Political Animal


May 31, 2011 9:20 AM Romney: ‘I don’t like vampires personally’

By Steve Benen

Mitt Romney appeared on NBC’s “Today” show this morning, and in apparent attempt to appear more relaxed and personable, conceded that he occasionally likes “silly stuff.”

“I mean, I like the Twilight series. I thought it was fun,” Romney said. “I don’t like vampires personally, I don’t know any, but you know my granddaughter was reading it and I thought, ‘Well this looks like fun,’ so I read that.”

Let’s put aside the notion of a 64-year-old presidential hopeful enjoying the Twilight series. What stood out for me in this little quote was Romney feeling the need to mention he doesn’t “like vampires personally,” followed in the next breath by a reminder that he doesn’t “know any” vampires.

One can almost see the gears shifting in Romney’s mind, as if he’s thinking, “Wait, will social conservatitves throw a fit if I like tween vampire fiction? Maybe I should mention that I don’t like vampires. But will that make it sound as if I know vampires? Maybe I should mention I don’t know any.”

It’s understandable that Romney and his campaign team want to make the candidate seem more likable and less animatronic. But is it me, or do these efforts usually end up making Romney look kind of ridiculous?

The “who let the dogs out” clip is still seared in my brain four years later, and listening to Romney talk about vampires is nearly as bad.

I don’t imagine Romney wants my advice, but I’d nevertheless suggest he not try too hard.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Danp on May 31, 2011 9:30 AM:

    “I don’t like vampires personally...

    ...and I am not a witch."

  • Gandalf on May 31, 2011 9:32 AM:

    Yikes!!!! Whether Romney likes silly juvenile stories which are really about sexual desires and repression is kind of a non story. The fact that he's referring to vampires as real is what bothers me. If he's being tongue-in-cheek or not referring to fictional characters as if they were real shows that he's either ingested too much lead or he's suffering from some debilitating mental disorder.

  • jTh on May 31, 2011 9:32 AM:

    Meanwhile, given a chance, Obama was praising The Wire (which should be required viewing for anyone who gives a damn in America). Sounds like both are probably digesting entertainment at about their level of comprehension.

  • c u n d gulag on May 31, 2011 9:35 AM:

    Mitt's better hope none of his other Grandkids take up reading classic sci-fi like "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury.

  • Shrillhouse on May 31, 2011 9:36 AM:

    The “who let the dogs out” clip is still seared in my brain four years later...

    Dear God. I had forgotten about that clip. Watching that video was absolutely painful.

  • Anonymous on May 31, 2011 9:38 AM:

    You kidding? Twilight is a blatant abstinence parable, the social conservatives shouldn't have a problem with this at all. However, it doesn't make up for the stupid

  • Art Hackett on May 31, 2011 9:38 AM:

    Fantasy novels such the Twilight series are considered heresy by the Christian right. He doesn't have many of them as supporters anyway because of his own faith, but I'm sure he instantly realized his comment will dig the hole deeper.

  • walt on May 31, 2011 9:39 AM:

    There's a lot of chatter among the cognoscenti that Romney is inauthentic and, as a result, maladroit. But this really misses Romney's Square Dad appeal. When religious right loons hear that he reads the Twilight series (written by a Mormon, btw), chances are they'll chuckle because their own grandkids read the same stuff. Romney is who you want him to be, which in the Freak Show that is the GOP presidential field is probably a plus. Moreover, he's got the right-wing noise machine on his side. By the time the weird details get processed, they will land like sprinkles on a freshly baked donut.

  • martin on May 31, 2011 9:42 AM:

    Romney is right to worry about the looney right wingers. They were, afterall, the one condemning Harry Potter for glorifying witchcraft.

  • slappy magoo on May 31, 2011 9:44 AM:

    Not having seen the interview, any chance Mortgage was talking tongue-in-cheek? To me, it sounds more like a pre-planned laugh line to make him seem more contemporary and "one of us" (shudder) than it does the stumbling of a politician worried what he said will be taken as more ominous than innocuous and, in trying to triangulate his way out of a hole, digs it even deeper. I'll withhold judgment until I see it. This might not be the gaffe on-air that it seems in text, though I agree, either way, he's trying too hard.

