Former Obama rival Mitt Romney first Republican to join George Floyd protests

Mitt Romney has become the first known Republican senator to join protests over how police treat black Americans.

The Utah senator posted a picture on Twitter of himself wearing a mask as he walked with protesters at a rally in Washington DC, along with the caption: “Black Lives Matter.”

Mr Romney has repeatedly used Twitter in response to the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

He has called for protests to be “peaceful”, and labelled the killing of the 46-year-old in Minneapolis as “abhorrent”.

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The march through the capital on Sunday came on the 12th day of nationwide protests since Mr Floyd’s death.

It was one of many other such rallies in the US, including in New York and Chicago, and across the world.

Mr Romney, who lost to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, told NBC News: “We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality.”

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On Saturday the 73-year-old had tweeted a photograph of his father, governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, which showed him marching with civil rights protesters in Detroit in the 1960s.

With the picture, Mr Romney wrote: “This is my father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the Detroit suburbs during the late 1960s.

“‘Force alone will not eliminate riots,’ he said. ‘We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.'”

This is my father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the Detroit suburbs during the late 1960s—“Force alone will not eliminate riots,” he said. “We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.”

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) June 6, 2020

In joining the march, Mr Romney has again put himself at odds with Donald Trump, who has criticised protesters and threatened to use the military against them.

Mr Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to seek the removal of Mr Trump when he faced impeachment charges last year.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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