Smithfield man compiles Romney book

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

In the midst of national convention season — Republicans last week in Tampa and Democrats this week in Charlotte — the art of politics is in full swing.

Truth is often a casualty.

Depending on the messenger, President Obama is either plotting to replace America’s proud system of private enterprise with government handouts, or striving to rebuild a middle class shattered by eight years of President Bush.


Email newsletter signup

Mitt Romney either wants to outsource as many jobs as possible to China and float the federal government on the stock exchange, or draw on his vast experience as a CEO and governor to kick-start the sputtering economy.

A Smithfield native has published a book attempting to cut through the murky waters — at least on the conservative side.

Smithfield High alumnus Phillip Hines, 24, graduated from Old Dominion University with a political science minor, and now lives in Virginia Beach.

“Mitt Romney: In His Own Words” is Hines’ third book, the first to win a major publishing deal, with Simon & Schuster.

It’s a collection of more than 300 Romney quotes, selected by Hines after “going through pretty much every speech transcript since 2008.”

He also sifted through comments in debates, interviews, public appearances and other books, he said, starting the process in 2011 before Romney had announced his candidacy.

Why? Hines says he is not a card-carrying Republican but has always voted for the party. He was a College Republican at ODU.

“I have always been interested in politics,” he said. “At a young age, I was out campaigning for George Bush.”

Hines sensed early that Romney was in the race “for the long haul,” he said. “It’s very tough for candidates to get a fresh look, and that’s my intention with this book.”

The collection of quotes looks at Romney’s position on subjects from abortion and same-sex marriage to global warming and social security.

The quotes also give Romney’s stated views on his perceived liabilities, including his lack of conservative values, Mormon faith, flip-flopping on abortion, and his Massachusetts health care policy.

While both parties have been doing “a pretty good job” of distorting the truth, Democrats have been “overreaching” the most, according to Hines.

“There was an ad saying Romney effectively killed someone — I think that’s a little bit crazy,” he said.

The book devotes a chapter to Obamacare versus Romneycare, an issue Hines said he has struggled with.

Hines says he goes “back-and-forth” over who will win the election. “I will let you know on November the sixth,” he said, saying Hampton Roads will play an outsize role in determining the outcome in the swing state of Virginia.

“I have never seen so many political ads as early … I would say that’s a major difference to past elections,” he said.

The book is available, at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and other big-box stores.