Charleston shooting: Mitt Romney tells South Carolina to take down the Confederate flag

"Remove it now to honor Charleston victims"

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The Independent US

Mitt Romney has spoken out against the South Carolina state capitol’s Confederate flag in the wake of the mass shooting in Charleston.

In doing so, the 2016 presidential hopeful becomes the second Republican candidate to acknowledge the mass shooting as a racial issue.

The suspected terrorist was pictured in various photos with the Confederate flag. He reportedly told his friends that he wanted to start a race war.

Romney has previously spoken out against the flag during the 2008 presidential debate stating that it "shouldn't be" and "that it's not a flag I recognise," the Washington Times reported.

Fellow Republican Jeb Bush also called for the flag's removal in a statement issued via Facebook on Saturday.

My position on how to address the Confederate flag is clear. In Florida, we acted, moving the flag from the state...

Posted by Jeb Bush on Saturday, June 20, 2015

However, other 2016 presidential candidates have disagreed with Romney and Bush.

Carly Fiorina, Republican candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO, said the decision on the flag should be up to South Carolina.

"I think it's clearly a symbol that is very offensive to many, but my personal opinion is not what's relevant here," she said. "What's relevant here is what the people of South Carolina choose to do next."

Texas Senator Ted Cruz agreed. Cruz told the Washington Post that the state should ultimately decide the controversial flag's fate.

“Both those who see a history of racial oppression and a history of slavery, which is the original sin of our nation, and we fought a bloody civil war to expunge that sin," he said.