Alternate headline: “Confirmed: He’s a RINO.”
No, I kid. Romney’s fondness for France is, I think, already common knowledge among righty activists thanks to Newt running one of the dumbest attack ads of the primaries against him back in January. It’s not purely academic either: He spent two and a half years there in his early 20s on his LDS mission and evidently liked it enough that he’s willing to give this answer even now, despite the fact that “French” has always been a byword for elitism in some parts of America. Kind of nice to see him being unabashedly honest, the political consequences be damned. The lefties at HuffPo and Daily Kos have seized on the clip as evidence of hypocrisy because Romney once criticized The One for taking “elaborate vacations” as president, but watch and you’ll see that that’s a red herring. Romney never says he wants an “elaborate” vacation (unless all French getaways are inherently elaborate) and he never says he’d take vacation there during his presidency. What this is about is clear enough from this aside in ABC’s write-up:
“The best memories were with my wife on vacations from time to time in France,” said Romney, who has been criticized for being “out of touch” and has made several comments that have highlighted his wealth during his campaign.
Just the ol’ “France = elitism” charge coopted for the Democrats’ messaging about Romney’s wealth. (In the dKos post, he’s referred to at one point as “Mr. Car Elevator.”) The GOP had fun using John Kerry’s Frenchiness against him eight years ago, but anti-French sentiment was much higher then because of their opposition to the war. If Romney had to run in an age of “freedom fries,” would he have given this same answer?