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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Romney Distances Himself From Craig, Compares Craig to Clinton

NY Times Caucus blog:

Mr. Romney, a Republican candidate for the party’s nomination, has tried to distance himself from Mr. Craig since yesterday’s startling revelations about the airport restroom arrest of the Idaho Republican last June. Mr. Craig was one of two Senate liaisons to Mr. Romney’s campaign, until Roll Call broke the news of Mr. Craig’s arrest and misdemeanor conviction yesterday afternoon. (Mr. Craig issued a statement yesterday saying his actions in the public airport restroom in Minneapolis-St. Paul were “misconstrued.”)

Today, in an interview with CNBC’s Kudlow & Company, Mr. Romney first criticized Mr. Craig, who was also his Idaho chairman. “Once again, we’ve found people in Washington have not lived up to the level of respect and dignity that we would expect for somebody that gets elected to a position of high influence. Very disappointing. He’s no longer associated with my campaign, as you can imagine… I’m sorry to see that he has fallen short.”

And Mr. Romney then linked a series of scandals, including that of the page imbroglio involving disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley and the impeachment scandal of former President Bill Clinton, whose wife is — Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the interview, Mr. Romney said:

“I think it reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton. I think it reminds us of the fact that people who are elected to public office continue to disappoint, and they somehow think that if they vote the right way on issues of significance or they can speak a good game, that we’ll just forgive and forget. And the truth of the matter is, the most important thing we expect from elected–an elected official is a level of dignity and character that we can point to for our kids and our grandkids, and say, `Hey, someday I hope you grow up and you’re someone like that person.’ And we’ve seen disappointment in the White House, we’ve seen it in the Senate, we’ve seen it in Congress. And frankly, it’s disgusting.”

Kudlow also challenged Romney to join with his backer, Hugh Hewitt in calling for Craig's resignation:

KUDLOW: One of your backers, radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, he's a great friend of mine, has called for Mr. Craig to resign from the Senate. Are you going to ask him to resign from the Senate? Will you make a public call on that?

Gov. ROMNEY: You know, I haven't made a call on that at this stage. You know, I haven't seen the allegations yet, I just heard that there was a guilty plea and he submitted a resignation as my liaison in the Senate. And you know, I'm very disappointed that he has--he's disappointed the American people.

That's our multiple choice Mitt!