Mitt Romney said he accepts an MSNBC host’s apology after she made jokes about a family photo featuring his adopted black grandson.
The former Republican presidential nominee appeared on “Fox News Sunday” today and told Chris Wallace he believes Melissa Harris-Perry’s apology was “clearly heartfelt.”
Romney said the people at MSNBC made a big mistake, but he said everyone does — including himself.
“They’ve apologized for it,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for. I am going to move on from that. I am sure they want to move on from it.”
Harris-Perry came under fire after joking about a Christmas photo of the Romney family that showed Romney holding his newest grandson, Kieran, on his knee.
The remarks were made on Harris-Perry’s show last Sunday during a year-in-review segment.
The host was putting photos on the screen from throughout the 2013 year and asked her panel to come up with comedic captions.
When the Romney photo came up, one of panelists, actress Pia Glenn, started singing lines from the song “One of These Things Is Not Like The Others.”
Another panelist, comedian Dean Obeidallah, said the picture “really sums up the diversity of the Republican Party.”
Harris-Perry described the baby as “gorgeous,” before joking that he would one day marry North West, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
“Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws?” Harris-Perry said, drawing laughs.
Harris-Perry apologized — first on Twitter and later in an emotional segment on her show Saturday. (Her full apology can be viewed at the bottom of the story.)
Harris-Perry said she intended to say “positive and celebratory things” about the photo and she never intended to offend anyone with the segment.
“Whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive, and showing the photo in that context, that segment, was poor judgment,” said Harris-Perry, who graduated from Wake Forest and Duke universities. “So without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family.”
Harris-Perry began to tear up and said she “broke the ground rule” that families should be off-limits. She also apologized to other families who “have formed through trans-racial adoption.”
“On this program, we are dedicated to advocating for a wide diversity of families,” Harris-Perry said.
Harris-Perry started coming under fire after Republican blogs and commentators were quick to point out the comments made by the panel.
“MSNBC has become a club where the smug go to exchange hateful opinions and reassure each other it’s acceptable,” tweeted Stuart Stevens, a political consultant and senior adviser to Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Former Republican Sen. Scott Brown, a friend of the Romneys, urged MSNBC to apologize for this “wildly inappropriate incident. Viewers and the Romney family deserve better.”
“Check out these adult progressives on MSNBC mocking a black child for being adopted by a white family,” tweeted conservative commentator and radio host Dana Loesch.
Responding to a critic on Twitter, Glenn – the panelist who sang the song – said she “didn’t personally call THE BABY names or mock/attack the baby.”
In another tweet, she said: “Yes, I sang the song. There are many children in the pic & only 1 black child. I don’t see that as mocking or attacking the baby.”