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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Romney caught lying AGAIN

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.

If Mark Nielsen's Mark Boughton's pick for president isn't flip-flopping on everything from his stance on abortion and illegal immigration, or insulting minorities, the Republican candidate is caught FLAT OUT lying about his father marching with Martin Luther King.

Our friends at Blue Mass Group has the details...and it not pretty.
Mitt Romney will stop at nothing to score political points. Even if it means lying outright about his father.
I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.

Uh huh.

He made a similar statement Sunday during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said, "You can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights."

Right. Got it -- dad marched with MLK. Even David Broder says so, and supplies some corroborative detail intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. (BMG bonus points for identifying the source of that phrase!)

As Mitt Romney recalled in his address, his father was able to remind people that he had marched with Martin Luther King Jr. (through upscale Grosse Pointe, Mich., in support of open-housing legislation).

Problem is, it's not true. None of it. As the Phoenix's David Bernstein reveals (see also update here) in some superb digging, George Romney never marched "with" -- i.e., in the presence of, at the same place at the same time -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's Bernstein, who in addition to calling out Romney, calls out Broder:

[W]hile 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. Nor did Mitt Romney ever previously claim that this took place, until long after his father passed away in 1995 - not even when defending accusations of the Mormon church's discriminatory past during his 1994 Senate campaign.

Asked about the specifics of George Romney's march with MLK, Mitt Romney's campaign told the Phoenix that it took place in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. That jibes with the description proffered by David S. Broder in a Washington Post column written days after Mitt's College Station speech.

Broder, in that column, references a 1967 book he co-authored on the Republican Party, which included a chapter on George Romney. It includes a one-line statement that the senior Romney "has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb of Detroit."

But that account is incorrect. King never marched in Grosse Pointe, according to the Grosse Pointe Historical Society, and had not appeared in the town at all at the time the Broder book was published. "I'm quite certain of that," says Suzy Berschback, curator of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. (B[ro]der was not immediately available for comment.)

Faced with the unfortunate reality that Mitt was making things up, his campaign has retreated into a hilarious Humpty-Dumptyism about what it means to "march with" someone. You see, it doesn't mean that you were actually there. It means that, well, you participated in a march about a related topic on a different day, and maybe you thought about the guy while you were doing it.

Mitt, in other words, was "speaking figuratively, not literally."

I am not making this up. Apparently, it's all about what the meaning of "with" is. Can you believe that, after Bill Clinton's debacle over the meaning of the word "is," another political figure would try something like that?

From the Detroit Free Press, here's a spokesperson for Romney attempting to "clear things up."
On Wednesday, Romney's campaign said his recollections of watching his father, an ardent civil rights supporter, march with King were meant to be figurative.

"He was speaking figuratively, not literally," Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the candidate.

UPDATE: The Boston Pheonix updates their story...
[George] Romney, according to one piece of written source material provided by the campaign, made a “surprise” appearance at a small march in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in late June -- several days after King led a much larger march in Detroit. Romney spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom suggests that these two were part of the same “series” of events, co-sponsored by King and the NAACP, and is thus consistent with Romney’s claim that “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”

“The record is convincing and clear – George Romney marched with Martin Luther King and other civil rights demonstrators,” Fehrnstrom wrote in an email.

Fehrnstrom had originally told the Phoenix that the two men marched together in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, either in June 1963 or March 1968, a claim the Phoenix called into question earlier today. An additional source, William LeFevre of the Reuther Library at Wayne State University, who is in charge of the papers of the Grosse Pointe Civil Liberties Association, has since confirmed to the Phoenix that George Romney was not at the 1968 event, and that King was not at the 1963 event.

Fehrnstrom now says that the event in question was King’s “Freedom March” in Detroit on June 23, 1963.

He provides one reference, a 1972 book about Detroit, which mentions that Michigan’s then-governor George Romney “was among the prominent whites marching with Reverend King” in the Freedom March (which the book erroneously says took place on July 23).

However, numerous contemporaneous and historical accounts say that Romney did not participate in the Detroit Freedom March, because it was held on the Sabbath. The New York Times, for example, wrote the next day that “Gov. George Romney, who is Mormon and does not make public appearances on Sundays, issued a special proclamation.”
I guess if you had to translate Romney's gibberish into English, it might look something like this.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Now CBS is on the case and Mitt's digging a deeper hole for himself.
Facing fire over media reports questioning his own account of seeing his father march with Martin Luther King, Romney told reporters in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that he saw the two men march “in a figurative sense.”

During his December 6 address on religion in College State, Texas, Romney said, “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”

CBS News: “Did you actually see — with your own eyes — your father marching with Martin Luther King?”

Romney: “My own eyes? You know, I speak in the sense of I saw my dad become president of American Motors. I wasn’t actually there when he became president of American Motors, but I saw him in the figurative sense of he marched with Martin Luther King. My brother also remembers him marching with Martin Luther King and so in that sense I saw him march with Martin Luther King.”

Later he said, “I can’t even give you the time frame. I just remember that we talked about it. My brother also remembers my dad having spoken about the fact that he did not do political events on Sunday but that he decided at the last minute that he was going to break that self-imposed rule and participate and I think he did so on a Sunday as I recall.”

He added, “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl. I saw my dad become president of American Motors. Did that mean you were there for the ceremony? No, it’s a figure of speech.”
From his campaign giving an EXACT date when Romney and King marched together to this nonsense...it's like he learned his slickness from the Clintons...

With doubletalk like this no wonder Mark is on Mitt's bandwagon...they have so much in common.