Romney’s Martin Luther King Jr. memories

He thought his father had marched with King, but he hadn’t.

A long-lost press release from when Mitt Romney was running for Governor airs a since retracted line about watching his father George march with Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement.

Romney says in the 2002 release, “I watched my dad march with Martin Luther King in the streets of Detroit. I was with him when he walked out of the 1964 Republican Convention because the Republican Party wouldn’t accept a civil rights platform.”

But Romney never saw his father march with Dr. King. The line, repeated by Romney throughout his 2002 campaign and briefly throughout 2007, didn’t stand up the facts. The Boston Phoenix, who who was the first to report the inaccuracy said “He has repeated the claim several times recently, most prominently to Tim Russert on Meet the Press. But, while the late George W. Romney, a four-term governor of Michigan, can lay claim to a strong record on civil rights, the Phoenix can find no evidence that the senior Romney actually marched with King, nor anything in the public record suggesting that he ever claimed to do so.”

The press release, incidentally, announced an endorsement of the gay Republican organization, The Log Cabin Republicans. Romney said, “From my parents, I learned respect for all people and see issues of gay and lesbian equality as a part of the same ongoing civil rights struggle.”

The release also quoted the spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans Mark Goshko. Goshko says “Mitt supports establishing and expanding domestic partnership in a way that will make Massachusetts a leader in the nation. He will fight to protect the laws that protect gays from discrimination and hate crimes. He will appoint deserving gays and lesbians to key positions in his administration just as he has in his campaign. And most important, he is clearly a man that will fight for what he supports and not just pay lip service.”

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