January 5th, 2014
10:21 AM ET
8 months ago

Romney accepts MSNBC host's apology

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney took a conciliatory tone Sunday when asked about an MSNBC panel mocking a family holiday card that showed him holding his adopted black grandchild, saying it is time to move on.

"People make mistakes and the folks at MSNBC made a big mistake and they apologized for it," Romney said Sunday in an interview on Fox News Sunday. "They apologized for it. That's all we can ask for."


A day earlier, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry made a tearful apology to the former Republican presidential candidate and his family after she and a panel poked fun at a photo of Romney with his wife and 21 grandchildren by zeroing in on his adopted African-American grandson. "Whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive, and showing the photo in that context, of that segment, was poor judgment. So without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family," said the anchor at the open of her show, "Melissa Harris-Perry."

Harris-Perry became emotional as she went on to apologize to all "other families formed through transracial adoption," saying, "I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny or deserving of ridicule."

She highlighted her own interracial background, as the daughter of an African-American man and a white Mormon woman. But, she said, families are always "off limits," and the Romneys' grandchildren should never have been a topic of discussion.

"Adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy. But their families, and especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off limits, and for that I am sorry," she said.

Harris-Perry first apologized on Twitter and MSNBC's website Tuesday, offering a similar mea culpa "without reservation or qualification."

Last week, Harris-Perry and panelists on her show made jokes at the expense of the Romney family. Perry asked her guests to come up with a caption for the Romney family photo, prompting actress Pia Glenn to sing "one of these things is not like the others" and comedian Dean Obeidallah to remark the picture "sums up the diversity of the Republican Party."

Obeidallah appears frequently on CNN and writes a regular opinion column for CNN.com.

Harris-Perry, for her part, described the baby as "gorgeous" and joked that in 2014 he would marry North West, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

"Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws," she said.

Romney, the Republican Party's nominee for president in 2012, said his stature makes him a frequent target of attacks, but added that the barbs directed at his family crossed the line.

"People like me are fair targets. If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming," Romney said. "For children, that's beyond the line. I think they understand that and feel that, as well.

"I think it's a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason we hold no ill will whatsoever," he said.


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (618 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Is this news? -Romney accepts apology, GOP takes bribe from insurances, Mitch gets defeated, Boehner talks stupid, GOP hates poor, middle class, women etc. These are facts.

    January 5, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. drake mallard

    Romney’s refusal to work for the black vote beyond giving an NAACP speech and announcing a Black Leadership Council, which amounted to nothing more than cosmetic wall paper.

    January 5, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. CB FL

    Now that is the Christian way.
    God Bless

    January 5, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. luckytwo

    The Repubs are always screaming about their 2 nd amendment rights I guess this doesn't apply

    January 5, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. luckytwo

    The Repubs are always screaming about their 2 nd amendment rights I guess this doesn't apply When did a Repub ever yell and holler about Rush and his digusting comments .

    January 5, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. sandyc

    "People like me are fair targets. If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming," Romney said. "For children, that's beyond the line. I think they understand that and feel that, as well.

    "I think it's a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason we hold no ill will whatsoever," he said.

    Whether you like Romney or you don't, at least admit that Mr. Romney took the high road in accepting the MSNBC apologies. Romney is white and his grandson is black. Even of the roles were reversed with Romney being black and his grandson being white, would have MSNBC made the jokes and played the race card? Probably not.

    How many children of all colors are in foster care, waiting for a forever family. Here is a beautiful little boy, adopted into a loving family and given his forever home. For anyone, let alone a major news network to make jokes like can you find the one that's different, is unacceptable.

    January 5, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. T E X A S

    Rush Limbaugh still owes many apologies.

    January 5, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Dan

    What was he supposed to say ? Nobody pays any attention to those degenerates at that station

    January 5, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. mjbernsteinstl

    He would have been an awesome president!

    January 5, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Shills

    There are some people on both sides of this 'Democracy' in media that land-blast other's regularly and frankly have arguments that are not based on solid facts regarding this government. It's like a continuing deception to the people. Oh well.

    January 5, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Steve

    Where's the left calling for her head?

    January 5, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. ChrisM

    Harris-Perry Apologized and Romney Graciously accepted. Now if only Fox news hosts would apologize for all the hateful and disgusting comments and lies. Then maybe America can begin to heal from all the hate on the news today

    January 5, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Steve

    I would comment on the photo. It's creepy that they dressed all the kids identically. (Girls, boys, and babies, all wearing the exact same outfits.)

    January 5, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. mydogredwald

    How very gracious of good King Mittens. Now, major mainstream media, how about covering the fact he is named in lawsuit filed in L.A under the RICO laws? That is more important than this fluff.

    January 5, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Scott

    Looks like Romney is a bigger man than that racist liberal thing that denigrated his family. Any bets that the only reason the racist liberal thing "apologized" was only to try and keep its job?

    Scott

    January 5, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. john

    Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel made inappropriate comments (which are still protected speech) and apologized. Mr. Romney says "it's time to move on."

    Paula Deen admitted to making inappropriate comments years ago (which are still protected speech) and apologized. The liberal media screamed for her head and ruined her life and career.

    Who are the INTOLERANT ones again?

    January 5, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Karen

    Governor Romney is a bigger man than I thought. Her "apology" is fake and insincere. If she worked for me she would be fired. It was very mean and ugly, I would not want someone like her representing my company. She laughed on live TV.

    January 5, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Gracious acceptance of apology by Mr. Romney. It was a lessons learned moment. Children of political figures should be off limits to political talk show pundits and entertainers, both left and right. Children are innocent of their parents' political views, deeds, or shortcomings.

    January 5, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Anonymous

    The Romney's are a class act.

    January 5, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. concernedGrndma

    Mitt Romney is a gentleman.

    January 5, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. JulianCA

    Everyone - noticing a black baby in a large white family and calling it beautiful is now considered racist? Racism is having assumptions about a person based on their race. But a picture like that IS funny. Anyone looking at it is going to have questions about the discrepancy. It is a fact that the Republican party isn't diverse (the other joke). So now people get outraged about people stating facts? It is a fact that the picture looks odd and anyone looking at it will notice the kid. It is a funny picture. She called the baby beautiful. She is half black and Mormon herself, so she is probably the most qualified you can get to comment on the picture. But I guess she's a horrible person for noticing the obvious!

    January 5, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Jim Jimson

    Gracious behavior from Romney unlike those vicious racists at MSNBC. Maybe you get a racist pass if you are black – who knows?

    January 5, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. David

    Worried about her job future? Yes. Genuinely apologetic? On MSNBC? Nope.

    January 5, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. pokey5735

    No one should be surprised that Romney would take the higher road and accept her lame apology.

    January 5, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. spokdlo

    I would rather make fun of people with lisps.

    January 5, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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