SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney marched in a faith-based demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Sunday organized by local pastors to protest the death of George Floyd.
“We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality. And we need to stand up and say that black lives matter,” Romney, R-Utah, told a reporter at the march.
.@MittRomney is marching with a group of nearly 1,000 Christians to the White House. Here he is on video saying why he’s walking: “... to make sure that people understand that Black Lives Matter” https://t.co/KCxJNchCMs pic.twitter.com/Za0Am2WL8g— Hannah Natanson (@hannah_natanson) June 7, 2020
Hundreds walked along closed roads toward the White House in a faith-based march meant to recall the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights marches in Alabama, according to The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump weighed in on video of Romney marching with protesters Monday in a sarcastic Twitter post:
“Tremendous sincerity, what a guy. Hard to believe, with this kind of political talent, his numbers would “tank” so badly in Utah!”
Rep. Ben McAdams, Utah’s only Democratic member of Congress, also tweeted about Romney on Monday, saying “@MittRomeny is highly respected by Utah Republicans AND Democrats for the way he seeks to bring us together to tackle our country’s most difficult challenges. Count me among those grateful for his leadership this weekend.”
On Saturday, Romney tweeted a photo of his father, George Romney, marching in a civil rights protest in Detroit in the late 1960s. The elder Romney, who served as governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president in 1968.
This is my father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the Detroit suburbs during the late 1960s—“Force alone will not eliminate riots,” he said. “We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.” pic.twitter.com/SzrcAyfPD8— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) June 6, 2020
The Washington event Sunday started with a prayer by the Rev. Vernon Mitchell of Evergreen Baptist Church in Southeast D.C., “God, we trust in you. We are putting our lives in your hands.” Then, guarded by police motorcycles, the group headed for the White House.
The mostly Christian protesters chanted, “Black lives matter!” and sang “This Little Light of Mine.”
Last week, Romney criticized the Trump administration for clearing nonviolent protesters across from the White House just before President Donald Trump walked through it to stand for a publicity photo outside a church that was vandalized.
Romney said the “murder of George Floyd shocked and sickened me” and that he respects those who have protested and demanded the country address racism and brutality.
“From the news clips I have seen, the protesters across from the White House were orderly and nonviolent. They should not have been removed by force and without warning, particularly when the apparent purpose was to stage a photo op,” the senator said in a statement.
Attorney General William Barr ordered that the perimeter near the White House be extended, pushing protesters away from Lafayette Square across from the White House shortly before Trump’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church where he posed holding up a Bible.