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Romney shares campaign slogan with Ku Klux Klan, 19th-century anti-immigrant party

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As both seasoned politicians and eleventh-grade student-council presidents know, when coming up with a campaign slogan, it's probably best to avoid using one that's also been used by a white-supremacist hate group. GOP candidate Mitt Romney, however, apparently did not run for student-council president in high school. On Tuesday, AMERICAblog reported that one of Romney's most oft-repeated campaign slogans, "Keep America American," was also used by the Ku Klux Klan, who used the pithy catchphrase in their 1920s promotional materials. The slogan was first used in the 1850s by the Know Nothing Party, a nativist movement that aimed to protect jobs by curbing Irish-Catholic immigration. 

Although a spokesperson for Romney's office declined to comment on the story, it's probably safe to assume that Romney was unaware of the slogan's controversial history. Like most campaign slogans, "Keep America American" is superficially too vague to be offensive; divorced from its context, it sounds just as much like a slogan for toilet paper as it does a rallying cry for brutally violent white supremacists ("Keep America American: Wipe your butt with Charmin, made in the USA!").

It is, however, not totally outrageous to say that if this is the case, Romney — who has used the catchphrase in numerous rallies and campaign ads, including the one below — should have done more research into the history of, you know, the country that he's trying to be elected president of, before choosing a slogan that only your racist great-grandpa and Mel Gibson would probably approve of.