Mitt Romney ahead of Charlottesville anniversary: We must ’consistently reject racism’
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Former Mass. Gov. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm Liberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow Romney won't say if Trump's attacks against minority lawmakers are racist MORE (R) called on Americans to reject racism and bigotry ahead of the anniversary of the "Unite the Right" protest in Charlottesville, Va., which last year resulted in multiple deaths including a counter-protester killed by a suspected white nationalist.

Romney, who secured the GOP nomination for Utah's open Senate seat in a June primary, wrote in a post Friday on his campaign website that Americans must state unequivocally that racism is a disqualifying factor for public office. 

He also called out President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE for his comments on the subject last year, which Romney has criticized in the past.


"As citizens of a nation founded on the principle of human equality, we must categorically and consistently reject racism and discrimination," Romney says in the post.

"We must insist that those we elect as our leaders respect and embrace Americans of every race, sexual orientation, gender, and national origin," he continued. "In this country, it must be electorally disqualifying to equivocate on racism."

Included in the post was Romney's 2017 tweet rebuking President Trump for blaming "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, where protesters and counter-protesters clashed before a suspected white nationalist drove a car into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring dozens and killing one counter-protester.

"No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes," Romney said at the time.

The president faced heavy criticism from both Republican and Democrats after he said at a press conference following the violence last year that "very fine people" on "both sides" of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville were responsible for the violence.

Trump on Saturday condemned the "riots in Charlottesville" and "all types of racism and acts of violence."

An anniversary rally hosted by organizer Jason Kessler is planned for Washington, D.C., this weekend, with possible protests expected in Charlottesville as well.