Mitt Romney to Announce from the Henry Ford Museum

Bumped from the diaries and slightly reformatted -- Jonathan... This is bad. This is really bad. It's evocative of then-candidate Ronald Reagan's speech near Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he proclaimed support for "states' rights" not far from the murder of civil rights workers two decades earlier. What's more, it's not the first time that Romney has taken actions that are perceived to be insensitive to the Jewish community. Poor form all around, Mitt. Poor form.

Read the entire post here

Thanks to the National Jewish Democratic Council for breaking this:

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) expressed its deep concerns today about Republican Mitt Romney's decision to announce his candidacy for President from the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan. Located on grounds formally owned by Ford, the museum is a testament to the life of Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite and xenophobe whose belief that Jews were second-class, inferior citizens were expressed in detail in his writings on his theory of Americanization. Ford was also bestowed with the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle by Adolph Hitler.

Interestingly, Romney's website only mentions that he is announcing from "Michigan," with no mention of the Henry Ford Museum.


Update [2007-2-12 15:6:14 by Jonathan Singer]: The story hits the AP wire...

Tags: 2008, anti-Semitism, immigration, Mitt Romney (all tags)



this is so bizarre

Henry Ford's insanity is hardly a secret. What was Mitt thinking? So bizarre.

by sdedeo 2007-02-12 10:14AM | 0 recs

Not to be a troll, but Henry Ford did repudiate his prior antisemitism later in life.  

Henry Ford is also a man who paid his workers above-market wages, and chartered a "Peace Ship"--an attempt to negotiate an end to World War 1 in 1916.

We should be careful about whom me make into a pariah.

(For the record, I'm a Jewish Democrat.)

by Go Vegetarian 2007-02-12 10:34AM | 0 recs
Yes, but...

...people question Ford's sincerity regarding his official apology, given that it was the result of a lawsuit, that he did not appear to have either written or signed it, and given that shortly thereafter, in 1938, he received the a medal from the government of Adolf Hitler.

Ford was a top-down leader who could not accept the possibility that his employees might be able to come up with ideas that weren't his own but useful to the company, and that his employees might prefer him as a boss to being their patron.

by palamedes 2007-02-12 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Ford

"Not to be a troll, but Henry Ford did repudiate his prior antisemitism later in life.  "

George Bush repudiated his use of alcohol and drugs, but he's still a drunk.

by haypops 2007-02-12 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Mitt Romney to Announce from the Henry Ford Mu

Mormons consider everyone else - even Jews - to be Gentiles.

Gotta expect a little insensitivity here.

by RT 2007-02-12 10:55AM | 0 recs
What a strange comment.

Is this some sort of attempt at irony?

by Valatan 2007-02-12 05:33PM | 0 recs
It sounds like it's time...

....for a Democrat to give a national speech on racial, ethnic and religious tolerance, at, oh, say Nauvoo, Illinois.


Just sayin'....

by palamedes 2007-02-12 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Mitt Romney to Announce from the Henry Ford Mu

It's unsurprising Romney would announce in Michigan since his father was the governor and his family has close ties to the state.

As for the Henry Ford Museum, while I understand Henry Ford's ugly history, I confess this never would have occurred to me if someone hadn't raised the issue.  I'm not what sure Philadelphia, Mississippi is known for other than the events described in Mississippi Burning, but I have to imagine that most Americans think of Henry Ford as an entrepeneur first and an anti-semite second.

In fact, when I was a kid my school used to take field trips to the very Henry Ford Museum we're talking about... and my school was run by Holocaust survivors.

by Steve M 2007-02-12 11:26AM | 0 recs
Philadelphia, MS

To the best of my knowledge, the official plausible deniability line about where Reagan kicked off his campaign was that there was a county fair there where presidential candidates always visited.  Since the South was still perceived to be leaning Democratic back then - especially with Jimmy Carter heading the ticket - Reagan had to pay special attention to the region in order to bolster his chances of carrying it.

No, of course I don't agree with any of the above.  I don't know if the county fair thing is true in the first place, and even if it is, that doesn't justify the location.  I don't buy that Reagan was expecting the South to vote against him just because he was a Republican when most of those states had voted for either Republicans or George Wallace in three of the previous four elections.  If that really was his concern, than that would be all the more reason for him to pander to racists.  All I am saying is that there was an alternative explanation available for those who wanted to be duped into believing Reagan's motives were pure.

As far as Romney is concerned, though, I don't think anti-Semitism plays as well today as racism played in 1980.  So while the location is very unfortunate, I have a hard time believing he has the same motives here that Reagan had in Mississippi.  But then, maybe I should be even more suspicious about most Republicans than I already am!

by RamblinDave 2007-02-12 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Philadelphia, MS

I agree, this in no way compares with Reagan's announcement in Philadelphia, MS. Philadelphia, MS is known for only one thing, and Reagan had no link to Mississippi. Ford, despite the anti-semitism, is also known as one of America's great corporate titans. Romney's background as a corporate exec and his family's history in Michigan give the location plausibility, although, it's clearly an insensitive location selection, and should be changed.

by blueflorida 2007-02-12 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Mitt Romney to Announce from the Henry Ford Mu

It's unsurprising Romney would announce in Michigan since his father was the governor and his family has close ties to the state."

Before being Governor, his father was President of American Motors/Jeep/Rambler/AM General (manufacturer of Humvee and mail delivery vehicles/Rambler/Kelvinator -- what ever name they went by at various times.  It is beyond bizarre that Mitt would go to Ford to find a venue to announce.

by haypops 2007-02-12 04:02PM | 0 recs
Arbeit macht frei, Mitt Glück?

What a disgrace, and what a moron.

And as if he ever had a chance. He's such a fake that he even makes Bush look authentic by comparison. He's like a bad SNL parody of a slick plastic baby-kissing politician. It's almost as if he takes his political cues from the Daily Show. This boneheaded (not to mention hugely insensitive bordering on outright racist) move just further kills his chances.

And if he starts getting cocky, I have five words for him: 2002 Olympics and Big Dig.

Romney is a near non-entity in the '08 race. The only role he might play is either spoiler or as a really bad VP choice--i.e. he can only help us and hurt them. Go Romney!

by kovie 2007-02-12 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Mitt Romney - not like that NYer Rudy Giuliani

I would call it exactly like Reagan's announcement.

How will the "Deliverance" wing of the GOP distinguish the two front-runners?  

Romney needs to inoculate himself against the mistrust of the fundies, and how better to do so than to throw some red meat toward anti-Semites (who will then make the Giuliani-NY-Jewish connection).  


by chiefscribe 2007-02-12 01:59PM | 0 recs


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