Romney Continues Video Game Theme in Iowa; Negative Reactions Elsewhere

July 23, 2007 -
Terrorists, Internet pedophiles and violent video games.

Those were the issues Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney spoke about during a Friday campaign swing through Iowa. As reported by the Gazette Online, the candidate repeated his "our kids are swimming in filth" message as he pressed the flesh at Cronk's Cafe in Denison:
It's time to clean up the water in which our kids are swimming. I've proposed that we enforce our obscenity laws again and that we get serious against those retailers that sell adult video games that are filled with violence, that we go after those retailers.

Meanwhile, Romney's video game stance has alienated some observers on both ends of the political spectrum. Last week the conservative Free Republic site picked up on GamePolitics' recent Romney coverage. The Freep's reader comments to Romney's position were uniformly negative:
- Whatever happened to Republicans who wanted to get government off the backs of the people?  For all of you who thought his nanny tendencies would stop with his "Health Insurance for everyone!" thing here in Massachusetts.

- Save us from the video games!!!!! This idiocy just dropped him 50 points in my book. Having seen this, I’m not sure I would vote for such a bozo, even if they are the nominee.

- I agree I`ve been a Romney supporter but I don`t want big brother on the internet and in video games. When he stuck with reforming the government to kill duplication and over bureaucracy, and some reforms to help the economy, and increasing the size of the military I was with him.

Meanwhile, Chris Kelly, who blogs for the liberal-leaning Huffington Post, writes:
I think the solution to kids playing violent video games is for their parents not to give them the fifty bucks to buy one. But that's just me. But let's say you were a "values voter." Here's the problem with [Romney's] Oceans Ad:

The Peggy Noonan column [Romney is] quoting ran in the Wall Street Journal after the Columbine shootings, and it ends with a bitchy and out-of-left-field shot at [Hillary Clinton]...

Meow! I guess, when you think about it, Hillary Clinton really was responsible for the Columbine killings. I mean, in that she didn't personally prevent Rockstar games from distributing Grand Theft Auto. This never would have happened if Mitt Romney was First Lady.

Here's the problem, and why Mitt Romney probably doesn't want to run against Hillary Clinton on who's tougher on Halo: ...on November 29th, 2005, Hillary Clinton - and Joe Lieberman - introduced The Family Entertainment Protection Act to prohibit the sale of inappropriate games to minors. You can look it up, if you're not too indolent.

You might think it's a moronic non-issue, but it's Hillary's issue. The Super Mario Brothers = Moral Swamp thing? She owns it.

Mitt Romney has spent almost five million dollars, and he just produced an ad for Hillary Clinton.

And, of course, conservative presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) doesn't think much of Romney's ad, either.


@ Caps Lock Thompson

Care to elaborate? There was very little to go on in that story besides "He said she said."

What was the guys relationship to the nurse? Have they proved that Manhunt made him do it or is all speculating?

I am against kids being able to buy M rated games, but I do not think that legislation is the key. I think that well educated parents are the best defence in this situation. The most damning thing in that article is the quote of the school attendance officer, "I knew he was playing the video games but we didn't really know what went on in them, how brutal and graphic they were."

I doubt the mother's knowledge of the game was any different.

If these parents cannot be bothered about researching a game, what makes you think that a new law will solve the problem?

When Romney calls out to the crowd "Do ya feel my Mormon Thunder?" he is met with a resounding "no!"

Mormonism is by far one of the cruelest and most oppressive mainstream "religions" I have ever come across, especially toward women. I think it's really no surprise that Romney campaigns like he wants to turn the United States into a G-rated Mormon fantasy camp. At least there's no chance in hell hes getting a nomination, since any Mormon candidate would be met with a Reaganesque 'ass whomping' for exactly that reason.


