January 5th, 2014
10:21 AM ET
9 years 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."

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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. Equalizer1

    I'm still waiting for Romney's apology about insulting the 47 % of Americans.

    An apology from Romney will never come as he is totally classless and shameless.

    This is the difference between liberals and conservatives.

    When liberals make a mistake, they acknowledge it and even have the guts to resign (like Martin Bashir).

    But these classless shameless right wingers who spew hate don't even have the guts to say there sorry.

    January 5, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Mark42R

    She should be fired, but suspending Phil Robertson was a freedom of speech violation. Bigotry is protected speech but don't talk about the kids of politicians I like.

    January 5, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. UriNation

    Schindler's List: "I forgive you."

    January 5, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Steven Kazanjian

    What was said about Romney and his family and what was/is said about Palin and her family is disgusting. There is no room anywhere for anyone to make comments or put other people down like that....That said, the bottom 47% of the country is still waiting for Romney's apology.

    January 5, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Concerned

    PS...how do figure Romney is a "jerk"...because he is rich? He may be rich but he is far from being a jerk. Kanye West who was mentioned by Ms. Perry is a JERK....and he too is rich. She is right, I can't imagine Mr. West ever attempting to get along with people like the Romney's but I can see the Romney's trying to get along with someone like West.

    January 5, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. madrogio

    Rude and crude, and a gracious response. Nothing unexpected here. BUT–MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!

    Seek medical help from your dermatologist for thin skin. Think Romney cares about a no-account MSNBC host? So, why do you? Worry about stuff that really matters, like how to pay your bills w/o government assistance, get a job, or live an honorable and productive life!

    January 5, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. Hillary

    I wish Mr. Crisco would disappear into his insipid characterless shell and stay there.

    January 5, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. suzy hager

    I'm a Democrat. I don't like Romney. BUT his son Ben is the one who adopted this baby. He's a Doctor. He was mostly absent during the election, he was home taking care of his patients.

    January 5, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. mike in NH

    Melissa Harris-Perry only apologized because she was called out on it, her qualified apology said she was trying to celebrate diversity and it went wrong...........pleeeeeez.

    Romney on the other hand is a good man and class act regardless of how the Dems and MSM tried to paint him during the 2012 election.

    January 5, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Wein

    apology or not she must be removed from her post end of story. It's disgusting how a white professional is required to act responsibly but not a black person. please remove her immediatly. If blacks are not held accountable they will never amount to anything.

    January 5, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Chiam

    Thankfully we have Fox news to watch that doesn't do those things. Why do you think Bill O;Reiily is no. 1.?

    Msnbc has a history of being truly evil. Fox doesnt end of story get a life. Losers.

    January 5, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Devon

    So where is the apology from Phil Robertson for offending millions of people for his remarks... Oh wait, that was free speech. But what this woman did wasn't free speech, eh conservatives? Conservatives will only defend free speech so long as it is something they agree with. That much is clear.

    January 5, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. blakenaustin

    Another MSNBC employee busted for their very public hypocrisy. Apologizing profusely in an effort to save her job. This double standard with the far left media is deeply disturbing.

    January 5, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. adminpalmblog

    Enough people have lost their jobs thanks to Romney. If people in the news should lose their jobs for saying the "wrong" thing, then Fox News wouldn't have any employees.

    January 5, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Matt

    I would almost believe this if MSNBC on air personalities didn't do this constantly and if she hadn't given some lame apology via twitter first. Yet another example of "my agent told me I better do this or I might get fired" "apologies."

    January 5, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. smellferd

    Funny.. there are more details of her apology on this site than on msnbc.

    January 5, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Name

    all I want to say if it was a white person female or male or even Mexican they would got fired JUST THINK ABOUT IT!!!

    January 5, 2014 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. JJ

    I wish Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin would GO AWAY. Two of the most useless, annoying failures of politicians this country has seen

    January 5, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. Susan McFarland

    To all of you that keep posting about the vile racist things that have been said on Fox News – please name ONE thing that a Fox news anchor said that is anything close to what was said during Perry's segment, or Ed Schultz's comments about a conservative talk show host, or Martin Bashir's rant against Sarah Palin.
    Name one.

    January 5, 2014 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. Mikek

    Melissa is classless.. In her position, she has more of a responsibility of watching what she says.. The bawling does not make her apology anymore sincere and should never, ever bring make fun of children or families.. Families are the corner stone of this great county. Melissa is flat out classless...

    January 5, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Qwen

    Good for Mitt Romney accepting the apology. I agree with the sentiment that kids and grandkids of politicians should be off limits. I disagreed with the jokes about Chelsea Clinton. I also disagree with the jokes pointed at Mitt Romney's grandchild.

    January 5, 2014 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. Horus

    What ever happened to the First Amendment of the US Constitution? The part that guarantees the right to free speech? Is that woman being forced to bow down to the elites?

    January 5, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. SouthernFriedInfidel

    I've said this over and over: why is this political has-been still getting attention? If he couldn't win the most winnable election since 1980, he SHOULD have just hung his head in shame and vanished into the woodwork from whence he came.

    January 5, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Horus

    Why is that woman being forced to bow down to the Elites? What about the First amandment to the US Constitution? Is it still in force?

    January 5, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. J. Lennon

    The adopted black baby is the new trendy/ status accessory for rich white women, like Birkin bags were 10yrs ago or real pashminas 15 yrs back. It's nauseating. But, hey, I guess good for the baby's trust fund (if said trust fund will exist) and good for the adopted parents' consciences.

    January 5, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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