  • berttheclock on May 31, 2011 9:46 AM:

    Thank you, Steve, for mentioning both T-Paw and Mittens on consecutive days. I thought they had both participated in laying wreaths at The Tomb of the Unknown Policians", yesterday.

  • bob h on May 31, 2011 9:46 AM:

    Romney asserted that Obama had "just made things worse" on the economy; if that is so, why have my stock portfolio and 401k recovered so nicely?

  • Trollop on May 31, 2011 9:47 AM:

    What's next Mitt, "Hail Satan"? See, those gosh darned Mormons aren't right to be President, we need a Christian like Sarah Palin, or Newt Gingrich!

    That this is even remarkable is a testament to how stupid the Values voters are.. The way they self delude, they might as well be saying Hail Satan..

  • berttheclock on May 31, 2011 9:48 AM:

    er, "Politicians", bert

  • j on May 31, 2011 9:54 AM:

    With all of the southern states writing laws to stop sharia law in their states, I wonder if they will write laws protecting against polygamy if mittens is the candidate.

  • scott_m on May 31, 2011 9:57 AM:

    Maybe Romney was referring to George W. Bush's definition of a vampire:

    "A vampire is a--a cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone."

  • Daryl McCullough on May 31, 2011 10:02 AM:

    This is pretty trivial stuff to make a post about. Just my opinion.

  • Grumpy on May 31, 2011 10:05 AM:

    Forget what he's reading... what color was Romney's sweater? And what kind of cheese did he order for his cheesesteak?

  • Wowzers on May 31, 2011 10:13 AM:

    This is my favorite Romney clip it should get more air time so we all know who let the dog out.


  • Cool Bev on May 31, 2011 10:20 AM:

    I doubt he is being serious, although I'd have to hear him say it - even then, he might just have a wicked deadpan.

    Aren't the Twilight books authored by a Mormon? That might be the connection.

  • Ed on May 31, 2011 10:51 AM:

    There are real people who call themselves vampires. If he was talking about them, then his comment wasn't meant as a joke at all. It would be similar to saying, "I like the show modern family, but I don't like gays."

  • Nomintporidge on May 31, 2011 10:52 AM:

    The only dog-related thing about Romney that I always remember is the time he strapped his dog to the roof of his car for a 12 hour trip. I imagine a Romney presidency would be a lot like that.

  • emjayay on May 31, 2011 10:59 AM:

    Hadn't seen that clip, Steve. Yikes.

    Hilarious YouTube comment:

    "I think Mitt might be too black to be president..."

  • zeitgeist on May 31, 2011 11:19 AM:

    "I mean, I like Fox News. I thought it was fun,” Zeitgeist said. “I don’t like Romney personally, I don’t know him, but you know my weird uncle was watching it and I thought, ‘Well this looks like fun,’ so I watched that.”

  • matt w on May 31, 2011 11:27 AM:

    Eh, this seems like a total non-thing to me. And Cool Bev is right -- Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon, so these books probably won't get him in much more trouble with the Christian right than he already would be for being a Mormon.

  • Barry Bayer on May 31, 2011 11:29 AM:

    Rather fixating on the gears shifting in his head, why don't you concentrate on what Mitt sez. It is damning enought

  • Roddy McCorley on May 31, 2011 11:56 AM:

    I missed that part of the interview. I turned it off when Romney started talking about his iPad.

    BTW, Mitt knows LOTS of vampires. He's hoping to convince thousands of them to nominate him for president.

  • SaintZak on May 31, 2011 11:56 AM:

    Mitt's comment might not set well with vampires. I posted this link here once before. He's back to his Paul Ryan crush this week (he decoupaged a box with Ryan's pictures), but Mitt Romney might find himself in the vampire's blog next if he's not careful.


    Someone else could have said the same thing and it would have sounded like something fun and silly...harmless, but Romney is just ridiculous in everything he does. I doubt that he's stupid, but he sure comes across as dumb.

