Romney Doesn’t Defend Chick-fil-A

Sunday, 05 Aug 2012 06:12 AM

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Even as Chick-fil-A sets sales records thanks to supporters of traditional marriage flooding into stores to support its Christian values, one conservative politican is having nothing to do with the controversy.

And he's the one running for president.

On Friday, Mitt Romney told reporters he wasn't going to talk about the controversy that has captivated the country, prompting many notable conservatives to take a stand on the restaurant chain's commitment to traditional marriage and conservative values.

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During a news conference in Las Vegas, Romney wouldn't weigh in on either the fight over comments by the president of the fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A over gay marriage or an effort spearheaded by Michele Bachmann calling for an investigation into Huma Abedin and alleged Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the federal government, Politico reported.

"Those are not things that are part of my campaign," Romney said.

He also wouldn't say whether he thinks members of his party talking about those issues are a distraction, Politico added.

"I'm not going to tell other people what to talk about," Romney said.

Story continues below video.





Chick-fil-A has set a one-day sales record amid an ongoing controversy over a company executive's public stance against same-sex marriage.

The Atlanta-based company confirmed in a statement earlier this week that the sales record was broken Wednesday for "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" after it was declared by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister and Fox News talk-show host.

Chick-fil-A vice president Steve Robinson says the company won't release sales figures for Wednesday, when customers lined up outside restaurants and the Rev. Billy Graham, the 93-year-old evangelist, dined on a Chick-fil-A lunch.

Restaurant chain president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family." Gay rights activists and others answered with calls for boycotts. They held a national "Kiss In" at Chick-fil-A restaurants on Friday to protest the owners' position.

Former Romney rival Rick Santorum and celebrity Republicans like Sarah Palin brought cameras with them as they dined on fast food.

An adviser later told Politico that Romney "authentically loves" the fast-food chain but doesn't need a distraction from his economic message.

Romney has consitently tried to avoid in-depth discussions on many social issues. Since the president announced his support for the practice in May, his criticism was muted.

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That's a mistake, Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told Politico. He argued that Romney has ground to gain not just with the social conservative base from jumping into the fray.

"The vast majority of the American people, even those who might not agree with Dan Cathy's personal views, think that it was incorrect for Rahm Emanuel and the mayor of Boston to suggest that they wouldn't be allowed to get a permit in their city," Reed said, adding, "I think anybody running for office in either party right now would benefit" from a trip to a Chick-fil-A franchise.

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