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Mitt Romney remembers Detroit celebration from before he was born

ROYAL OAK, Mich. -- Several nights ago, Mitt Romney began to recount a tale about when Detroit was the pride of the nation, a place where everyone wanted to be.

"I think my dad had a job, like, being the grand master or whatever of the 50th celebration of the automobile in Detroit," Romney said at a Tea Party rally in Milford. "They painted Woodward Avenue with gold paint. My memory's a little foggy here, so, uh, but – yeah I was probably four or something like that. But they had the cars go down Woodward Avenue."

His memory was a little foggy, however, because he wasn't born.


The Golden Jubilee, as the event was called, occurred nine months before Romney's birth.

A Romney aide said that he was simply telling a story about his father, and that he never claimed to have been at the event.

"Mitt doesn't say he was there, in fact, he says his memory was foggy," the aide said. "He was simply telling the story about his dad."

The discrepancy, first cited by the Toronto Star, is not the first time Romney got an event wrong about his early childhood.

In 2007, Romney had to acknowledge that he had not watched his father march with Martin Luther King Jr., as he had asserted in a nationally televised debate. Romney said at the time that his father had told him that he had marched with King and that he was using the word "saw" in a "figurative sense."

"I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great effort," Romney said then.

But historical evidence and news reports showed that George Romney never did march with King. The civil rights leader was supposed to march in Detroit, but he declined to attend.


Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.