Associated Press Reporter Argues With Mitt Romney

Posted on January 17, 2008

Mitt Romney was giving a press conference inside a Staples store in South Carolina when an exchange between him and AP reporter Glen Johnson became heated.
Romney was in the middle of answering a routine question when he said something that caused Associated Press reporter Glen Johnson to lose his temper.

"I don't have lobbyists running my campaign," Romney said. "I don't have lobbyists that are tied to my ..."

"That's not true, governor!" Johnson suddenly interjected. "That is not true. Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist."
CBS News says Kaufman is a "well-known lobbyist, former adviser to President H.W. Bush and Romney campaign adviser who is often seen by the governor's side while on the road."

Kaufman may be a lobbyist but he isn't running the campaign according to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney also said Kaufman is not in on the "senior strategy meetings" of Romney's campaigns. MSNBC also blogged the exchanged.
Romney went on, "Did you hear what I said? Did you hear what I said, Glen? I said I don't have lobbyists running my campaign, and he's not running my campaign." Johnson then shot back, "He's a senior adviser."

Romney charged on with: "He's an adviser. And the person who runs my campaign is Beth Myers, and I have a whole staff of deputy campaign managers," prompting Johnson to ask if Myers traveled on the plane with him, and he said she had.

It's also worth noting that Barbara Comstock, another senior adviser, is a Washington lobbyist.
Mitt Romney also explained that he didn't spend all this money and energy campaigning just to help out lobbyists. Romney said, "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. I'm going to Washington to help the American people and that's what this campaign is all about."

You can see a video clip of the unusual exchange here on CBS News. At the end of the clip a woman who says she is not with Romney campaign tells Glen Johnson she thinks he is "rude and ugly."

Glen Johnson allowed himself to get emotionally involved in the story he was covering and that's a mistake. When a journalist becomes the center of a story he has lost his objectivity.