By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

George Romney’s phantom march

Did George Romney ever march with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.? Romney’s son Mitt has said he did, most recently in what struck me as a pretty effective appearance on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. But now David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix reports there’s no evidence.

Follow-up: The Romney campaign appears to be taking the line that George Romney really did march with King, only not in the same city and not on the same day. Huh?

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  1. Anonymous

    Very nice reporting. It would be interesting to know what prominent white pols did march with MLK. If Romney did in fact march, would he have been the only GOP office holder to do so?

  2. Anonymous

    Don’t suppose there were any witnesses to Mitt “pulling his car over” and weeping either.

  3. bostonph

    It doesn’t matter. Mitt’s father could have brunched with Malcolm X and rioted in Watts. Mitt himself did nothing to fight the church’s position. His father’s action makes his own inaction worse.On Russert, he wouldn’t even say that the ban was wrong. All he said was “I’m very proud of my faith, and it’s the faith of my fathers, and I certainly believe that it is a, a faith–well, it’s true and I love my faith. And I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.”It’s been said before, but the real issue with Romney is character. Here’s another example, also from “Meet The Press.”MR. RUSSERT: A fee’s not a tax?GOV. ROMNEY: A fee–well, a fee–if it were a tax, it’d be called–it’d be called a tax. But…MR. RUSSERT: Governor, that’s, that’s gimmick.GOV. ROMNEY: No, it’s, it’s reality. It is. But–and I have no–I’m not trying to hide from the fact we raised fees. We raised fees $240 million.

  4. Stiles

    Character??? This chump is devoid of character.

  5. Anonymous

    You know, I’ve gone through the Fresh Pond rotary many times and the actions of other drivers have often caused me to weep.Perhaps Mitt “saw” his father march with MLK in a figurative sense…go figure!

  6. Steve

    So, for Mitt, it depends on what the definition of “saw” is. And “march”. And “with”.But what I’d like to know is, why did David Broder write that the elder Romney marched with King through Grosse Point, MI? Everything I’ve read so far says that Broder is “unavailable for comment”. It’s been several days now, though. Has he given an answer yet?

  7. Peter Porcupine

    Via (of all places) the ‘Stop the ACLU’ web site – far from a Romney fan site – is this link: – which contains a pretty good timeline from Mark Halperin at Time here: cites various contemporary news stories, and goes beyond the Grosse Point Historical Society, which Mr. Bernstein at the Phoenix fails to do.

  8. Dan Kennedy

    PP: Halperin’s timeline never places King and George Romney together at the same public event. That is the point of Bernstein’s well-researched reporting, which is hardly limited to the Grosse Point Historical Society, as you claim.If King and G. Romney never marched together, then M. Romney never could have seen them march together, not even with his metaphorical mind’s eye.It looks like we’re down to waiting for David Broder to say something. I assume he’s kept his silence so far because he’s checking his files. We’ll see.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    PS: One thing I can guarantee you — you won’t find an obituary of George Romney that claims he marched with King. Interesting, eh? Yes, the elder Romney was a great supporter of civil rights and of King, but that’s not what this is about.

  10. Steve

    Via Andrew Sullivan via TalkingPointsMemo, a Globe story finds this from a 1978 Herald interview:”My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.”

  11. Anonymous

    Now when he includes himself (with George R)that’s gross exaggeration which calls for an apology. Mitt is no longer in “Eng-lit” metaphor land. He’s supposedly dealing in legit info: stark reality. If it’s not true, he’s a liar.

  12. Anonymous

    – Detroit Free Press: “With Gov. Romney a surprise arrival and marching in the front row, more than 500 Negroes and whites staged a peaceful antidiscrimination parade up Grosse Pointe’s Kercheval Avenue Saturday. … ‘the elimination of human inequalities and injustices is our urgent and critical domestic problem,’ the governor said. … [Detroit NAACP President Edward M.] Turner told reporters, ‘I think it is very significant that Governor Romney is here. We are very surprised.’ Romney said, ‘If they want me to lead the parade, I’ll be glad to.'” (“Romney Joins Protest March Of 500 In Grosse Pointe,” Detroit Free Press, 6/29/63)

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