Human Events Blog

Mitt Romney and the widow Horton

ABC News relates the story of Jane Horton, whose husband Chris was a combat sniper from the Oklahoma National Guard, killed in an ambush while deployed to Afghanistan in September 2011.

Mitt Romney has been talking about the death of Chris Horton during campaign speeches, particularly Jane Horton’s response when the degenerates from the Westboro Baptist Church turned up to protest his funeral: “Chris died for them to be able to protest.”

“This is quite a nation we live in,” Romney observes on the stump.  “There are some extraordinary people.”

The Hortons worked briefly for Romney’s 2008 campaign, and Jane has “worked here and there for his bid this time around.”  During one of their last conversations before Chris’ death, Jane asked if she could send him anything to help out, and he replied, “I need a new president.”

Romney tracked Jane down after Chris’ death and wrote her a handwritten letter of condolence, which stunned her.  Jane sent him back the name tape from Chris’ uniform, and received another handwritten letter of thanks.  She got to meet Romney in person right after he accepted the Republican nomination for president, and gave him a bracelet with Chris Horton’s name and date of death.  She has noted that Romney frequently wears the bracelet next to his watch.

Jane said she is deeply honored that Romney is talking about her husband in front of huge audiences:

Horton said that she is aware of the criticism of Romney that he’s not “real” enough.

“[People] will say he’s not a person, he’s a robot, he doesn’t have feelings, he just has money, but that’s just ridiculous,” she said.

Horton said she doesn’t want people to think Romney is “exploiting” her story — she does not think that’s what he’s doing.

“It’s the greatest honor of my life because I feel like I’ve accomplished what my husband would have wanted, he’d want his spirit to live on in me and I feel like that’s happening right now,” she said.

The relationship between Romney and Jane Horton is another of the countless acts of personal kindness throughout his life that he seems reluctant to discuss.  There were some amazing testimonials from people he’s helped at the Republican convention, but that was the first time America heard most of those stories.  Romney knows full well that Democrats caricature him as a greedy, unfeeling plutocratbot.  It would have been politically helpful to relate accounts of his charity and kindness up earlier, or use surrogates to push them into the media.  But he doesn’t, because he did not do these things to earn applause.

Incidentally, according to the Military Times, Chris Horton’s eulogy was delivered by Senator James Inhofe.  A portion of a highway in Oklahoma has been renamed in Horton’s honor.  Hope Hodge of HUMAN EVENTS profiled Jane Horton’s work on behalf of Gold Star families in August 2012.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Barack Obama wants you to know, “There’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane.”

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