"Romney Embraces Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories During Ohio Town Hall"
Mitt Romney has singled out the Drudge Report as one of his favorite websites. But the candidate’s public embrace of the right-wing publication is more than an effort to win over conservative readers: Romney actually believes in some of the debunked conspiracy theories extremist groups peddle.
During a town hall in Ohio on Wednesday, Romney responded to question about the United Nations by declaring that the international body will undermine Americans’ Second Amendment rights and dictate how families should raise their children:
ROMNEY: Turning to the United Nations to tell us how to raise our kids, or whether we can have the Second Amendment rights that our Constitution gave us, I mean, that is the wrong way to go, right? Do not cede sovereignty. I’m happy to talk there. I’m not willing to give American sovereignty in any way, shape or form to the United Nations or any other body. We are a free nation. We fought for freedom and independence. We are going to keep freedom and independence.
The “guns” reference concerns Arms Trade Treaty, a U.N. initiative to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of terrorists and genocidaires. Both Drudge and the NRA have insisted that it poses a threat to American gun ownership. However, as ThinkProgress has documented, the treaty can’t and won’t: there are no provisions being negotiated in the treaty that affect domestic gun ownership, the State Department has publicly committed to rejecting any treaty that does, and Constitutional protections for gun ownership would trump a U.N. treaty according the Supreme Court even if a treaty infringing on the Second Amendment somehow made it through Congress.
Romney’s “Telling us how raise our kids” conspiracy refers to the notion peddled by pundit Dick Morris. He claims that the U.N. is coming for our children through the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty expressing standards for the acceptable treatment of children that every country — except Somalia and the United States — has ratified. The Convention “can only be implemented through domestic legislation enacted by Congress or state legislatures, in a manner and time-frame determined by our own legislative process.” Thus, the U.N. can’t force the United States to pass laws interpreting Treaty provisions in any particular fashion and “contains no controlling language or mandates” for the signatory nations.