This is the moment that George Romney, Mitt Romney's father, destroyed his own political career:
The interview is from 1967. Until then, Romney, a popular governor of Michigan, was a very credible contender for the 1968 Republication presidential nomination. But after he allowed that word, 'brainwashing', to escape his lips, his reputation took a massive blow, his campaign struggled to make headway, and he was forced to withdraw from the race before a vote was cast. The nomination was won, of course, by Richard Nixon, who went on to win the general election. George Romney's political career never recovered.
Mitt, it is said by those who know his family, worshipped his father. Like George, he became a Mormon missionary, and he later followed him into politics, emulating his success by becoming governor of a state (Massachusetts). The closest Mitt gets to displaying real emotion in public is when talking about his father.
But Mitt and George are very different personalities, and very different politicians. You might not have guessed it from watching his son on the campaign trail, but George Romney was a highly gregarious, loose-limbed campaigner who liked to shoot from the hip and talk off the top of his head. He wasn't always the most articulate guy (one of his opponents said that watching him campaign was "like watching a duck make love to a football") but he had spontaneity and eccentric charm in buckets.
Having won the Florida primary by a thumping margin, Mitt Romney is about to go one further than his father. He hopes to go one further still. In the months up until November, we're going to see even more of this tightly-wound personality attempting to do what his father failed to achieve, while acting in the opposite manner to him.
The 'brainwashing moment' doesn't explain why Mitt Romney is ultra-cautious in his speech, manner and decisions - he was probably just born that way - but the knowledge of it must have been a formative factor in his political persona. It's the closest we get to Romney's Rosebud.