• Gage Skidmore
  • Mitt Romney, addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference last year

“Civil rights for African-Americans was George Romney’s lifelong, passionate cause, undertaken in defiance of his church as well as the conservative wing of his party,” Geoffrey Kabaservice wrote in the New York Times Book Review Sunday. “Mitt has shown scant inclination to follow his father’s example.”

Kabaservice is author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party, published earlier this year. The elder Romney was chairman and president of the American Motors Corporation, then was elected governor of Michigan in 1962. “George Romney governed at a time when Republican moderation meant something,” Kabaservice wrote Sunday, in the course of reviewing The Real Romney, a new book on Mitt. “He stood not only for pro-business fiscal conservatism but for civil rights and civil liberties” including “government programs to promote equal opportunities for all Americans. If his son has the courage to champion such positions in the face of conservative opposition within his party, he has given little indication of it in his campaign so far.”