(CNSNews.com) - When Mitt Romney first entered the political scene in 1994, running for the U.S. Senate against Teddy Kennedy, he told an LGBT-focused publication in Massachusetts that he would be a more effective advocate for the interests of the “gay community” than Kennedy had been and that gays should support him because “the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party.”
“Why should the gay community support your campaign when Ted Kennedy has been a strong supporter of civil rights issues and the gay community?” asked a reporter from Bay Windows.
“Well, I think you're partially right in characterizing Ted Kennedy as supportive of the gay community, and I respect the work and the efforts he's made on behalf of the gay community and for civil rights more generally, and I would continue that fight,” Romney said in an interview currently posted on the Bay Windows website.
“There's something to be said for having a Republican who supports civil rights in this broader context, including sexual orientation,” said Romney. “When Ted Kennedy speaks on gay rights, he's seen as an extremist. When Mitt Romney speaks on gay rights, he's seen as a centrist and a moderate. It's a little like if Eugene McCarthy was arguing in favor of recognizing China, people would have called him a nut. But when Richard Nixon does it, it becomes reasonable. When Ted says it, it's extreme; when I say it, it's mainstream.
“I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party,” said Romney, “and I would be a voice in the Republican party to foster anti-discrimination efforts.”