulf, fanning further the flames of partisan hatred, and reading everything in the worst possible light. Is it possible that Romney had been contemplating a presidential run but wasn’t totally decided when he sat down with his family? No, we refuse to acknowledge that possibility. It was all a crooked, corrupt, devious conspiracy, and he’s a filthy liar!