A Romney win would be worrisome, however, because of his strong embrace of states rights and his deep mistrust of the federal government — sentiments Andrew Johnson shared.
And we know what that Johnson did once in office.
His sympathy for Confederacy holdouts, and his distaste for Washington, led him to retreat from Reconstruction and avert his gaze as Southern states enacted Jim Crow laws, many of which lasted until the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
There is nothing in Romney’s record to suggest that he would be any stronger than Andrew Johnson in resisting the blandishments of his most extreme supporters, especially regarding federal enforcement.
Johnson stood by as Southern states enacted “black codes,” which restricted rights of freed blacks and prevented blacks from voting.