UPDATE: Initial reports that a Romney campaign slogan was also once used by the KKK were incorrect. Romney's "keep America America" line is different, though sounds similar, to "keep America American." The Los Angeles Times issued a correction to their initial quotation, MSNBC apologized for their coverage, and Snopes said it was "false" to claim that the two phrases were identical. Americablog has updated their story but maintains that the phrases have "nuance without a difference."
WASHINGTON -- It's the type of coincidence every politician dreads. On Tuesday, political commenters reported that one of Romney's go-to campaign catch-phrases, "Keep America American," was a central theme of Ku Klux Klan publications in the 1920s, and served as a rallying cry for the white supremacist group's campaign of violence and intimidation against black Americans, as well as Catholics, gay people and Jews.
The progressive Americablog first posted examples of the overlap, and a spokeswoman for Mitt Romney declined to comment on the matter when reached by HuffPost.
The Republican primary debates have ignited issues of immigration and poverty in this country, both of which disproportionally affect minorities. But Romney, a multi-millionaire, has steered away from some of the more drastic positions his rival candidates have taken on these issues.
Americablog includes a video of Romney speaking, in which he certainly sounds like he's using the slogan. Romney is also quoted in an L.A. Times piece repeating the phrase.
The slogan was first used in the 1850s by members of the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic movement called the "Know Nothing Party," many of whom were reacting to the dramatic influx of immigrants in the mid-19th century, especially those fleeing Ireland's Potato Famine.