When Saul Alinsky met George Romney

Will Rahn Senior Editor
Font Size:

Saul Alinsky is remembered as a titan of left-wing activism. He was also apparently on pretty good terms with Mitt Romney’s dad.

Photos published Tuesday by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczyinski show then-Michigan Gov. George Romney palling around with the radical organizer. And, Kaczyinski notes, Alinsky and George Romney once met to discuss the racial turmoil engulfing Michigan’s largest city, according to the book “Romney’s Way” by journalist T. George Harris.

“I think you ought to listen to Alinsky,” George Romney, a member of the GOP’s liberal wing and an unsuccessful presidential candidate, told his political allies in the wake of 1967’s devastating race riots in Detroit.

The pictures, preserved by the Library of Congress, show what appears to be the two men laughing and shaking hands in Rochester, New York on September 13, 1967.

Although he’s been dead for nearly 40 years, Alinsky is still considered something of a boogeyman by conservatives. And Mitt Romney’s main opponent for the Republican nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, frequently mentions Alinsky’s name in connection with President Obama.

“The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky,” Gingrich said during a recent speech in South Carolina.

Follow Will on Twitter

Will Rahn