During my retail years I seldom enforced the 'M rated' policy. Since my company did nothing to curb the sale of R-rated movies, I felt there was no reason (aside from political dick waving) that an M-rated policy should exist. Simply put, our technology is still kinda primitive, and our games still look like a bunch of goofy cartoons. Nothing really stacks up to a Japanese sado-flick, and any kid with 15 bucks can get his hands on one of those.
Takashi Miike should really break in to video games and give pious American parents something to really bitch about.

"Also you have to consider the possibility that the kid lied about the content in the game, or deceived them"

When I worked at Toys'R'Us this happened all the time. It was about the time GTA:Vice City came out. The vast majority of the time someone was buying the game ( about 90%) they were an adult. Everytime somone, regardless of age, was buying an M rated game our managers had us explain the content label and what was in the game. Almost everytime the parents jaw would hit the floor and say "I had no idea. Little Timmy just said this was the game he wanted. Well he's not getting this one."

It's a lie of omission (spelled correctly?). I've seen enough instances of this to convince me that if underage kids are getting ahold of these games the parents are buying them. Just last month I got carded buying MK:Shaolin Monks. I'm 24. The guy ringing me up even told me "I know you're over 17, but if we don't card everyone buying an M title now we could get fired."

Seems to me some people, as far as the video game (non)issue is concerened, are trying to build mountains out of molehills.

Well, look who is right again about the dangers of these games!

Mitt Romney is connecting with voters - not video game geeks who don't or can't vote - and it drives the minions here crazy. As I was saying, I'm right again, unfortunately:

romney is just letting everyone out there no why he shouldnt be elected

the first amendment is not absolute, this site doesnt work for the industry as has been pointed out

@jccalhoun graduate student

Hmm... I dissagree with most of what JT says, and I definately dont agree with his methods.

Am I a Thug?
No, I have never been violent against anyone unless I was attacked physicaly first. In fact, it is against my creed to be violent unless I have to protect myself. I have never been in court for any reason exept for jury duity. Sorry.

Am I a child?
Nope, I am 22 years old. I also don't act like a child. All my arguements are always thought out and open to disscussion. I also, like an adult, refuse to debate someone who resorts to childish actions in order to "win", which is why I have never contacted Jack Thompson.

Am I "On the take"?
By this, I am sure you mean I am being paid by the gaming industry. I have only one answer to that. I wish. The industry is more succsessful than the movie industry, and I would like some of that. It is unfortueate that I am considered so insignificant that I am not worth industry money. In fact, I pay them, with every game I buy and every system I buy.

I find that everyone here is the same as me. We are all adults who want to play games made for us. There is not a single person here that wants to sell M rated games to children. But legislation is not the way to do it. It will never be the way to do it. To legislate censorship is to be anti-American. It is the stuff of oppression. Otherwise we would be just like Saudi Arabia. Once you take a step down the slippery slope, you will never regain your footing until it is too late.

Romney is a sleazy politician who would claim to support any position that he thought might win him a few votes (even more so than most other politicians.)

That being said, using the headline "Romney Continues Video Game Theme in Iowa; Negative Reactions Elsewhere" is misleading. You can't look at a few web postings and claim to be objectively reporting a news story by tossing that into your headline.

It's the kind of reporting you'd expect from Fox News. Let's not lower ourselves to their standards.

"Whatever happened to Republicans who wanted to get government off the backs of the people?"

I've never understood how one can be "strong on morality" but "not wanting to interfere in the personal lives of people"... Unless they just glare at you from a distance...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@jccalhoun graduate student

Here's Jack's thoughts on said issues

Florida Bar: looneys
Alabama legal system: biased
David Walsh: I still love him even though he disowned me!
First Amendment: What?

I love it how everyone that disagrees with Jacko is not only wrong but are thugs, children, or on the take.

Free Republic: libertarian thugs
Gamepolitics: industry shills

What about the Florida Bar?
What about the Alabama legal system?
What about David Walsh?
What about the First Amendment?


How much more conservative can you get than Dr. Paul? He pretty much wants to dismantle the Federal government. :p

Sadly, he doesn't have much of a chance, but, still..

