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Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm waiting for Chris Matthews to hammer Mitt Romney on truthfulness
Posted by Jill | 9:11 PM
The clock starts ticking at 5 PM on Wednesday, next time (presumably) Hardball is live.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? To October 11, 2000's Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Does Al Gore have a truth problem, and is it going to hurt him?

ESTRICH: He's got this little problem, but it's not really about truth. I mean, you have to say about Clinton that when he lied, at least it was worth it to lie.

MATTHEWS: Right. Let me put it this way --

ESTRICH: Gore -- this is like --

MATTHEWS: -- you're not answering the question --

ESTRICH: -- [former Rep.] Dan Rostenkowski [D-IL] --

MATTHEWS: -- I want to try it again. No --

ESTRICH: -- and postage stamps.

MATTHEWS: -- no. If you apply to college, or you apply for a job, and you say, "I discovered Love Canal, I invented the Internet," these little --

ESTRICH: Oh, no.

MATTHEWS: -- problems are serious questions of character and resume inflation.

Now let's look at Willard Mitt Romney:

Mitt Romney acknowledged yesterday that he never saw his father march with Martin Luther King Jr. as he asserted in a nationally televised speech this month, and historical evidence shows that Michigan's Governor George Romney and the civil rights leader never did march together.

Romney said his father had told him he had marched with King and that he had been using the word "saw" in a "figurative sense."

"If you look at the literature, if you look at the dictionary, the term 'saw' includes being aware of in the sense I've described," Romney told reporters in Iowa. "It's a figure of speech and very familiar, and it's very common. And I saw my dad march with Martin Luther King. I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great effort."

But historical evidence, including news accounts at the time, shows that George Romney never marched with King, though he supported King's agenda.

Susan Englander, assistant edi tor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University, who is editing the King papers from that era, told the Globe yesterday: "I researched this question, and indeed it is untrue that George Romney marched with Martin Luther King."

She said that when he was governor of Michigan, George Romney issued a proclamation in June 1963 in support of King's march in Detroit, but declined to attend, saying he did not participate in political events on Sundays. A New York Times story from the time confirms Englander's account.

Does it all depend on what the definition of "saw" is?

The last time we heard Chris Matthews say anything substantive about Mitt Romney was December 13, when he talked about Romney's "As long as you believe in a Great White Alpha Male in the Sky, you're an American" speech. As the "My father marched with Martin Luther King" story has developed over the last week, and Romney has devolved into Clintonesque parsing, Matthews has been strangely silent. Given Matthews' harping on statements falsely attributed to Al Gore, is his fawning, nearly homoerotic praise of Romney from August 13, going to keep him from giving Romney the same treatment he gave Al Gore in 2000?

UPDATE: OK, so he expressed some mild exasperation on Friday's show. That still doesn't equate to the relentless hammering he gave Al Gore in 2000.

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Blogger Myclob said...
Before you go to far with this...
By: Mike Allen
Shirley Basore, 72, says she was sitting in the hairdresser's chair in wealthy Grosse Pointe, Mich., back in 1963 when a rumpus started and she discovered that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her governor, George Romney, were marching for civil rights — right past the window.

With the cape still around her neck, Basore went outside and joined the parade.

"They were hand in hand," recalled Basore, a former high-school English teacher. "They led the march. We all swung our hands, and they held their hands up above everybody else's."

She remembered the late governor as "extremely handsome."

Until this week, that was just a vivid memory for a sweet retiree who now lives in Pompano Beach, Fla.

But Basore's memory became important this week when news accounts questioned the recollections of the late Michigan governor's son, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor.

News stories suggested that Romney was exaggerating. It turns out that he may not have attended the Grosse Pointe march, but it certainly happened.

The campaign posted citations quoting one author as writing that "George Romney made a surprise appearance in his shirt sleeves and joined the parade leaders."
Stephen Hess and David S. Broder also wrote about the march in their 1967 book, "The Republican Establishment: The Present and Future of the G.O.P."

Basore said she was very angry about how the issue has been covered on cable television.

