In the advertisement, Romney’s face is filmed looking straight into the camera and speaking in a personal and passionate tone about Anderson’s leadership, intelligence, and work ethic. Romney speaks in glowing terms about how much he enjoyed working with Anderson, and how Salt Lake City is a “better place” because of his leadership.
Anderson, who was re-elected as mayor in 2003, formally called for the impeachment of then President George W. Bush on CNN in March 2007. He subsequently repeated the impeachment call on numerous television programs and as a speaker at anti-war rallies, urging the U.S. House of Representatives to begin the process of charging President Bush for “high crimes and misdemeanors” for his role in the Iraq War and implementation of anti-terrorism policies.
In a 90-minute telephone interview, which was transcribed and verified through email, Anderson confirmed that he was a consistent and frequent critic of former President Bush by saying, “During the Bush Administration and as mayor I was speaking out constantly about the war and about the lies of the Administration.”
When asked about Romney, whom the former mayor also endorsed for Massachusetts governor in 2002, Anderson noted a distinct change in his political rhetoric and questioned Romney’s devotion to his current policies by saying, “The Mitt Romney I knew and worked so closely with was a very different Romney than is now running for President. The Mitt Romney I knew was very reasonable and moderate. He wouldn’t have won in Massachusetts race for governor if he weren’t,” then continued, “I spoke with him personally, in-depth, about his positions on issues, and he was solid about the key issue of choice and gay/lesbian rights, yet he changed 180 degrees the day he decided to run for President. The things I hear him say now — I don’t even recognize the Mitt Romney I knew.”
Anderson responded to a follow-up question about whether Romney’s 180-degree change, to the point where he “no longer recognized” the man he knew, was simply a tactic to attract conservative votes for the Republican presidential nomination by saying, “I think it’s obvious he’s doing this to attract right-wingers.”