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Mitt Romney had his flip-flop feet held to the fire by Meet the Press host Tim Russert on Dec. 16, 2007, and made this statement claiming he was endorsed by the National Rifle Association during his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor.
But he wasn't.
The Washington Post picked up on the error that day and posted on its blog "The Trail." The story included a backpedaling quote from the Romney campaign.
"The NRA did not endorse in the 2002 campaign," spokesman Kevin Madden said in the Post blog.
A couple of days later, Romney campaign spokesman Kristy Campbell elaborated to PolitiFact: "They did not officially endorse, but there had been folks doing supportive phone banking for him."
We called the NRA several days in a row seeking comment and confirmation of Campbell's statement about phone banking. Despite promising to call PolitiFact back, no one did. And we could find no independent verification.
We did find something funny: Turns out the NRA endorsed a Romney for public office, just not Mitt.
Ronna Romney, divorced from Gov. Romney's brother Scott, earned the NRA's support in 1996 as she campaigned for a U.S. Senate seat representing Michigan. She won the primary, but lost to incumbent Sen. Carl Levin.
Maybe that's why Mitt was confused. At least he admits it's False.
Meet the Press, Interview with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney , transcript, Dec. 16, 2007
WashingtonPost.com's "The Trail," "Romney Claims NRA Endorsement He Didn't Receive," by Michael D. Shear, Dec. 16, 2007
Detroit Free Press, "National Rifle Association to back Romney in Senate GOP primary," by Matthew G. Davis, July 3, 1996
New York Times, "GOP Storms Rumble in a Primary," by Keith Bradsher, Aug. 5, 1996
ChicagoTribune.com, Michigan candidates and overview
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