Boston Globe quoted Rothenberg saying McCain has rep as "Mr. Reformer," ignored info that would undermine it

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In an article on Mitt Romney's decision to reclassify loans to his failed presidential campaign as contributions, The Boston Globe quoted Stuart Rothenberg's assertion that if Sen. John McCain were to pick Romney as his running mate, "Democrats would use" Romney's decision "to undermine his [McCain's] reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' " But Kranish did not note that McCain himself has attempted to "reject public financing" for the primary election in a manner that could "undermine his reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' "

In a July 17 Boston Globe article, staff writer Michael Kranish reported that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's decision to reclassify personal loans he made to his now-defunct presidential campaign as contributions "could also put him at odds with [Sen. John] McCain's campaign reform message." Kranish specifically quoted Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report, who asserted that if McCain were to pick Romney as his running mate, "Democrats would use" Romney's decision "to undermine his [McCain's] reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' " The article continued: "He said it might also undercut McCain's effort to criticize Democratic rival Barack Obama for switching his position and rejecting public financing for the general election." But Kranish did not note that McCain himself has attempted to "reject public financing" for the primary election in a manner that could "undermine his reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' " Then-Federal Election Commission (FEC) chairman David Mason took the position that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing for the primary without FEC approval after McCain signed a loan agreement during the primary season that could have forced him to remain in the race -- even if he had no chance of winning -- in order to be eligible for public matching funds to repay the loan.

Nor did Kranish report on other issues that might undermine McCain's "campaign reform message," including the numerous campaign staffers, advisers, or fundraisers who are former or current lobbyists, his use of his wife's private plane for campaign purposes, or his reported facilitation of land-swap deals that benefited wealthy developers who were major McCain donors.

From the July 17 Globe article:

Mitt Romney, whose prospects of becoming John McCain's running mate appear on the rise, is preparing to formally declare he will not seek donations to repay $45 million in personal loans he made to his failed presidential bid -- the biggest ever made by a candidate in a primary campaign.

The move could clear away the last remnants of a divisive primary race, ensuring that he and his financial supporters are focused on helping McCain, but it could also put him at odds with McCain's campaign reform message.

[...]

Some analysts said McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, might undermine his reform message if he picks someone who bankrolled so much of his own campaign.

"Democrats would use it as an issue," political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said yesterday. "They would then try to undermine his reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' "

He said it might also undercut McCain's effort to criticize Democratic rival Barack Obama for switching his position and rejecting public financing for the general election.

Network/Outlet
Boston Globe
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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