Republican presidential candidate Mitt “Flipper” Romney had a bit of a confrontation with Associated Press reporter Glen Johnson today …
I guess it all depends on what your definition of “running” is.
Republicans have a tendency to get real defensive when confronted with the truth. I don’t think Mr. Romney’s press secretary was one bit appreciative. Nor was that lady at the very end of the video: “I think you’re rude and ugly.” Obviously a Romney supporter, and a rather rude and intrusive one at that (though, I will admit, kind of funny).
Here’s the story that Mr. Johnson filed:
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Republican Mitt Romney said Thursday he could govern in the country’s best interest because “I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,” although Washington insiders are on his senior staff and registered lobbyists are top advisers.
One of them, Ron Kaufman, chairman of Washington-based Dutko Worldwide, regularly sits across the aisle from Romney on his campaign plane, participates in debate strategy sessions and just last week accompanied Romney to a lunch in Myrtle Beach with Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
Another adviser, former Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., is chairman of Romney’s policy committee. He also is chief executive officer of Clark & Weinstock, and his corporate biography says he “provides strategic advice to institutions with matters before the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.”
A third adviser, former Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri, who was at Romney’s victory party in Michigan on Tuesday, is co-chairman of Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations and also is a registered lobbyist, according to federal records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
“I think it’s time for Washington – Republican and Democrat – to have a leader who will fight to make sure we resolve the issues rather than continuously look for partisan opportunity for score-settling and for opportunities to link closer to lobbyists,” Romney said during a news conference…
The multimillionaire points to the more than $17 million in personal funds he has spent on the campaign and his public fundraising as proof he can govern free of Washington’s special influences.
“Somebody doesn’t put the kind of financial resources that I’ve put into this campaign, and the personal resources I’ve put into this campaign, in order to do favors for lobbyists,” Romney said. “I’m going to Washington to help the American people.”
It is because of his lack of Washington experience, however, that he surrounds himself with some of the capital city’s prominent Republican voices.
Besides Kaufman, who served as White House political director under President George H.W. Bush, Romney gets policy advice from Weber, Talent and Sally Canfield, once a top aide to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Advice in targeting voters comes from Alex Gage and on polling from Jan van Lohuizen; both did similar tasks for President Bush. He also gets communications help from Barbara Comstock, a former Justice Department spokeswoman, and Matt Rhoades and Kevin Madden, veterans of the Republican National Committee and the office of former Rep. Tom DeLay, respectively.
Admakers Alex Castellanos, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schreifer all have worked for Bush…
Records filed with the Senate say that in 2007, Kaufman was personally listed as the lobbyist for New Balance Athletic Shoe, HNTB COS, American Pacific Corp. (APFC), Worcester Business Development Corp., County of Los Angeles, State of Utah, CNS Inc., Americans for Democracy, West Orem Group, Globalcast LLC, and Global Demandwidth.
The more these guys talk, the more difficult it is becoming for me to decide who I want the Republicans to nominate. As of right now, my first choice continues to be Mike Huckabee. Flipper Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain are all rapidly catching up with him. Having any one of them as the Republican nominee would mean a landslide victory for the Democratic nominee, whoever that turns out to be.
So, Republicans, nominate Fred Thompson. No, I mean Ron Paul. On second thought, make that Duncan Hunter.
I don’t know. It’s all so confusing! I guess any of them will do. Sheesh. Picking a loser is hard work, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, AP… Glen Johnson deserves a raise!