Romney Shares Pro-Life Views, Hits HHS Mandate at Al Smith Dinner

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 19, 2012   |   11:02AM   |   Washington, DC

Mitt Romney, speaking at the Al Smith dinner to support Catholic Charities last night, hit a home run with the pro-lifers in attendance as he talked about pro-life themes and criticized Obama’s pro-abortion HHS mandate.

“In our country, you can oppose someone in politics and make a confident case against their policies without any ill will and that’s how it is for me. There’s more to life than politics,” Romney said.

“At the Al Smith Foundation and the Archdiocese of New York, you show this in the work you do, in causes that run deeper than allegiance to party or to any contest at the moment,” Romney continued. “No matter which way the political winds are blowing, what work goes on, day in day out by this organization and you. You answer with calm and willing hearts and service to the poor and care for the sick, in defense and the rights of conscience and in solidarity with the innocent child waiting to be born. You strive to bring God’s love and every – in every life.”

“I don’t presume to have all your support and on a night like this, I’m certainly not going ask for it, but you can be certain that in the great causes of compassion that you come together to embrace that I stand proudly with you as an ally and friend,” Romney continued.

Romneys said: “The President has put his own stamp on relations with the Church. There have been some awkward moments. Like when the President pulled Pope Benedict aside to share some advice on how to deal with his own critics. He said, “Look, Holy Father, whatever the problem is just blame it on Pope John Paul II.”

“Of course the President has found a way to take the sting out of the Obamacare mandates for the Church: From now on they’re going to be in Latin,” he added.



President Barack Obama also attended and both presidential candidates got in some lighthearted digs at one another:

* “Earlier today, I went shopping at some stores in Midtown,” joked Obama. “I understand Governor Romney went shopping for some stores in Midtown.”

* Obama, on his second debate performance: “I had a lot more energy … I felt well rested after the nice long nap I had in first debate,” he said.

* Romney referred to the first presidential debate and said, “First, refrain from alcohol for 65 years before the debate. Second, find the biggest available straw man, and then just mercilessly attack him. Big Bird didn’t even see it coming. By the way, in the spirit of ‘Sesame Street,’ the president’s remarks are brought to you tonight by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.”

* Romney: I was hoping that President Obama would bring Joe Biden along, because he’ll laugh at anything.

* Romney: We were chatting pleasantly this evening as if Tuesday didn’t happen.

* Romney: Usually when I get invited to gatherings like this, it’s just to be the designated driver.

* Romney: I have my beautiful wife Ann, he has Bill Clinton.

* Romney, referring to St. Peter, says skeptics will say “if you’ve got a Church, you didn’t build that.”

* Romney joked about his white-tie tuxedo, “it is nice to wear what Ann and I wear around the house.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s decision to invite President Obama provoked controversy and Dolan referenced that in his remarks.

“It’s better to invite than to ignore, more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance, more productive to open a door than to shut one,” Cardinal Dolan wrote in August. “Our recent popes have been examples of this principle, receiving dozens of leaders with whom on some points they have serious disagreements. Thus did our present Holy Father graciously receive our current President of the United States. And, in the current climate, we bishops have maintained that we are open to dialogue with the administration to try and resolve our differences.”