As NewsBusters previous reported, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry issued a heartfelt apology to the Romneys at the beginning of her show Saturday for mocking their adopted black grandson last weekend.
On Fox News Sunday, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney – showing the class we’ve all grown accustomed to from him – said, “I think it's a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason, we hold no ill will whatsoever” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: Finally, sir, you send out a wonderful Christmas card each year, and we've just put it up on the screen with your beautiful family. I’m fortunate enough to get the Christmas card to be on your list. This year you had a new member on your lap, your grandson Kieran, an African-American baby adopted by your son Ben. For some reason, MSNBC decided to make him a target for ridicule. I know it's distasteful, sir, but here's a clip of what went on.
After the offensive clip, Wallace continued:
WALLACE: Governor, this must be hurtful, and I know you are a classy guy and you don't want to get into it, but I got to ask you, honestly, from the heart, how did you, and, quite frankly, how did Mrs. Romney feel when you heard your little baby grandson Kieran was the target for political ridicule?
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR MASSACHUSETTS: Well, first, let me just note, Chris, that we love this little guy a great deal. He was an answer to prayer and we love that he’s part of our family. He is part of our family.
That being said, I recognize that people make mistakes, and the folks at MSNBC made a big mistake, and they've apologized for it. And that's all you can ask for. I’m going to move on from that. I’m sure they want to move on from it. Look, I've made plenty of mistakes myself, and they've apologized for this, and, you know, I think we can go on from there.
WALLACE: Well, let me just ask, and if I can press just a little bit on this, sir, you tend to speak from the head. I know Mrs. Romney tends to speak from the heart. I suspect she took this somewhat more personally, and, you know, the idea that political discourse would include going after a little baby.
ROMNEY: Well, you know, I think people recognize, and the folks at MSNBC who’ve apologized recognize, that people like me are fair targets. If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming. But children, that’s, you know, that's beyond the line, and 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.
WALLACE: Finally, I just want to play, because the anchor of the segment as you mentioned, Melissa Harris-Perry yesterday on her show did apologize for her comments. Here's a bit of that.
After the clip, Wallace continued:
WALLACE: On the other hand, I have to point out during the segment, she had a good laugh and said maybe Kieran would marry Kim Kardashian's daughter and then you and Kanye West would be in-laws. Your reactions to her comments then and her apology yesterday, sir.
ROMNEY: I think her apology was clearly heartfelt, and we accept that. And with regards to the rest of the comments, I hadn't heard those and don't really have any comment on those.
How refreshing. Such class and such grace.
Would a Democratic politician have behaved this way if mocked by so mocked by a conservative commentator, or used it as a vehicle to bash his opponents for political gain - of course with the assistance of the media?
This would likely have been turned into another "teachable moment" about racism from the right with the Democrat in question having a beer summit.
Fortunately, Romney's made of better stuff than that.
Bravo, Governor! Bravo!