Political Intelligence

Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney, was public aid recipient as child after family fled Mexico

Mitt Romney had harsh words for welfare recipients in a hidden-camera videotape from a May fundraiser that was leaked this week.

But his own father was once among public aid recipients.

As the Globe has previously reported, George Romney’s family fled from Mexico in 1912 to escape a revolution there, and benefited from a $100,000 fund established by Congress to help refugees who had lost their homes and most of their belongings.

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That fund may have been what Lenore Romney, George Romney’s wife and Mitt Romney’s mother, was referring to in a video that was posted online earlier this month but has received renewed attention in the wake of Mitt Romney’s comments.

“[George Romney] was on welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities,” Lenore Romney said in the video, which apparently dates back to George Romney’s 1962 run for governor of Michigan.

In Mitt Romney’s remarks at the May fundraiser, he said that 47 percent of people are dependent upon government, and described that segment of the population as a lost cause, both as prospective GOP voters and more generally.

“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he said.

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