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AP Reporter Confronts Romney On Lobbyists Claim

AP Reporter Confronts Romney On Lobbyists Claim

Reuters
January 18, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdGUSjd3Tmo

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was challenged on Thursday over the role of lobbyists in his campaign as he sought to portray himself as more of a Washington outsider than his Republican rivals. A reporter took issue with Romney’s assertion that no lobbyists were running his campaign, leading to a heated exchange with the former Massachusetts governor at a campaign stop in an office supply store in South Carolina.“I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,” said Romney, who is seeking to win the state’s primary on Saturday after taking this week’s Michigan primary, keeping alive his bid to become the Republican presidential nominee for the November election.

“I don’t have lobbyists that are tied to my …”

Associated Press journalist Glen Johnson interrupted at this point to say that Ron Kaufman, one of Romney’s top advisors, is a lobbyist.

“Did you hear what I said, Glen?” a clearly irritated Romney said. “I said, ‘I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,’ and he’s not running my campaign. He’s an adviser. And the person who runs my campaign is Beth Myers, and I have a whole staff of deputy campaign managers.”

Kaufman is a registered lobbyist for Dutko Worldwide. His clients have included Fedex, Sprint Nextel, Union Pacific and United Health Care.

“My campaign is not based on Washington lobbyists,” Romney said. “I haven’t been in Washington. I don’t have lobbyists at my elbow that are arguing for one industry or another industry and I do not have favors I have to repay to people who have been in Washington for years or scores I have to settle.”

Television showed a member of Romney’s media staff telling Johnson after the briefing that he was “out of line” and not to be “argumentative” with the campaign.

The presence of lobbyists on a campaign team has become a issue because of the perception that they distort policymaking, making it beholden to industry and business interests.

Democratic candidate John Edwards tells audiences he has never taken money from Washington lobbyists in a bid to distinguish himself from rivals Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Romney has raised at least $229,475 from lobbyists for his presidential bid as of September 30, 2007, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit group that tracks money in politics. Only Sen. John McCain has raised more among Republicans, it said.

Romney has been criticized for changing positions on policies such as abortion and over the accuracy of some of his statements. In December, Romney said he had seen his father march with civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Campaign aides later said he was speaking figuratively.

Romney: I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign.The truth: They do
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/R/ROMNE..ULT

Edwards and Obama LIE about not taking money from lobbyists
http://noworldsystem.com/2008/..ing-money-from-lobbyists/

 


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