In 1964, George Romney, dissatisfied with Republican passivity on the growing civil rights movement, walked out of the GOP convention during Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech. He was a liberal-to-moderate Republican at that time, allied with Nelson Rockefeller. George would later make his name as a racial integration-ist, staunchly critical of Nixon’s so-called “Southern Strategy” of 1970, which withheld housing funds from projects that barred black families. He also famously opposed the Vietnam War, once saying that troops received “the greatest brainwashing that anyone can get.”
So what did Mitt take from his father’s example? Alex Pareene over at Salon writes:
“It did tell me you have to be very, very careful in your choice of words,” Mitt Romney told the Atlantic in 2005. “The careful selection of words is something I’m more attuned to because Dad fell into that quagmire.”
There you have it: Be careful never to say anything of import and don’t believe in anything, and the presidency could be yours. Or the Republican nomination, at least.
Perhaps we should have been tipped off by Mitt’s refusal to release even a single full tax return, of which his father released 12.