"This very arrogant guy on TV questioned Mitt Romney, and I marched with them," Basore said. "I hope that the campaign demands an apology. I want him to publicly apologize to me. That was a personal insult, and an insult to Mitt Romney."

Basore said she called the campaign, and the campaign supplied her contact information.

Another witness, Ashby Richardson, 64, of Massachusetts gave the campaign a similar account.
"I'm just appalled that the news picks this stuff up and say it didn't happen," Richardson, now a data-collection consultant, said by phone. "The press is being disingenuous in terms of reporting what actually happened. I remember it vividly. I was only 15 or 20 feet from where both of them were."

Blogger Jill said...
Well, here's what the article to which I linked says:

His campaign this week also cited a 1967 book, "The Republican Establishment: The Present and Future of the GOP," by Stephen Hess and David Broder, the Washington Post columnist, which states that George Romney "has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb of Detroit."

But the Phoenix reported that the Grosse Pointe Historical Society had no record of King marching in the town. The Detroit Free Press reported that its archives showed no record of King marching in Grosse Pointe in 1963. And Russell Peebles, who was a civil rights activist in Grosse Pointe in the 1960s, said in a telephone interview yesterday that the only time King ever came to the town was three weeks before his assassination in 1968, when he spoke at Grosse Pointe High School.

The Romney campaign cited another book, "Detroit, Race and Uneven Development," by Joe T. Darden in 1987, which describes a series of "Freedom Marches" sponsored by the NAACP and King in the Detroit area, including Grosse Pointe. The book says George Romney participated in one of those marches, but does not say that King was there.

Clayborne Carson, director of the King Project at Stanford, said he was not surprised by Romney's anecdote. He said he often jokes that if all the people who say they marched on the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965 had actually been there, the bridge would have collapsed.

Blogger Melina said...
This is so crazy...Mitt Romney's problem is his holier than thou attitude more than his spotty memory...according to Rachel Maddow on Friday's show (which I just podcasted,)Mitt has been using this anecdote for years and years, but at the same time wont address directly the clear racism of the "religion of his fathers"...nor will he just dismiss the story as something that he remembers differently than maybe reality was. Where is that supposed Reaganesque folksy aw-shucks brush off.... Instead, he is so hell bent on not being wrong that he wants to, in a Clintonian move, beat the meaning of a word to death, and in the process he misspeaks about sports and...just gives us all a taste of who he is and how he handles being corrected.
The issue here is not if his father actually marched with MLK jr, but if his father would have been able to bring MLK jr into the Mormon church as a full member. According to Larry O'Donnell, the answer is no, he wouldn't have been able to.
I would be interested in hearing Romney address the wrongs of his religion and denounce the issues that are clearly contrary to what American society expects.
This guy is a real ass...and this may be it for him.
Anecdotes like the one above are fine,...who knows who is right about this stupid issue... but lets get back to the point of this thing; marching or not marching, did Mitt think that the Mormon church's erroneous beliefs about people of color were correct?...and when did he turn from that very basic teaching?...Because the church seems to have embraced some pretty crazy-ass crap up till '79 at least....and I don't see how you just turn off the water on that faucet.

Bye Bye Mitt! see you in hell....

We may yet see a surge in McCain...who else have they got left?

Blogger Distributorcap said...
please send this to matthews
i will give you his email.

for an allegedly smart guy he is one of the worst panderers and lovers of the theatre of politics -- not the actual issues

he still PRAISES on end Mitt's HORRIBLE speech about Mormonism (which he mentions i think twice) -- that speech was a real slap in the face to atheists, secular people and non-christians. but matthews cannot praise it enough.

romney is a liar and a panderer to the nth degree -- he will say anything to get ahead - typical of his style. sadly the MSM loves this guy and will let this story (and the dog, and the flip flops and all the others) die on the vine. personally i dont think the religious reich, who make up a big part of the republican primary base wants this guy for many reasons ---- and i also think those same folks will realize huckapoo is a sure loser at some point too.