Daily Revolt

January 17, 2008

Romney in Heated Exchange over Lobbyist Claim

Another lie from a presidential candidate:
South Carolina (Reuters) - 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.

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