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Sunday, December 23, 2007

George Romney/MLK March . . . My 2 cents

A little independent research via Google can apparently get better "fact-checking" than the MSM reporters can.

You've probably heard before that two eyewitnesses have come forward and said that they saw George Romney and MLK march together. Well, now FOUR historical books have confirmed the same thing. Also, Mitt's brother, Scott states that he heard his father say that he had marched with MLK (in that same last link).

My scientific background also reminds me that positive evidence (like the two lady eyewitnesses' claims, or the 4 books cited) is always stronger than negative evidence ("I didn't see them together" or "newspaper columns of the time failed to confirm").

It is not out of the realm of possibility that, despite all this evidence to the contrary, they did not march in the same parade. But with historical books and records getting it wrong it's hard to claim that Romney "fabricated this out of whole cloth" like opponents are implying. I think most rational people are willing to not get caught up in the figurative use of the word "saw" when we can all "SEE" that George Romney was truly a champion of civil rights (the silver lining in this whole affair).

Regarding the 1978 quote that apparently Romney said that he marched with his dad and MLK through the streets of Detroit . . . well, given the apparent lack of journalistic accuracy in this whole affair I'm afraid that I wouldn't be surprised if it was a complete misquoting of Romney. However, if he did in fact say that, then at least he hasn't propagated or inflated that error in the intervening three decades (something that serial liars/exaggerators cannot help but do . . . the stories usually get better and better with time!!).

Update . . . A Harper's Magazine article from 1967 stated that George Romney and MLK marched together. You need a subscription to read the PDF. Here's the search results which gives some of the text and the relevant quote is:
"When the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King marched in Detroit three years ago, Romney marched with him. He is proud that he helped write a state constitution that has the most comprehensive civil-rights guarantees in the nation, including open occupancy in housing."


Jeremie Jordan said...

"well, given the apparent lack of journalistic accuracy in this whole affair I'm afraid that I wouldn't be surprised if it was a complete misquoting of Romney"

Yes generations of journalists conspired to misrepresent Romney. I mean there's spin and then there's delusion.

Bob Waters said...

That the those witnesses were mistaken- and more than that, that the Romney campaign was aware that they were mistaken- was well established.

If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't accuse others of spin. The downward spiral of the Romney campaign itself is enough to make one dizzy without all the spinning you guys are doing in your very understandable state of utter terror at what is happening to your guy's candidacy.

Anonymous said...


I'll give Mitt the benefit of the doubt about his having "seen" his dad and MLK marching together. But as to his claim to having "seen" duty in Vietnam, don't you think he may have gone too far with that one?

Joe Mama said...

This is an effort on the part of Mitt's opponents to turn a strength (his civil rights record) into a weakness.

The Romney's were/are just fine on civil rights. Back in 1963 you could count on one hand the prominent white politicians publicly supporting Martin Luther King and one of them was George Romney. Everyone knows that. Anyone trying to hit Romney on civil rights is somewhere between misguided and delusional.

Bob Waters, I am accusing you of spin.