Lobbyist Backing McCain Reaches Out
By Juliet Eilperin
FLORENCE, S.C. -- One of John McCain's senior advisers made a sympathy call last night to one of Mitt Romney's senior advisers, a fellow lobbyist.
The former Massachusetts governor has recently made a point of saying, "I don't have lobbyists running my campaign," an apparent reference to the Arizona senator's campaign manager Rick Davis, a former registered lobbyist.
When Associated Press reporter Glen Johnson pointed out (see above video) that one of Romney's top aides is a lobbyist -- Ron Kaufman, who chairs the D.C.-based Dutko Worldwide -- Romney replied, "he's not running my campaign. He's an adviser," adding that he does not participate in senior strategy meetings.
Kaufman participates in Romney's debate preparation sessions, and frequently travels with the candidate.
Last night Charlie Black, a senior McCain campaign aide who is also a lobbyist, like Kaufman, left a consoling message for Kaufman on his phone.
"I told him, 'I'm really sorry you've been kicked out of the senior strategy sessions,'" Black said.
As for McCain, he merely smiled after watching an MSNBC clip of Romney's remarks, and said, "I'm proud of him."
Posted at 10:54 AM ET on Jan 18, 2008
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