Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Thursday expressed support for removing the names of Confederate figures from at least some U.S. military bases.
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Romney said he would support a measure to rename military bases honoring confederate leaders “in some cases.” When asked about President Trump’s blanket opposition to renaming bases, he replied: that’s “not where I’d be.”
Reporter: "Do you support removing the names?"
Sen. Mitt Romney: "In some cases."
Reporter: "Why not all cases?"
Sen. Mitt Romney: "I'll look at them one by one." pic.twitter.com/UJnkLrjxDd
— The Hill (@thehill) June 11, 2020
On Wednesday, President Trump dismissed calls to renaming bases named after Confederate figures, declaring: “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with.”
“It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc,” the president wrote on Twitter. “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars.”
President Trump’s remarks come after a spokesperson for Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in a Monday interview with Politico that he is “open” to a “bipartisan discussion” on whether to rename 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate figures. Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky said Defense Secretary Mark Esper also supports possible discussions on the matter.
Retired U.S. Army General and former CIA Director David Petraeus on Tuesday called for the removal of the names of Confederate figures from Army bases worldwide.
Pelosi told a House-Senate committee with jurisdiction over the controversial topic that Confederate statues “pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”
The California Democrat made the announcement on the very day President Donald Trump vowed on Twitter that he would not rename military bases honoring Confederate generals. Only a short time before Pelosi’s statement, NASCAR announced it would ban displays of the Confederate flag at its races.
Confederate monuments have reemerged as a national flashpoint since the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Protesters decrying racism have targeted Confederate monuments in multiple cities, and some state officials are considering taking them down.
Pelosi lacks the authority to order the removal of the 11 Capitol statues honoring Confederates but is urging the little-noticed Joint Committee on the Library to vote to remove them. Senate Republicans share jurisdiction.
The AP contributed to this report.