In case you didn't watch President Obama and Mitt Romney go at it on “60 Minutes,” we were watching and caught all the action. Here's what happened, from a civil liberties perspective, of course.
Romney started off saying
that he wants to "keep government as a...facilitator of freedom in America. But don't have government take away the rights and the freedoms of the American people."
That's great rhetoric, but as we know, he supports denying marriage rights to same-sex couples, would prohibit access to reproductive health services for women and opposes the humane treatment of immigrants.
He then took on Obama over his changing "view on a whole host of things. He was going to close Guantanamo. It's open. Military tribunals were going to be ended. Now military...tribunals continue." Both good points. We should point out, however, that we're more interested in actually protecting detainee rights and due process rather than political jabs.
Romney tried to ding Obama for changing his position to support same-sex marriage. In fairness to the president, most Americans are evolving toward a place in favor of freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The president's views are, in fact, emblematic of the changing hearts and minds of people across the country. We wish Romney would join him.
After discussing tax rates, the economy and foreign policy, Romney said, "I want to make it very clear. I want to help a hundred percent of the American people." Well, the Constitution is for the 100
%! But based on Romney's record, it seems like he hasn't been very concerned about ensuring our civil liberties.
Most of Obama’s interview was also focused on the economy and jobs numbers, but he also touched on national security. He said
, “When it comes to our national security decisions, any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people.” Speaking about what’s right for the American people; see Romney’s comment above about Guantanamo and military tribunals. It's time to keep your promise and shut Guantanamo down.