Mitt Romney joined a group of more than 1,000 Christians who marched in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, with the Republican senator saying he wanted to add his voice to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate wore a mask and joined others walking through the streets of the nation’s capital toward the White House. He told an NBC News reporter that he wanted to join the others speaking out against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last month.
“We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality,” Romney said in a clip shared on Twitter. “And we need to stand up and say that black lives matter.”
Romney later shared a picture of himself at the event on his official social media accounts. While he did not elaborate more, many noted that the issue may be a personal one for Romney, who is the grandfather of a black child adopted by his son and daughter-in-law.
There have been several days of peaceful protests in the nation’s capital after some early demonstrations that turned violent, with protesters clashing with police and damaging property. One of those peaceful protests took place on Monday when police and law enforcement officials from a number of federal agencies reportedly pushed out protesters ahead of Trump holding a photo op in front of a church, leading to widespread criticism of the president.
Romney’s appearance at the rally came hours after a number of top Trump administration officials denied that there is a problem with systemic racism in law enforcement, including Attorney General William Barr, who said that issues like the death of Floyd represent isolated incidents rather than a deeper problem. While Romney did not make any reference to Trump during his appearance at Sunday’s protest, he has sharply criticized Donald Trump on a number of issues, including race relations.
Back in 2018, after reports that Trump referred to some African nation as “sh*thole countries,” Romney issued a statement rebuking Trump. The statement was sent on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and invoked the memory of the civil rights movement leader.
“The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race. The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent w/ America’s history and antithetical to American values,” Romney tweeted. “May our memory of Dr. King buoy our hope for unity, greatness, & ‘charity for all.’”