Mitt Romney accepts MSNBC host's apology

Melissa Harris-Perry issued a tearful apology after mocking Romney's adopted African-American grandson

Published January 5, 2014 2:50PM (EST)

Mitt Romney has accepted MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry's tearful apology for an offensive segment in which the host poked fun at the former GOP presidential candidate's adopted, African-American grandson, Kieran Romney.

In the original segment on Dec. 30, Harris-Perry asked guests to comment on the Romney family's Christmas photo, which included Mitt Romney's 22 grandchildren -- all of whom are white, except for Kieran.

Actress Pia Glenn sang the "Sesame Street" song lyrics, "one of these things is not like the other," while comedian Dean Obeidallah said the photo "really sums up the diversity of the Republican party." Harris-Perry hypothesized that Kieran could marry Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's child, and tried to "imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws."

Harris-Perry, who also took to Twitter to apologize to the Romneys the following day, admitted in her on-air apology that she “broke the ground rule that families are off-limits.”

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday" on Jan. 5, the former Massachusetts Gov. said that he holds "no ill will whatsoever" for the offensive segment because he felt Harris-Perry's subsequent response was "heartfelt."

"I think people recognize, and the folks at MSNBC who have apologized recognize, people like me are fair targets: If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming," said Romney. "For children, that's beyond the line. I think they understand that and feel that as well. I think it's a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason we hold no ill will whatsoever."

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Adoption Christmas Diversity Kieran Romney Melissa Harris-perry Mitt Romney Msnbc Race