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More headlines: Mitt Romney on Civil Rights

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


1964: George Romney left GOP Convention for civil rights

As a moderate Republican Governor, Mitt's father was fast emerging as a shining light of the Republican Party. George Romney's success in Michigan prompted talk of him as a presidential candidate in 1964. That didn't happen, but he arrived at the Republican National Convention as a star, inviting Mitt to come orbit around him.

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."

Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p. 25 Jan 17, 2012

GovWatch: Father supported MLK, but never marched with him

“I saw my father march with Martin Luther King”
--Mitt Romney, “Faith in America” address, December 6, 2007.

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.

Source: GovWatch on 2008 Pinocchio Awards for Biggest Fib of 2007 Jan 1, 2008

Support gay rights but opposes gay marriage

Lost in the smoke around opposition to same-sex marriage is the fact that he continues to support gay rights. How will this play out once he is in the White House? Romney may be just the president who could bring warring factions to the negotiating table, where together they could find a "middle way." Perhaps he gets government out of the marriage business altogether and has it focus on licensing domestic partnerships only, leaving the "marriage blessing" up to the couple, or a minister equivalent.
Source: An Inside Look, by R.B. Scott, p.223-224 Nov 22, 2011

Federal definition of marriage as one-man-one-woman

Q: When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2003, you accused MA justices of assuming for themselves the powers that should belong to the state legislature. What about the New York state legislature legalizing gay marriage?

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.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

No longer calls Giuliani pro-choice & pro-gay & anti-gun

Q: [to Romney]: You have been drawing contrasts with Mayor Giuliani during this campaign, such as this interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network this spring:
(BEGIN VIDEO)
ROMNEY: He is pro-choice & pro-gay marriage & anti-gun, and that’s a tough combination in a Republican primary.
(END VIDEO)
Q: Do you stand by that?

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

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Put gay marriage ban into GOP party platform

Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey endorsed a proposed gay-marriage ban, but said the state Republican Party should not change its platform to call for a ban because Republicans are split on the issue.

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

Source: Stephanie Ebbert, Boston Globe Nov 19, 2005

  • Click here for 34 main quotations from Mitt Romney on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Mitt Romney.
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Other candidates on Civil Rights: Mitt Romney on other issues:
Former Presidents:
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)

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Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014