The elder Romney would make headlines by walking out on nominee Barry Goldwater because of Goldwater's opposition to civil rights legislation. In a subsequent letter to Goldwater, Romney wrote, "The rights of some must not be enjoyed by denying the rights of others." Romney refused to endorse Goldwater's candidacy, embittering conservatives within the party and solidifying Romney's reputation as a more liberal iconoclast.
When Goldwater complained, the governor wrote, "Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlocks, and stymie the compromises so often necessary."
This one comes at the top of my list for 2007, for two reasons.
(1) Romney was not speaking off the cuff. He had plenty of time to think about what he was saying and do his research. The Boston Herald quoted Romney as saying that “my father and I marched with King” as far back as 1978.
(2) He continued to defend the statement after it was challenged, arguing about the meaning of the word “saw.”
As governor of Michigan, George Romney supported the civil rights movement, but the Romney campaign has not been able to show that he ever marched with King. Rather than acknowledge the mistake, the campaign put the Politico website in touch with eyewitnesses who claimed that they had seen George Romney “hand in hand.” Contemporaneous newspaper reports show that the two men were in different parts of the country on the date in question.
A: I'd far prefer having the representatives of the people make that decision than justices. But I believe the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level. People move from state to state; they have children. If one state recognizes a marriage and the other does not, what's the right of that child? What kind of divorce proceeding would there be in a state that didn't recognize a marriage in the first place? Marriage is not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state. Marriage's status should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.
(BEGIN VIDEO)Q: Do you stand by that?
ROMNEY: He is pro-choice & pro-gay marriage & anti-gun, and that’s a tough combination in a Republican primary.
ROMNEY: That was very early in the process, in March. He wasn’t a candidate yet. I think I have a better perspective on his views now. I’d rather let him speak for his own positions. I can tell you that I am pro-life and that I’m opposed to same-sex marriage, and I support the Second Amendment.
GIULIANI: The reality is that I support the Second Amendment. I clearly believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, although I did support domestic partnerships and still do. And [we should] put our emphasis on reducing abortions & increasing the number of adoptions
Currently, the state party platform does not mention same-sex marriage or voter initiatives. By contrast, the Republican National Committee platform supports President Bush’s call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Romney suggested that the GOP put language in the platform endorsing a voter referendum on certain issues [like gay marriage].
The state Democratic Party has voted to endorse gay marriage in its platform. The national Democratic Party does not go that far, but calls for equal benefits for gay couples and condemns a nationwide constitutional ban on gay marriage
|Other candidates on Civil Rights:||Mitt Romney on other issues:|
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)