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Raymond Arroyo interviews Mitt Romney.

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Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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Cardinal Dolan is shy about the Romney liaison but Romney has no qualms about boasting about his trophy Catholic bride.

I expect to see a Romney ad with Cardinal Dolan in it just as I saw one with Pope John Paul II after Romneys trip to Poland. Cardinal Dolan will soon discover that he will be used not only by the Romney team but also conservative groups that have participants with quite extreme views. (However, sometimes I wonder who is using whom.) The website for the 2012 Values Voters Summit, September 14-16 pictures him along with a whole cast of such people. is some doubt that Cardinal Dolan will attend the summit or that he was even invited, but his picture is on the website. I will let the Cardinals spokesman inform us with the details. Perhaps the Cardinal will have a very convenient trip to the Holy See that week.

Those were some hard-hitting questions, eh?

Two minutes in:Q: What will you do as president about that HHS mandate?Answer not given: "I will rescind it."

This is about as non-stressful a setting as Romney is likely to encounter on the campaign trail. Does he come across as likable? I have to say ... not so much. He's a suit. That's my impression.

Was "Fr" Robert Sirico acting as referee in the background? I'm sure Momma Angelica had the tea and cookies ready just off camera.

Oops, no tea. Caffeine - an artificial stimulant and verboten for the LDS. Kool aid, maybe?

"Cardnal Dolan will soon discover that he will be used not only by the Romney team but also conservative groups that have extreme views.."I have a difficult time seeing the faux regular guy Dolan as a naive player in the political game that he's engaged in here. The Cardinal knows exactly what he's doing. It's a mutual using.

Holloway:I think that you are right but there may be some side effects to his involvement with the Romney campaign that go much further than he intends or wants. For example, I do not think that he would be happy with the Value Voters Summit website picture. There is where I think he is being used. In today's NYT there is an article about the GOP invitation. It mentions the video, Test of Fire, which I had seen a few months ago. I was not aware that there is two versions of the video one for Catholics and one for Evangelicals. In the Catholic Version there is only one quote and that is by Cardinal Dolan; in the Evangelical version the only person quoted is Michael Farris, a founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. His name, quotes and picture are going to be used by all kinds of groups.

What to make of this, starting at 6:23?

ARROYO: This weekend the president accused you of choosing Paul Ryan to lower your own tax rate. He said, "Well, this is so Mitt Romney can lower his rate to an effective 1 percent rate." Your reaction?ROMNEY: That's a little silly....

It is silly, isn't it. In fact, it struck me as so ridiculous, the idea of President Obama saying such a thing, that I couldn't take Arroyo's word for it. And hey, guess what? It's completely false. Here's what Obama said, according to CBS News:

"The centerpiece of Governor Romney's entire economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to folks like me, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans," he said in Rochester, New Hampshire on Saturday. "His new running mate, Congressman Ryan, put forward a plan that would let Governor Romney pay less than 1 percent in taxes each year. That's a pretty good deal, just paying 1 percent in taxes. You're making millions of dollars."

I can understand why Arroyo and EWTN would want to avoid addressing the substance of that criticism or the details of Romney and Ryan's economic proposals. But why bring it up at all, in that case? It only calls attention to what they're not talking about -- namely, whether it's true that the Ryan plan would give someone as wealthy as Romney such a low tax rate (CBS News says "it seems to be"). And why make up something so nakedly petty and absurd? Is it so difficult to come up with enough softball questions to fill the allotted time that Arroyo is forced to start fabricating unflattering stories about Obama for Romney to respond to? Or is The World Over so far into propaganda territory that it no longer places any value at all on honesty or credibility?

P.S. Speaking of misquotes and Romney's skepticism about same, at the end of the interview (13:30), for some reason, Arroyo quotes a couple of sentences from Romney's 2008 speech to the Becket Fund, beginning with "I'm not an enormously religious person..." Romney squirms: "Did I say that exactly? That's an unusual thing coming from me, because I am a very religious person." This point goes to EWTN's researchers: yes, he did.

"His name, quotes and picture are going to be used by all kinds of groups."My mother told me, as I am sure yours did, that fool's names and fool's faces are always found in public places.

On no, Jim, it was the fifth grade nun in parochial school who said that about ME when she saw the name tag that my father had for Kof C meetings, which I had put on my uniform ("HELLO, My name is......."). You have succeeded in reminding me of a long forgotten humiliation by that Little Sister of No Mercy.

This is interesting. I heard the same interview on radio Saturday morning and thought it was a good interview. I did not however, spend time imagining Mother Angelica serving up tea and cookies. While Raymond Arroyos politics are obvious enough (he does not try to hide them), I thought the questions were reasonable; polite and direct.

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