Mitt Romney: Man Of (Peculiar) Letters

May 31, 2011 9:03 a.m.

Mitt Romney may be on his way to an unusual distinction in the pantheon of presidential candidates: Unique tastes in fiction that few politicians would publicly admit to having — indeed, it could be said he likes fiction that has amassed a cult following.

In an interview with NBC News, reporter Jamie Gangel asked Romney what book he had read most recently. And one of Romney’s choices was the Twilight series, popular with teenage girls, which he picked up from his granddaughter.

“Last book I read was a novel called The Rule Of Nines, which was just fun…a more serious book, I finished President Bush’s book, Decisions, and enjoyed that very much,” said Romney. “I like silly stuff, too. I mean, I like the Twilight series. That was fun.”

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“You like vampires?” asked Gangel.

“I don’t like vampires personally — I don’t know any,” Romney responded, tongue in cheek. “But you know, my granddaughter was reading it. And I thought, well this looks like fun. So I read that.”

“Vampires and science fiction,” Gangel said humorously, as Romney laughed. “I don’t think anyone would have guessed this.”

Actually, given Romney’s professed literary tastes from the last cycle, it could be considered a step up.

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As readers might recall, in 2007 Romney told Fox News that his favorite novel was Battlefield Earth, published in 1982 by science fiction author and Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, a story about humanity rebelling against alien domination in the year 3000 after having been conquered a millennium earlier.

“I’m not in favor of his religion by any means,” Romney said at the time. “But he wrote a book called ‘Battlefield Earth’ that was a very fun science-fiction book.” Romney clarified that his favorite book overall was the Bible.

The Hubbard choice struck many folks as odd at the time, given the history of the book’s author, and the first half of the 1,000-page tome having been turned into a box-office bomb in 2000, produced by and starring Scientology follower John Travolta. (Indeed, Travolta had originally intended to produce a second movie, encompassing the book’s latter half — but part one performed so disastrously as to call off the completed saga.)

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