Wait, is that the real JT? Did he find a way past the ban of his IP? Dennis? What is going on? Please tell me he is not back. I don't want to go back to the good old days where Jack Trollompson flung poo like a monkey!

Oh, and Romney is an Idiot. No one likes him. He got beat up in school be the tard class. (The Nerds were too cool to beat up on him since close proximity made your cool factor less)

@Tye the Czar're right...i guess the only other option is for parents to watch what their kids do....
haha, yea right, why should parents do their jobs? thats ludicrious

I would kind of agree with you, chadachada, if it wouldn't violate the 1st Amendment. But the reality is that we can't. If we did, it would allow more and more censorship to follow in because it was possible for that law to get in. And we're all better off not being partisan.


reminds me of a quote from some communist leader I forget who

"He who casts the votes decides nothing, he who counts the votes decides everything"

@father time

thats why need a voter verifiable, massive paper trail generating open and visible voting system.


oh and you forgot option #3, they buy/borrow the game from an older friend who has it (maybe one who's parents think he is mature enough to handle them).

Well written and it's true, REAL conservatives have yet to be found in the presidential race.

Less Government = Good


hold on a second, just because they buy M rated games for people under 17 doesn't make them bad parents. What if they think their kids can handle it? I'm pretty sure they know their own kid better than the esrb (which has to say what is appropriate for probably millions of kids), also I'm pretty sure most kids older than 13 can probably handle the violence in most M games. Also you have to consider the possibility that the kid lied about the content in the game, or deceived them (turn on mortal kombat, turn off blood, don't perform a fatality or one of those enviromental kills and I bet it'll look pretty tame). Sure none of this gives them the right to complain about the content afterwords but that still doesn't mean they fail as parents (besides as we have pointed out numerous times exposure to violent games will probably not turn their children into violent people, after all it's not hard to tell the difference between reality and video games).

hey hey hey, the ones that are bashing Republicans, could we please try and shy away from Left-vs-Right, or Republican-vs-Democrat? I consider myself Republican, but that doesn't mean certain Democrats aren't just as good or better. But Mitt Romney is an idiot, my own dad thinks so.

Vote Ron Paul!!

as for gaming, I think it should be slightly illegal (like a small fine) to sell M or R rated entertainment to kids underage. That's it. If the parents want to get it for their kids, go ahead, it's not my business

@ mottom22

I've pretty much been assuming that he's been making it up the whole time. It fits with what he does on a daily basis.

I've also read a few reports that seemed damning by the conclusion. Then, I looked at the data and couldn't understand how an unbiased researcher could come to the conclusion they came to. It was like they disregarded their own work.


He is probably qouting articles by experts but taking them out of context. which is probably why he doesn't name them. So someone else won't read what he did and say... "ummm, that isn't what he meant at all. sir I do believe you are lying". it's a double edged sword though. If he names them, people find out he is full of BS (more than they already do), if he doesn't name them then no one can really take any of his words seriously because he could just be making it up for all they know.

So essentially he doesn't name them because he believes that everyone should believe him just because he is a "good christian"... riiiggghhht.

Jack focuses his attentions on a single report, that report is by someone who is currently working alongside the NIMF, who are, quite obviously, against the current gaming regulation enforcement. That, by Thompson's OWN definition, means that he is relying almost solely on information from a 'Stooge'.

Basically, it's a case of glass houses and stones.

I so hate this "Protect our Children" drivel. Anyone that uses this phrase loses integrity in my book. You wanna protect kids? BE A PARENT!!! Last I checked, a new game costs 50 or 60 dollars. A Greatest hit is $20. Last I checked, consoles are going for 200 to 600 dollars. A cheap PC maybe 250 dollars (but then it would probably run new games like crap). There are only two ways I can see a child getting these games.

1) The parent buys them for the child.

