Saturday, October 25th, 2014

MLK, Romney and the GOP

PolitiFact Tennessee found flaws in this billboard claim about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
PolitiFact Tennessee found flaws in this billboard claim about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was critical to two PolitiFact checks, one of them originating in Texas.

Mitt Romney said in December 2007 that his late father marched with King. PoiltiFact rated that Mostly False, noting that George Romney, who died in 1995, had marched for civil rights, though not with King.

The elder Romney, who was the Republican governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, supported King's goals at a time when few politicians did. When King visited Detroit and led a rally of 125,000 people in 1963, Romney issued a proclamation and sent personal representatives.Two years later, Romney led a march of 10,000 people in Detroit to protest events in Selma, Ala. (King wasn't there.) When King died in 1968, George Romney attended the funeral.

A Houston group said in January 2011 that the assassinated King was a Republican.

We found that claim to be False.

At the time, a King family member’s declaration lended support for its claim that King was a Republican: his niece Alveda. We didn't divine how she reached that conclusion. Meantime, another King relative, his son, disagreed, as did respected academic experts and a biographer as well as former King associates and friends.

As a civil rights leader, we concluded, King avoided partisan identification.

Similar claims led to similar Truth-O-Meter findings in Tennessee and Rhode Island.