In the most-watched speech of his political career, speaking on â€œFaith in Americaâ€ at College Station, Texas, earlier this month, Mitt Romney evoked the strongest of all symbolic claims to civil-rights credentials: â€œI saw my father march with Martin Luther King.â€
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.
Nor did Mitt Romney ever previously claim that this took place, until long after his father passed away in 1995 â€” not even when defending accusations of the Mormon churchâ€™s discriminatory past during his 1994 Senate campaign.
Asked about the specifics of George Romneyâ€™s march with MLK, Mitt Romneyâ€™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 Mittâ€™s College Station speech.