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. YANOR

    What a kind wonderful response!!!!!! No hateful remarks. It's over with! Thank you Sir for ending this mistake!

    January 5, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. SpecialShortBus

    Gotta love corn rows...

    January 5, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Mark

    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.
    Is Harris-Perry a He or a She? Cnn doesn't seem to know either.

    January 5, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Happy New Year!

    Nobody is as hypocritical as a Liberal!

    January 5, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Mike

    Why wouldn't Romney accept the apology he's a class act!

    January 5, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. danielatlanta

    Now, let Romney apologize for his 47% comment, which was incredibly more offensive.

    January 5, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. MontanaTrace

    No big deal! She was showboating for her, in kind, liberals that are filled with hate and bigotry. She got carried away with her moment in the bright lights. It was her chance to shine for her audience of haters. She went too far. Sure that's how she really feels but she knew her humor would be appreciated by only those of her ilk. Their hate is to be whispered not miked on air in front of a camera. I don't see the big deal. It's not like her racism and hatred isn't known. She cries, fearing her career is shot. Big deal! If not her spewing hatred, it'll just be someone else. At least with her still in front of the camera, we all know what she's really thinking, instead of a replacement clone that dares not to express her true feelings. If she is to be fired, it's for being stupid, not her hatred and racism. Could have been an Obama daughter?

    January 5, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. liberal disease

    Wish you were Prez Mitt, be nice to have a man in office who actually knows how to do something besides divide!!

    January 5, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. bankshotter

    Mitt is 'so much a bigger person' than all the folks at msNBC combined.....of course he will accept the apology.

    Perry, coming from a Mormon [white] family herself, just what the heck was she thinking? then she tells us that she invites 'comedians' on for this segment.....comedians?.....oh, chortle, so funny. Pia G is not a comedian nor an actress....she is a Zero.

    and this is how a university professor, a Doctor, behaves? really? bottom line, when she made her own comment about West's daughter marrying the Romney grandchild.....that is where she went and she can't take that back. simply a big cheap shot. here is to hoping the West child grows up and is not flawed by the wealth and fame of her parents. and the same goes for the Romney grandchild – that he will grow up in a loving family, heck maybe he will run for president MIssy! now that would be sweet irony for dear Dr Perry, no?

    January 5, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Once again.....

    Who cares? Why is this news....only thing I could think to say would be "It's mighty white of him!"

    January 5, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. bumnsun

    If the reporter was white, she would have already been fired. There are 2 standards out there, one for whites and one for everyone else. Stinks

    January 5, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. 2T

    Finally a republican that is gracious and forgiving. A rare sight these days.

    January 5, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Pete

    Interesting....She seems to be crying but I don't see any tears.

    January 5, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. dfasdfasfd

    Any network that has convicted liars and tax cheats featured on its show should have it's license pulled. MSNBC is to journalism as Hustler Magazine is to literature. The wrong person apologized, she was just a pawn.

    January 5, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. john smith

    I'm a Democrat and have written and said bad things about Mr. Romney, but thanks Mitt for showing 'calm' when the caring public needed your understanding......I hope your family feels better for her apology to alllllllllllllllllllll.........there is '21' L's representing all your grandchildren.

    January 5, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Dave

    Come on people do you really expect the morons at "PMSNBC" really are sorry? First off I don't know that many people that even know what Chanel they're on. I laugh at them every chance I get because they're so unhinged in their ideas. Yes they have freedom to say whatever crap they want but they must realize that others on opposite side have the same right too and will "fire back". So I look forward to see more tearful apologies from the "Mad scientist" Al Sharpton and all the wackos from PMSNBC.

    January 5, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. RJay

    I think Mr. Romney is being a gracious acceptor, considering how mean-spirited the comments at MSNBC were. More power to him.

    January 5, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. dany

    Glad to see this gaffe over, kisses and makeup, now get on with real news, 2014 is important...we have a new working progressive congress to elect, the current one is not working...we are living in the land of two countries and its time we became one where we all benefit and not 1 percent who think we dont care for our lives

    January 5, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. king

    these right wingers are something else, i bet most of the right wingers who fought like hell to defend their duck dynasty fiasco, pushing this none drama i've got to admit that old mitten wasn't that right winged as i first thought, now hes open to assault from the gun touting right wingers. when one of fox's right winged host declare santa clause and jesus was white, fox news passed it off as being humorous. msnbc already gotten rid of martin beshare, now fox is intend to destroy the only left leaning news station in this nation. msnbc hires republican like joe scarbarow for 3 hours on morning joe every day. yet the fox news refuse to hire not one dem host for even half an hour. all the host they've got are rich right wingers. what is fox so scared of. hire a dam democrat host, if you are marketing to the general public. is it just me, or the whole country is being fooled by the fox rich right winged minions. hire someone who will defend the american people fox and not just showing the view point of the rich and corporated.

    January 5, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Liz

    This the difference between class and classless The Romneys show class., as always.

    January 5, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. stevie68a

    Republicans are generally racist. What is the issue? Look at youtube for the Romney election loss- not a black face to
    be seen. Now they prop up a black baby, and expect instant respect? I think not.

    January 5, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. counterww

    I think the woman is sincere, but she is a partisan hack that is obviously sucked into the poison that the culture of MSNBC has. That network is not one that thinks clearly.

    January 5, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Sheila

    Quite a gentleman, I'd say!

    January 5, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Jon King

    Right wing hosts should have to spend the rest of their lives apologizing, they spout worse filth every day.

    January 5, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. bones1918

    Further confirmation that we got the last election wrong.

    January 5, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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