January 5th, 2014
10:21 AM ET
7 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. anonymous422

    Romney poses with his " DIVERSIVE" family? he must be running for office again

    so why did he and his wife have to adopt their grandson?

    January 5, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. hkirwin

    JohnRJohnson

    I thought that Ironman59's comment was worth repeating:

    "Quite frankly he wasn't owed an apology. Where is his apology to all the people he put on the unemployment line? Where is his apology for trashing ACA while having his own state level ACA & praising Israel for their national healthcare? Simple fact is that the few if any convictions he may have had he sold his soul to the far right of the gop to get nominated. He deserves no apology. As the gop is found of saying to the rest of the country with people like duck boy "free speech".
    ==============================

    This is the true left. Do you really want to associate with this hate?

    January 5, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Just

    Romney is a stand up guy. Unlike the libs.

    January 5, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. marton

    Well thank goodness – a pardon from an "on-high" member of the Mormon Church. Can we move ahead with the REAL news now? Please?

    January 5, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Dude in Colorado

    Hello...? First Amendment defenders? Are you out there, Mrs. Palin? Damn the "Politically Correct" liberal garbage? Any one out there? Dr. Ben Carson? Hello? Bueller...?

    Yeh, thought so... Right wing hypocrites.

    January 5, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. The Film Professor

    I appreciate it when people who have screwed up are willing to own their mistakes and apologize. I find this to be far more true of liberals than conservatives, quite frankly. Rarely do we see someone on FOX apologize for similar screw ups.

    January 5, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Exactly

    I thought that Ironman59's comment was worth repeating again

    I thought that Ironman59's comment was worth repeating:

    "Quite frankly he wasn't owed an apology. Where is his apology to all the people he put on the unemployment line? Where is his apology for trashing ACA while having his own state level ACA & praising Israel for their national healthcare? Simple fact is that the few if any convictions he may have had he sold his soul to the far right of the gop to get nominated. He deserves no apology. As the gop is found of saying to the rest of the country with people like duck boy "free speech".

    January 5, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. smgordon

    Linus , her intent was to point out ELECTION SEASON is approaching. this photo op is the stepping stone to the presidentcy

    January 5, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. America Suckered Again

    Mitt Romney stays above the liberal hate. That's class.

    January 5, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Blue

    Who cares if he accepts the apology or not? He loves to stay in the media. He has far more to apologize for than anyone else. He can take jobs at the blink of any eye, and smile all the way to the bank.

    January 5, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. hkirwin

    Clay

    The MSNBC host did the right thing. Now let's shut down the racist Klan channel FOX NEWS. Fox news was a smart move by the Klan , along with conservative talk radio, but people are realizing the real purpose of these hate filled outlets. Lets shut them down, before the weak minded people they influence go crazy. Shut them down. Shut them down.
    =============================

    ROTFL....and he talks about "weak minded" people. Pot to kettle....LOL The sadest part is that he actually believes his own babble.

    January 5, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Just sayin too....

    A vast difference between the host(s) of left leaning and right leaning shows: I've yet to hear an apology from the "fox news" anchors for all of the hateful, hurtful rhetoric they've directed at President Obama, at African Americans in general; the list goes on. Too bad Martin Bashir had to resign even after an apology to Sarah Palin but I'm hopeful that Melissa can keep her job. We can learn from our mistakes if our hearts are open and it appears that hers is contrite..

    January 5, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. frtgaderteraarbert5445umetyjfy8r678r6e657e

    for once I have to agree that Mitt is right.

    January 5, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    MHP should be afforded the same freedom of speech as the Duck Dynasty hero.

    January 5, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. OK

    FidyCents

    Would be nice to see a typcial photo of a progressive family. Full of progressive hillbilly incest and brothers marrying sisters to further the liberal agenda.

    ---

    Like Duck Dynasty? Look into who the Hillbilly states vote for and get back to us.

    January 5, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Namedave

    Liberals really need to embrace tolerance before demanding it from others. ..

    January 5, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. jaws3119

    JohnR.Johnson, where is your apology for being an idiot!!!

    January 5, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. hkirwin

    Big_D

    Let's clear something up here once and for all. Just because all the rich people from both parties are doing the same thing, it doesn't make it right or moral. These "job creators" have failed us all and owe the USA a lot of back taxes from all that they destroyed by not helping others by creating jobs. They don't deserve the money we gave them to create jobs because they didn't create them. Bring back the old tax rates, maybe even the 90% so they can get their morals and patriotism back in order. These rich jerks ruined our economy and sold us out overseas. How are the Caymen Accounts Romney?
    =======================

    Greed and envy eats away at you until only hate exists. Its true, misery loves company. My advise is to concentrate on how you can become successful. Then you can do what you like with your wealth. My guess after listenning to you that you won't end up giving it away.

    January 5, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. TheThinker

    I didn't vote for Romney, but his apology acceptance shows him to be a class act.

    BTW, anyone who thinks he wasn't owed an apology was either raised very poorly, is on medication, or is as close-minded as a goose-stepping Nazi.

    January 5, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. hkirwin

    Dude in Colorado

    Hello...? First Amendment defenders? Are you out there, Mrs. Palin? Damn the "Politically Correct" liberal garbage? Any one out there? Dr. Ben Carson? Hello? Bueller...?

    Yeh, thought so... Right wing hypocrites.
    =====================================

    I bet he stood in the line for hours.

    January 5, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. CALIFORNIA

    Conservatives forgive. liberals don't.

    Stop the liberal racist NOW!!!!

    January 5, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. longtooth

    Liberal? Conservative? It doesn't matter, except to the people who post comments. The bottom line is, they made jokes on national TV about kids in Romney's family. That was stupid, and crossed what should be a clear line. Just like when conservatives tried to joke about Chelsea Clinton's awkward adolescent looks. That blew up in their faces, as it should. HEY! TEACHERS! LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE!

    January 5, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. MIKLE

    I wish Romney president, not this liar with so many empty promises.

    January 5, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Romney has nothing to apologize for. He didn't put us $17T in debt nor did he break the RICO law and restraint of trade by pushing for and voting for the ACA.

    January 5, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. flambeauxfire

    Yeah that was idiotic. That was some Fox-News-style BS that was. In fact worse

    January 5, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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