If you buy your kid a game, and then, complain about the content, you've failed as a parent. You have lost all rights to complain. Someone should call Social Services on you, as you obviously don't care for your child, nor do you research the materials you give your child. This constitutes child endangerment. Considering the alternatives, this sounds reasonable.

2) The kid is stealing the game and/or system.

If this is how your child acquires the $500+ materials needed to play the "objectable" content, you have far bigger problems. Like how did 10 year old Johnny manage to get to the store, steal all the games, and get them in without your knowledge.

The way I see it, the government has bigger fish to fry. War, economics, corruption, poverty, Social Security... any of these subjects ringing the bell?

@ Law of the Game

I read your article and enjoyed it. Well written. It expressed my feelings perfectly.

@ GoodRobotUs

Jack does have experts that agree with him! Their names are.... um... wait a minute... uh... I know this.. its on the tip of my tongue...

Wait. Has Jack ever named his "experts"? Ever? I hear him refer to them, but never name them. I would think that he would give credit to them at some point. Like in the letter he wrote to Judge Friedman after the Bully case, he refers to them, but that's it. Anyone else notice this?

Jack, I really think libertarians could use an awesome nickname in the style of pixelantes.

I'm sorta stuck, here are my ideas


I'm not any good at making up names to call people, any feedback you could give me would rock, actually do you have anything original you could suggest?

And they expect us to elect, and take seriously, a guy that believes Jesus reappeared in Kansas in the 1800's? Maybe they do. We already elected one that believes in the so-called rapture and is doing his 'darnedest' to get us to doomsday sooner than later. I blame all of the non-voters. For being supposedly the most powerful democracy on the planet, we are among the worst for voter turnout. That is assuming, our votes in fact really do count, now with Diebold's insecure non-accountable voter machines all over the place.

Oi! Ders trolls in da pantry!

Jack, your comments are no less prejudiced or agenda-based than those on that site, the only difference is, they, at least, produce evidence for their accusations, you provide none, because there is none, because your accusations have already been revealed as lies.

Jack, do you think perhaps you would be more at home in a more oppressive government? Seriously, if you think freedom hindering censorcrats like Romeny have a badge of any kind of honor, well then frankly I think the freedoms granted to us by our forefathers are lost upon you.

I wrote a short editorial on the topic as well. It's at:

Seeing as how I consider myself Libertarian Jack, I'll wear that epithet like a badge of pride. I'm also a Pagan and a fornicator as well as a gamer. So feel free to hate me all you like. The feeling is mutual.

WHOO! It's good to see Republicans and Democrats agreeing on something for once. Clearly, it is unanimous:

Romney is an IDIOT! :D

Peace through one man's stupidity? I like it!


@ Jacko:
Oh, Jack, you're so funny, oy. You actually think that insulting is going to get you somewhere other than a brief state of self-superiority. Also, in the eyes of intelligent people, your rants just make you look like a child when you lose in an argument. Face it, oy. You are a proven massacre chaser. And you are the most entertaining person to disprove. :) Don't judge lest ye not be judged, you Saggices/Pharrises, oy. ;)

PS:You've already lost the battle and the war, oy.

[...] YouTube Link to Article video games Romney Continues Video Game Theme in Iowa; Negative Reactions Elsewhere » Posted at on Monday, July 23, 2007 Romney Continues Video Game Theme in Iowa; Negative Reactions Elsewhere July 23rd, 2007 Terrorists, Internet pedophiles and violent video games ... again and that we get serious against those retailers that sell adult video games that are filled ... Insurance for everyone!” thing here in Massachusetts. - Save us from the video games!!!!! This idiocy View Entire Article » [...]

@Creamy Goodness

Halo and Halo 2 have blood, Call of Duty does not. Hence the M for one and the Teen rating for the other It's all so arbitrary it's ridiculous. God i wish the OFRB in Ontario would rate video games rather then just using the ESRB. Many M rated games would probably get a 14A rating up here just like many movies rated R in the U.S. do. I find the U.S. rating systems way to harsh.


