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Harold Ford Jr. Misstates NY History


Harold Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman who may run for a U.S. Senate seat from New York, did an interview with The New York Times in which he said that Eleanor Roosevelt opposed Senate candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1964 -- two years after Mrs. Roosevelt had died.

Ford talked with columnist Maureen Dowd about some New Yorkers' resistance to his potential primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Gay voters in particular are angry that Ford voted twice for the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage while he served in Congress. He now supports marriage equality.

In his defense, Ford invoked the 1964 Senate race in the interview.

"I'm not comparing myself to Bobby Kennedy by any stretch, but he was opposed by the liberal establishment too," Ford said. "Eleanor Roosevelt was the biggest opponent to him running."

As Tom Robbins at The Village Voice reports, the line, which ran in the print edition on Sunday, later prompted the following explanation online.

"Editor's Note: Harold Ford was quoted in this column as saying that Eleanor Roosevelt opposed Bobby Kennedy's New York Senate run. But as many of our readers pointed out, Ford was mistaken; Mrs. Roosevelt died two years before Bobby Kennedy's run for the New York Senate."

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