April 26, 2012, 11:14 AM — Keep in mind this is from 2007, not 2012. Mitt Romney had not yet won the Republican nomination for president from a dizzyingly large field that seemed to compete mainly to see who could stake out the most outrageously abusive policies coming out of the far right of the Republican party.
Romney had not even begun to shifting his campaign rhetoric toward the political center to prepare for the general election.
He was running as a "culture warrior" defending conservatives against the outrages of an international Internet filled with libertines. He was less than a year from losing the nomination to Sen. John McCain, who Republicans nominated despite his imperfect credentials as an ultraconservative.
McCain had yet to lose to Barack Obama, whose ultraconservative credentials were even more imperfect.
Obama had not even been nominated. He was still considered an also-ran behind Hilary Rodham Clinton, the inevitable Democratic nominee.
George Bush was still President. Ultraconservatives were still claiming only those with "something to hide" would object to policies giving law enforcement agencies the right to eavesdrop on citizens any way they wanted without warrants or judicial oversight.
Osama bin Laden was still alive. The economy had not collapsed in the burst of a bubble based on Wall Street Ponzi schemes, sub-prime mortgage schemes and creative accounting.
Catering to ultraconservative sensibilities on the Internet
Calling for the banishment of porn seemed like a harmless way to toss a little red meat to the religious right to help build Romney's reputation as a hard-core conservative, to help prepare for the long campaign for the 2012 nomination, not the one in 2008.
It's very likely Romney didn't intend to make a statement about his beliefs on either porn or the First Amendment that would remain accurate long after the statement itself was recorded.
C-span, via BuzzFeed