The blog title is true – at least by Mitt Romney’s standards.
Also like many of Mitt’s statements over the past several years, the blog title is missing one key piece of information – the date of the accident.
To put all of Mitt Romney’s supporters at ease, the accident I am referring to occurred in 1968 in France.
Here is a photo of the two autos.
Last night I was surfing the ‘net and I came across a video of Ann Romney when she was a guest on “The View.”
I missed that episode of “The View” and I forgot to record it. In a way, I am glad I missed it because while watching Ann Romney last night on the short YouTube clip talking about Mitt while he was a teenager in France, something did not sit right with me and I decided to do a little searching myself.
Mitt is two years older than Ann and after he graduated from high school, he went to Stanford for a short while before going to France as a missionary.
While at Stanford, Mitt Romney was exempt from the draft, holding an 2-S student deferment that was given to most undergraduates at the time. He kept it one year and then left Stanford early to serve for 30 months as a missionary in France.
While in France, from 1966 to 1968, Mitt held another draft exemption as a missionary. Many critics complained that missionary exemptions benefitted young Mormon men disproportionately.
As you will see yourself in the below video, Ann said that even though she and Mitt were in love, she dated others while he was in France.
While on “The View”, Ann joked about Mitt missing her while he was in France – especially after she told him she was dating others during his absence. She then said that her dating hurt Mitt a lot and quoting Ann, “it nearly put him… I think it actually put him in the hospital when he was in France.”
At that point, Elizabeth laughs and so does most of the audience. What Elizabeth and the audience did not know, however, is that Mitt did end up in the hospital – but not because he was heart broken.
Mitt ended up in the hospital because he was in a serious car accident in which the car he was driving end up in a collision with another car. Leola Anderson, the wife of Mitt’s superior at the Paris mission of the Mormon Church was killed in the accident.
The operator of the other car was erroneously identified as Catholic Priest, “Albert Marie”, 46 years old. He was also accused as being drunk at the time. In addition, recent references say that “Albert Marie” died in 2007, which has been proven to be untrue.
In actuality, the driver of the other car was Bishop Jean Vilnet and his full name is Bishop Jean-Félix-Albert-Marie Vilnet. At the time of the accident, Bishop Vilnet was driving two women home from church – so it is highly unlikely that the Bishop was drunk – a claim made by Mitt Romney – a claim never charged by police.
The possible reason for referring to the other driver as Albert Marie and to also say that he was dead, was to discourage anyone from further researching the accident. This was a smart move by the Romney machine – whether it was dreamed up by his father, Presidental Candidate George Romney, or the Mormon Church – someone deserves credit for their creativeness.
There was also a rumor that Bishop Vilnet was traveling at a speed of 120 k, which is roughly 74.5 mph. In fact, Bishop Vilnet was negotiating a turn from one road to the other and could not have been driving at that rate of speed. If Bishop Vilnet was driving at the rumored rate of speed, everyone in the car Mitt Romney was driving would have been killed.
The police have stated that the accident happened with both vehicles driving at a much lower speed and that is why only one person was killed.
It is not known which driver was more at fault, but that is not the issue here. Almost immediately, Romney and his passengers and the Mormon Church starting spinning accusations that Bishop Vilnet was drunk and driving at a high rate of speed.
Mitt Romney has stated on other occasions that Bishop Vilnet had been given a citation as being the cause of the accident. Romney also has said that he was in a coma for several days but some reports state that Romney ended up with fractured ribs, a concussion and a broken arm.
The police officer at the scene initially thought that Romney was dead because he was passed out.
After reading numerous web articles, I am of the opinion that Bishop Vilnet MIGHT have veered from his own lane while negotiating the turn from one road to another. On the other hand, some say that Mitt Romney was unfamiliar with French lane markings and appeared to be in the wrong lane at the intersection – contributing to the cause of the accident and putting both drivers at some degree of fault.
The issue, again, is not to determine which driver was more at fault, the issue is the extreme effort that Mitt Romney and his influential father and the Mormon Church went to paint Bishop Vilnet as a drunken 46 year old priest who was driving wrecklessly.
I am aware that “Albert Marie” is part of the full religious name of Bishop Vilnet and I am sure Mitt Romney was aware of his full name as well, otherwise, they would have never been able to use the shorter “Albert Marie.” The well-planned effort to not refer to him as a Bishop made the accusations more plausible.
I believe it was this accident where Mitt Romney “cut his teeth” with lying and from that point on he got better and better at it.
Keep in mind that during the time surrounding the accident and Mitt’s recovery, Mitt’s father, George Romney was running for President.
So, let’s get back to Ann Romney on “The View.”
The meaningful part of Ann Romney’s interview starts around 1:15 in the video below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO-aPfUtyy0. click to watch.
The next video is from the David Packman Show and it goes more into the accident itself. Warning, it is a little politically slanted, still, it contains a lot of good information about the accident and is well worth viewing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_2LPG6tJz4. Click to view video.
What bothers me with her appearance is that Ann Romney related to her then boyfriend’s hospitalization as being broken hearted after Ann’s admission that she was dating others.
Ann Romney obviously thought she was being cute on “The View.” She was trying to make Mitt come across as human – almost like a regular guy.
In all actuality, the hospital visit had nothing to do with a broken heart – it had to do with a broken arm, a concussion, and fractured ribs AND more importantly, a serious car accident in which a woman died – none of which warranted chuckles and laughter from Ann Romney.
I find it disappointing that the wife of a Presidential candidate would find humor regarding an accident in France where someone died tragically. Her attempt at humor was at best inappropriate and tasteless and I expect more from the wife of someone running for President of the United States.
On this same note, there appears to be another lie coming out of the Romney household. Bloomberg has several articles that state that when Mitt left Stanford to go to Paris as a Mormon Missionary that Mitt and Ann were unofficially engaged. If that is the case, why is Ann laughing and giggling about dating different guys while Mitt was in France? If I was in France and I was unofficially engaged to someone back in the states and she was telling me about how she was dating different men, I would have become un-engaged pretty quick.
It is obvious that Ann was trying to make Mitt look like a regular guy, but, more than that, I believe Ann intentionally lied about the hospital visit to avoid discussion of the accident. Why did she do that?
Was the accident in France Mitt Romney’s Chappaquiddick?