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.
Fred isn't being hypocritical about it though. He defended his career as a lobbyist.
I don't have a problem with lobbyists, but politicians shouldn't be using them as the boogeyman when in fact they create the very conditions that allow lobbying to become a necessity.
BS, AP reproter Johnson is a lobbyist for the left wing in America. Neither he nor you know what the rest of that sentence was going to be.
The author has one thing right though, Romney should have told Johnson to read the First Amendment and kiss his ass rather than arguing with the leftist putz about the influence of the evil lobbysists on the body politic.
Subject changer? Heavens no. I was simply pointing out an egregious example of blinding hypocrisy. As for the subject, what was the lie that Romney allegedly told? Please provide the exact quote.
Give him time, he'll have another death-bed conversion.
It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.
I never thought I'd see the day when Boston Globeites, Johnson, were supported over Republicans here at FR.
Live long enough and you see anything I suppose.
The Conservative ones are...
Except for Duncan folks of course...
Sad, isn't it?
Neither he nor you know what the rest of that sentence was going to be.
I'm waiting for one of the Romney shills to fill it in. My front porch? My car bumper? My talking points writing staff?
So what? All you have done is point what all politicians rely on. That is ALL! Can Government run without them, no. Do they have a legitimate function, yes. Do some overstep, yes and some do not. But it is the way it is. Are there criminal activity in some, yes. Are there good and important lobbyist, yes.
that may be true, but that’s not what the AP reporter issue was about. the ap reporter said he had a lobbyist running his campaign, which is false.
Maybe Romney can do a Clinton. Maybe something like: "I did not have ties with those lobbyists, they had ties with me."
I understand your concern. However, accepting help from lobbyists is not the same as being beholden to lobbyists. Mitt Romney is a self-made man. He is not encumbered with the financial restrictions that would allow a lobbyist to gain a controlling influence over him.
Romney was lying about the “running” part too.
From the Associated Press
January 18, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican Mitt Romney said Thursday he could govern in the country’s best interest because “I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign.” But Washington insiders are on his senior staff and registered lobbyists are top advisors.
One advisor, 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 last week accompanied Romney to a lunch in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
Another advisor, former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), is chairman of Romney’s policy committee. He also is chief executive 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 advisor, former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), 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.
That from your new best friend Glen Johnson?
If that’s the case, then Romney certainly should have worded it better. The difference being that McCain has spent two decades in the Senate deeply enmeshed in lobbyist politics while Romney has not. However, I would definitely be interested to know if there is any evidence to indicate that any of these lobbyists have undue influence over Romney.
When a "Globeite" is right, I'm willing to admit it. Liberals are not always wrong, nor are "Republicans" always right. Maybe Romney wins some style points but Johnson wins big on substance. No amount of word parsing is going to change that.
As far as I am concerned, real conservatives do not have a dog in this fight.
No rebuttal to the published facts, naturally. Waiting for the new talking points fax?
Another lie by the Mitt man. He is one scary candidate.