Friday, November 11, 2005


Federalist Society Thinks the KKK is Funny. And I thought they only limited their activities to rolling back civil rights laws....

Romney distances himself from KKK joke
By Andrew Miga / Associated Press
Friday, November 11, 2005

BOSTON -- Republican Gov. Mitt Romney was introduced as head of a state run by the "KKK ... the Kerry, Kennedy Klan" before his speech yesterday in Washington, words that sparked criticism from Massachusetts Democrats and a rebuke from Romney himself.

"It's not appropriate to joke about the Ku Klux Klan," Romney said in a phone interview from Washington after his luncheon address to the Federalist Society.

Romney branded the remarks "ill-advised" and "inappropriate."

State Democratic Party chairman Phil Johnston, who has criticized Romney for making Massachusetts the butt of jokes as a liberal bastion during his out-of-state travel as he considers a run for president, said he was outraged by the reference to Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry invoking the KKK.

"It's very damaging to Massachusetts, which has a history of tolerance," said Johnston. "A governor is supposed to be a salesperson for his state, Romney is just the opposite. He's trying to run for president by trashing his own state."

The introductory remarks were made by New York attorney Gerald Walpin, a member of the Federalist Society Board of Visitors, according to Keith Appel, a GOP consultant working for the Federalist Society. Walpin did not immediately respond to a telephone message left for him at the Federalist Society.

"Today when most of the country thinks of who controls Massachusetts, I think the modern day KKK comes to mind - the Kennedy, Kerry Klan," Walpin said, according to Appel, who reviewed a tape recording of the event.

Johnston said Romney should have denounced the reference to the KKK on the spot.

"Romney could have easily have pointed out the inappropriateness of the comment in his speech," said Johnston.

Romney said he wasn't really paying attention to the introduction. Asked about his response, Romney said: "I was looking at my notes and preparing for my speech at the time."

Romney said Johnston should address any criticism directly to Walpin.

"There's not much I can do about speakers who introduce me," said Romney. "(Johnston) should address his comments to the person making the introduction."

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