Mitt Romney: I Can Relate to Black People

Did Mitt Romney say he 'can relate to black people' because his ancestors once owned slaves?

Claim:   Mitt Romney said he “can relate to black people” because his ancestors once owned slaves.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2012]

Is this statement true?

Mitt Romney was addressing a crowd in Prattville, Alabama, when
he stated:

I understand how difficult it can be for an African-American in today’s
society. In fact, I can relate to black people very well indeed. My
ancestors once owned slaves, and it is in my lineage to work closely with
the black community. However, just because they were freed over a century
ago doesn’t mean they can now be freeloaders. They need to be told to work
hard, and the incentives just aren’t there for them anymore. When I’m
president I plan to work closely with the black community to bring a sense
of pride and work ethic back into view for them.


Origins:   The quote cited in the Example block at the head of this page about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s addressing a crowd in Alabama and proclaiming that he “understands how difficult it can be for an African-American in today’s
society” and that he “can relate to black people very well indeed” because his “ancestors once owned slaves” and therefore it is in his “lineage to work closely with
the black community” is not something that was actually stated by Mitt Romney. It’s an unattributed excerpt from a spoof article published on 13 March 2012 by the satirical web site Free Wood Post, whose disclaimer notes that:

Free Wood Post is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within are fiction, and presumably fake news.

Last updated:   19 April 2012

Dear Reader, has long been engaged in the battle against misinformation, an effort we could not sustain without support from our audience. Producing reliable fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting requires significant resources. We pay writers, editors, web developers, and other staff who work tirelessly to provide you with an invaluable service: evidence-based, contextualized analysis of facts. Help us keep strong. Make a direct contribution today. Learn More.

Donate with PayPal