  • efgoldman on May 31, 2011 12:02 PM:

    As usual, the MSM forgot the natural follow-up question:

    "But do you like zombies? Do you know any?"

  • zeitgeist on May 31, 2011 12:05 PM:

    i actually think Mittens is lying.

    presumably he knows lots of Republicans (and may even like some) and they've been sucking the life blood out of this country since at least the 1980s.

  • jpeckjr on May 31, 2011 12:10 PM:

    At least he didn't try to pander to the vampire vote by saying: "I have many friends who are vampires and find them to be fine people. Some of my best friends are vampires."

    If meant to be funny, someone should tell Mr. Romney he is not funny and should give up trying to be.

    The CAPTCHA code for this is "forcibly ninlys." The poetry! The poetry!

  • Marc on May 31, 2011 12:44 PM:

    What is next? I like the Book of Job, but I don't like Satan?

  • Swift Loris on May 31, 2011 1:33 PM:

    @Slappy Magoo--There's no chance he *wasn't* talking tongue-in-cheek. I don't think one needs to see the video to be sure of that.

    It's entirely possible that "I don't like vampires personally," meaning he wasn't fond of the vampire fiction genre, didn't come out quite right; but "I don't know any" was clearly a bit of subtle mockery of the possible assumption that he had meant he didn't like "real" vampires personally.

    Steve, come on! Aren't there more than enough *genuine* objections to Romney that you should't have to make up ones that are patently ridiculous?

  • Andrew K. on May 31, 2011 2:35 PM:

    Steve, i think he was trying to make a joke. I appreciate keeping an eye on this empty suit, but this might be a story that did not warrant column inches.

  • Prairie Blue on May 31, 2011 3:16 PM:

    You may want to check out this link for more on the Twilight / Mormon connection:


  • Greg on May 31, 2011 4:50 PM:

    Wow. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned yet that Romney's "favorite" novel is the Scientologist crap-sterpiece Battlefield Earth :


  • toowearyforoutrage on June 01, 2011 1:57 PM:

    I like Ed's take.

    Even tongue in cheek...

    I don't like any . Granted, I don't know any .

    BTW, vampires can choose to eat regular food and I don't want them in the military. When you're in the foxhole, you don't want to be wondering whether your buddy is thinking about sucking on your neck.

    I'll be hearing from the Vampire anti-defamation league any minute now.

  • Silvia Marquis on January 01, 2012 5:57 PM:

    Mitt Romney says ‘I don’t like vampires personally’

    Mitt Romney does not like the competition, seriously!!!


    Mitt Romney could have logically been on Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential (VP) Short list in 2008 presidential run if Mitt Romney did not flip-flop from the views he held in MA. Mitt Romney is a chameleon and lacks a moral compass. Maybe Mitt Romney as a Moron :) I mean Mormon can support abortion. I honestly do not know enough about about the CULT of Mormonism to address the subject of Mitt Romney’s support of abortion. However as the founder of Bain Capital Mitt Romney was trying to make money NOT jobs. As such Mitt Romney was pocketed way in excess of 250+ million dollars that over a quarter of a billion dollars. By charging huge fees an leveraging the companies, another words a company goes out and borrow all it can to pay Bain Capital. Then Bain Capital goes public with these corpse companies to scam retirement funds and other stock investors. Bain Capital would cash in their stock knowing fully it is worthless. The company eventually implodes and goes bankrupt screwing all it’s creditors and all the workers out of a job! In summary Mitt Romney is a leech on the back of the working man and woman. A Vampire who feasts on the suffering of others. I do however profusely apologize to Leeches and Vampires and other Blood suckers in making a comparison with them to the likes of Mitt Romney. I think for the future Health of the Republican party a true conservative should take the long view and cast a
    protest vote for Barack Obama if Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee and standard bearer. With Barack Obama you know what you are getting and Barack Obama tries to implement what Barack Obama promises. With a Mitt Romney President you never know what you will get. Simply put make the Republican party responsive to the Christian right that it now takes for granted. A in mass protest vote by all those who oppose Mitt Romney should make the Republican party reluctant in the future to produce another scumbag like Mitt Romney as it’s presidential nominee.