Another day, another Republican presidential campaign rocked by sordid and/or criminal charges against a prominent supporter.
When news broke Monday that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig had been busted for soliciting sex in a bathroom stall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, he scrambled to resign his post as “co-Senate liason” for Mitt Romney’s campaign. A campaign spokesman for the former Massachusetts governor accepted the resignation in a flash.
It wasn’t the first time pecadillos have embarrassed a candidate (see President Clinton’s image meister Dick Morris, caught with a hooker during the 1996 Democratic convention). But the Craig incident is only the most recent to tar the campaigns of nearly half the Republican field.
In June, South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, the state chairman for Rudy Giuliani’s campaign, was indicted on federal cocaine charges.
Then, in July, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Giuliani’s southern regional campaign chairman, was linked to the so-called DC Madam’s escort service. Vitter called it “a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.”
A few days later, the co-chairman of John McCain’s Florida campaign was arrested for allegedly offering an undercover police officer $20 for a sex act. Florida State Rep. Bob Allen was charged with solicitation for prostitution after he was arrested in a Titusville city park. Allen called it “a very gross mistake.”
What’s a supporter of the party of family values to make of all this?
BOB VON STERNBERG