Skip to comments.Will Glen Johnson (at AP) Get The Last Laugh? (Romney and Lobbyists)
Posted on 01/19/2008 7:29:06 AM PST by jdm
Earlier this week, AP reporter Glen Johnson acted unprofessionally by essentially heckling Mitt Romney during a press conference when Romney said that he would not be beholden to lobbyists if elected President. Even a bystander called Johnson "rude and ugly", a moment caught on YouTube. However, the Boston Herald -- a paper with a rightward bent -- believes that Johnson may have won on the facts while losing on the visuals (via Joe Gandelman at TMV):
Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney, who has cast himself as a Washington outsider and blasted his opponents ties to lobbyists, has more than a dozen federally registered lobbyists raising money for him and several others advising his campaign, records show.
At a Nashua event the day before the New Hampshire primary, Romney said, I dont have years and years of favors to repay, lobbyists who have raised all sorts of money for me.
But at least 13 lobbyists work as so-called bundlers - those responsible for prodding deep-pocketed donors and generating vast sums of money for the candidate - according to records compiled by nonprofit Washington watchdog Public Citizen.
Does this make Johnson look any better? No, but it makes Romney look a little worse. Politicians like to deride lobbyists and claim that they will have no favors to repay when they get to Washington, but it's hard to make that argument when more than a dozen of them raise funds for the candidate. Regardless of whether they "run" the campaign, these lobbyists have helped fund it, and that makes the anti-lobbyist rhetoric somewhat hypocritical, regardless of the parsing of the word "run".
It would be refreshing, if politically suicidal, for a candidate to point out what lobbyists do. They represent legitimate interests of people around the country on policies that impact them. Lobbying is not inherently unethical or dishonest. Just like any other profession that exists at the intersection of power and money, enormous opportunities exist for corruption that have to have vigilant oversight to prevent.
Mitt, with his massive self-financing, had the standing to make that point rather than the banal attack on lobbyists in general that left him vulnerable to yet another data point for those who consider him disingenuous. Of all of the candidates, he has relied least on outside financing, which makes him less beholden to special interests in terms of grubby paybacks. Why not say that, rather than making a fairly debunkable claim that he has no ties to lobbyists?
Even better yet, why not say this: "Because of the massive size and intrusive scope of the federal government, it requires a lobbying industry to make sure that everyone's voice gets heard on the blizzard of legislation and enforcement initiatives that arise in Washington each year. Those lobbyists working for my campaign want to reduce the federal government and shrink that burden. We want a Washington DC that doesn't require an entire industry of lobbyists, one which the individual voice can reach to the Beltway and effect change. If you want that kind of federal government, one that stops interfering with states, communities, and individuals and focuses on its actual assigned responsibilities, vote for me!"
That would be a winning and honest message.
Which one of these 13 lobbyists is running Romney’s campaign?
How many lobbyists does it take to change a perception?
Romney is still right. He does not have lobbyists “running’ his campaign. So what did Johnson get right? Perhaps if he would have phrased his objection some other way, but he just stepped in it. Romney never said he did not have lobbyists raising money, they just don’t call the shots. Johnson should have been more specific.
” .... making a fairly debunkable claim that he has no ties to lobbyists?”
That’s not what he said. He said his campaign wasn’t being run by lobbyists. Any candidate who doesn’t have lobbyists working for his campaign would be a naive fool. The extend of a lobbyist on a campaign is a whole other question.
It would be nice to see one media outlet where they understand what is said, instead of twisting and spinning to achieve their ends.
This “right” newspaper endorsed mccain.
I have had all the stinking straightalk express i can handle, puke.
Let me guess, you’re a Fred Thompson supporter. Right?
you meant to say: “The extent of a lobbyist’s influence on a campaign ...” doofus
Aren't we all?
"Regardless of whether they "run" the campaign, these lobbyists have helped fund it, and that makes the anti-lobbyist rhetoric somewhat hypocritical, regardless of the parsing of the word "run"."
Romney specifically said I dont have lobbyists that are TIED to my before being interrupted. Obviously the missing word is campaign.
Romney then admitted that Ron Kaufman is TIED to his campaign by when he acknowledged that Kaufman is an adviser, and again later when he agreed that Kaufman has been in debate preparation(s).
But then, Romney tried to pretend he only said running, when everyone in the room, and now every video viewer, clearly saw him say tied to.
AP reporter Johnson is right. He caught Romney red-handed.
Interesting. You condemn Romney for allowing a lobbyist to work for his campaign, while at the same time support a candidate who is actually a lobbyist. Nice.
And Romney said "tied", not "run". He's not just parsing his remark, he's falsifying it.
AP reporter Johnson made himself the center of attention. Mission accomplished.
Romney specifically said I dont have lobbyists that are TIED to my before being interrupted.
For lying about the lobbyists tied to his campaign.
Let me guess, you're a subject-changer right (whenever the MSM catches Romney in yet another lie)
Right. (And if your new hybrid vehicle only took "corn-y" gas from a special pump at a gas station chain called Lobbyist, we all know that Lobbyist wouldn't be "running" your hybrid, either, eh?)
Really? What was the lie, exactly?
Complaining about lobbyists is nothing more than thinly veiled class envy these days. Lobbyists have a purpose and because of some famously unethical lobbyists hooking up with some famously unethical legislators and bureaucrats the whole lot gets treated like scum.
By this logic FRed should be tarred and feathered... he was a lawyer, a lobbyist, and then played a lawyer on TV! OMG! I wonder if he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.... a UNION!