But as a Massachusetts Senate candidate in 1994, Romney struck a different tone. "I was not planning on signing up for the military," he told the Boston Herald. "It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam, but nor did I take any actions to remove myself from the pool of young men who were eligible for the draft."
Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a "minister of religion" in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused. The country was cutting troop levels by the time he became eligible for the draft, and his lottery number was not called.
Romney spent a significant portion of his mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as a “palace”. It featured stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy.
President Barack Obama, Romney's opponent in this year's campaign, did not serve in the military either - he was only a child during the Vietnam conflict, and not eligible for the draft.
I saw a piece of the following video the other day on Hardball. This is a spectacular Romney bitch-slap, and well deserved:
In the interest of complete disclosure I should mention, I suppose, that I avoided the draft in 1968 ... by enlisting in the United States Army. ~ Spec. 5 Rector RA 12XXXXXX, 1968 - 1971.