Yes i know, but i have a hard time imagining that happening, it seems like the least realistic outcome of scapegoating video games, I know some people want the end result to be this way, but that doesn't mean it'll happen.

I've just been through the huffington post comments (the other one didn't have many), and my god, they bash romney to hell and back, and not just for this, it's really brutal. They reminded me of why I swore not to vote republican (although I may change this if certain people get the nomination). Ok so romney no longer gets my vote, let's see who else we have.

Romney, like many other in his party, does not understand that they are the "small government" or "laissez-faire" party. Guess what? The free market is handling itself fine here, another Republican value upheld!


They haven't been able to pass a constitutional law banning M

Libertarian thugs? I must admit I've never heard that expression before.

Darnit it psoted before i was done typing anyway what i was going to say was they couldn't pass a constitutional banning M games to children what makes you think they will be able to ban M games altogether?

@ Father Time
I think he's explaining what it might be like

I found it interesting that, Halo, a completely fictional universe where you kill brightly colored dwarf aliens gets an M rating and Call of Duty, which features real people that actually lived and died here on earth in a major war that affected almost everyone across the globe, gets a T rating. So killing aliens isnt ok for teens but killing germans is?

I walk around the house all night long, evading ghosts at every turn, while eating dots like a madman. Sometimes one of those dots is laced with alcohol and it makes me think I've got the ghosts on the run, and then I eat the ghosts. After I eat all the dots, the world around me flashes white, and I do it all over again.

Puh-lease! If video games had that kind of influence, I'd have already tried to raid the Death Star. Or knock someone off of a bridge into a pit filled with spikes just waiting to impale him\her. But, alas, I don't, because I was taught upon getting my first NES that Video Games were not real, and shouldn't be recreated in real life.

I picked up Grand Theft Auto 3 when I was... I think I was 17 years old. Just barely of age to get the game. Why? Because back then the government was contemplating banning the GTA series as a whole. And now it's just bias against Rockstar because they made a "Columbine simulator".

The future of Video Games in America looks more and more grim every day. MGS4 won't come out because guess what? The government would place a ban on all M-rated games and Kojima would have to put smiley faces all over the place to get it in America. Let's not forget removing the blood, changing the weapons to completely fictional ones, and renaming all of the cities to fictional cities as well as removing all instances of "America" or any other third-world country because of a "Potential Terror Threat".

Why go after the easy issue...makes no bloody sense to me.
Is he just dodging issues like gay marriage and the war?

@ Jack Thompson

Don't you have a hearse to chase to a funeral home somewhere?

Libertarians actually understand conservatism, unlike idiots like Mitt Romney, whose "opposition" to "violent" video games is nothing more than a desperate attempt to both gain ground on Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, and steal thunder from former Sen. Fred Thompson's potential candidacy.

[...] Wesley Clark Link to Article mitt romney Romney Continues Video Game Theme in Iowa; Negative Reactions Elsewhere » Posted at on Monday, July 23, 2007 Romney Continues Video Game Theme in Iowa; Negative Reactions Elsewhere July 23rd, 2007 Terrorists, Internet pedophiles and violent video games. Those were the issues Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney spoke about during a Friday ... with violence, that we go after those retailers. Meanwhile, Romney’s video game stance has alienated View Entire Article » [...]

"Hillary Clinton really was responsible for the Columbine killings. I mean, in that she didn’t personally prevent Rockstar games from distributing Grand Theft Auto."

Not to mention that GTA was in no way at all related to the Columbine killings, Doom was. And even then, I don't think it would've matter since the killers were psycho/sociopaths.

Quoting freepers at Free Republic as if they were authorities on what to do about video games? Free Republic is a site littered with and dominated by libertarian thugs. Their opposition to Romney on this issue is a badge of honor for him. Jack Thompson

From mulitble forms of media he sure is focusing more and more on Video Games in general...good thing his "protect the childern" BS is not quite working.
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