Mitt Romney Marches With Protesters in Washington, Says 'Black Lives Matter'

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney marched in a Washington, D.C., Black Lives Matter protest Sunday after the death of George Floyd, becoming the first GOP senator who has joined in the demonstrations against racism and police brutality. Sharing a photo on Twitter of his time marching, the 2012 Republican presidential explicitly aligned himself with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Clad in a mask amid the coronavirus pandemic, Romney told the Washington Post that he had decided to protest amid the worldwide movement to "end violence and brutality, and to make sure that people understand that black lives matter." He later told an NBC News reporter, "We need many voices against racism and against brutality. ...We need to stand up and say that black lives matter." Romney's decision to protest was later mocked by President Donald Trump, who sarcastically commented on his fellow Republican's "political talent" and "tremendous sincerity" alongside a video of the protest at the nation's capital.

This wasn't the first time Romney has commented on the ongoing social uprising after the death of Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. "No Americans should fear enmity and harm from those sworn to protect us," Romney tweeted three days after Floyd died. "The death of George Floyd must not be in vain: Our shock and outrage must grow into collective determination to extinguish forever such racist abuse." He also called Floyd's death "abhorrent" and a "murder," and denounced violence at protests, saying it "drowns the message of the protesters and mocks the principles of justice."

Saturday, Romney shared a photo of his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, marching in a Civil Rights demonstration in the 1960s. Quoting his father, the younger Romney wrote, "Force alone will not eliminate riots. ...We must eliminate the problems from which they stem."

The politician has been praised for departing party lines to stand with the anti-racism movement. "Please continue to stand for truth and integrity," one person commented on his Instagram. "History has chosen Mitt Romney and others to stand up and the defend this great nation," another wrote. "Country over party." A third chimed in, "Stand your ground and do what’s right!! Appreciate you standing up for the right cause!!"