Speaking to a small crowd at a Staples, Mitt Romney touted his independence from the political machinery of Washington—a tactic so old and dry you’d fall asleep watching the video if AP reporter Glen Johnson hadn’t decided to cut Romney off mid-sentence to call “bullcrap.” Notice how uptight Romney becomes when called out, then chooses to go one on one with the reporter.
“That is not true—Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist,” Johnson brazenly interrupted. If Romney had been president instead of a candidate standing in a Staples it would have almost have recalled Congressman Joe Wilson’s famous “You lie!” scream during President Obama’s 2009 address to Congress.
After admitting that Kaufman, a lobbyist, is a senior adviser, Romney engages in a semantic discussion about whether that qualifies as someone “running his campaign.” Romney is surrounded by lobbyists like
Charlie Black, a man known to work for Somali war lords aka politicians.
Romney then circles back around after an aide pulls him away to talk further with Johnson. This man does not like defiance nor anyone to correct him. Sure lobbyists are advising Romney. Good timing Johnson!!
Mitt Romney has added a veteran Washington lobbyist — Charlie Black, a top political aide to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign — to the circle of informal advisers who are trying to help to guide him to the White House. […]
Mr. Romney’s current presidential campaign is … wary of being linked to the culture of Washington, casting Mr. Romney as an “outsider” and a “businessman” who will clean up the way politics is done in Washington.
But on Monday, aides to Mr. Romney confirmed that Mr. Black, a veteran Washington power broker, is supporting Mr. Romney’s 2012 effort.
But for those who’ve forgotten, it’s worth revisiting Black’s interesting lobbying background. The lobbyist served four years ago as McCain’s senior campaign strategist and chief political advisor, but before that, Black put together quite a client list, featuring a motley international crew of thugs and authoritarian tyrants.
In addition to his extensive corporate work, Black’s client list included (but is by no means limited to) Iraq/Iran’s Ahmad Chalabi, Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, Somalia’s Mohamed Siad Barre, Nigeria’s Ibrahim Babangida, and Angola’s would-be dictator Jonas Savimbi. In each instance, Black was paid (handsomely) to boost their access, influence, and stature among U.S. policy makers.