WPost take on Romney doctrine


The Divine Ms. M.Z. Hemingway is on the road right now, but I can still pass along this item from one of her emails to the GetReligionistas circle. It concerns a rather strange headline about Mitt Romney, America, God and world domination. You see, there is this ordinary Associated Press report out there today about a Romney speech in Charleston, S.C. The headline that most news organizations are putting on this speech from yet another campaign trail stop goes something like this: "God wants US to lead, not follow."

The story is so short that it's easy just to led readers see the whole thing (or close to it).

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for an “American century” led by a stronger military and a willingness to go it alone in world affairs when necessary.

The former Massachusetts governor also rejects isolationist policies supported by some tea party members. ...

In prepared remarks, he says America shouldn’t crawl into “an isolationist shell” or wave the white flag of surrender. He says God did not create America to be a nation of followers. And if the U.S. doesn’t lead, Romney says, another country will.

While heavy on rhetoric, Romney doesn’t outline a plan for the war in Afghanistan. He says he would order a full review in his first 100 days in office.

Notice that the crucial language is in a paraphrase -- not direct -- quote. I've tried to find the full text, but it appears that the Romney campaign circulates texts to reporters, but does not post them. Bummer.

Still, here is the key Associated Press paraphrase again: "God did not create America to be a nation of followers. And if the U.S. doesn’t lead ... another country will."

Now, here is the question for today. How, precisely, does a Washington Post copy editor get from that paraphrase to this headline?

In foreign policy speech, Romney says God supports American dominance in world affairs

Uh, I am not sure I follow that.

GetReligion readers, can you figure that out? If you don't like the safe headline most newsrooms are using, based on the AP language, do you think the Post take is fair game?

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