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Romney’s MLK Problem Just Got Worse

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(Not pictured: the Romneys.)

Willard the lifelong hunter endorsed by the NRA has really painted himself in a corner over this weird claim that he saw his father march with Martin Luther King. Yesterday (via Atrios), the straight-talker said:

You know, I speak in the sense of I saw my dad become president of American Motors. I wasn’t actually there when he became president of American Motors, but I saw him in the figurative sense of he marched with Martin Luther King. My brother also remembers him marching with Martin Luther King and so in that sense I saw him march with Martin Luther King.”

He added, “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl. I saw my dad become president of American Motors. Did that mean you were there for the ceremony? No, it’s a figure of speech.”

But today we learn (via Sullivan):

Romney has repeated the story of his father marching with King in some of his most prominent presidential campaign appearances, including the "Tonight" show with Jay Leno in May, his address on faith and politics Dec. 6 in Texas, and on NBC’s "Meet The Press" on Sunday, when he was questioned about the Mormon Church’s ban on full participation by black members. He said that he had cried in his car in 1978 when he heard the ban had ended, and added, "My father marched with Martin Luther King."

Mitt Romney went a step further in a 1978 interview with the Boston Herald. Talking about the Mormon Church and racial discrimination, he said: "My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit."

Do English literature majors use an alternate definition of "marched with" that I’m ignorant of?

Poor Willard. At least the NRA lie was aptly targeted at the GOP base. But who’s this fib meant for? Republican primary voters in New Hampshire and Iowa who idolize MLK? That seems like a pretty tiny sliver of the electorate, but maybe I’m stereotyping.

UPDATE

First of all, Tbogg has a funny post on this as well. Meanwhile, they’re spinning like crazy over at the Corner, with Steyn linking to Halperin and declaring "end of story" while Pantload says it’s all fine because, after all, Willard is just proud of his dad. Hilarious.

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