August 30th, 2007
03:30 PM ET
16 years ago

Romney: Craig has to look at his conscience

Watch CNN's John King interview Mitt Romney in Charleston, South Carolina.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House hopeful Mitt Romney told CNN Thursday Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's alleged behavior was "disgraceful," but the Massachusetts Republican stopped short of calling for his one-time Senate supporter to resign.

"I think at this stage, the right course is for him to make this decision looking at his own conscience, talking to the people of Idaho, talking to his colleagues in the Senate," Romney told CNN's John King in South Carolina. "I'm not one of those. I'm going to let him make that decision."

Craig stepped down his post as one of Romney's Senate liaisons Monday night - shortly after news surfaced he was arrested in an airport bathroom and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

Romney's GOP presidential rival, John McCain, told CNN Wednesday he thinks Craig should step down. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan, and Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, have also called on Craig to resign.

Read the rest of this story

Related Video: Romney asks supporters to create his next campaign ad

Filed under: Larry Craig • Mitt Romney
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Ishmael Carter, Salt Lake City, Utah

    It's funny how a man who can strap his dog to the top of his vehicle allowing it to defecate along the backside could possibly criticize someone like Senator Craig for being "Disgraceful". Mitt Romney is as good as Michael Vick and he should stop trying to be holier than thou and should show some principal by staying constant on at least one issue.

    August 30, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Skel, San Francisco, CA

    "That's a closely held secret"...

    Yes, well, if there is one thing members of the Mormon Cult know about, it is secrets. Beware!

    August 30, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Jackie Young Fayetteville, AR.

    Mrs. Edwards sounds like all of the mean mouth other with her time I am 46 year old waomam voter who would llike to see and hear some one talk auout thier own dirt and what they will try cange about them self's and no more dirt

    August 30, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    What a cop-out by the Mittster! Just another spine-less wimp who says "leave it to the states". He and his ilk conveniently miss the "United" part !

    August 30, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Lawgirl13: Knoxville, TN

    At last we find that Mr. Romney is Pro Choice!(just as long as it's the States or their Representative's choices.) Why don't we "allow" the women to make "that choice"? Do we really want to trust the likes of people like Larry Craig and his cronies to legislate reproductive rights? C'mon people!

    August 30, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Nick, Eagle Mountain, UT

    Hahah, well, so far on this post we have had an obvious biased PETA member mad about something even PETA's forgotten about, an anti-Mormon bigot, and forgive me but I'm not sure what Jackie Young's comment means.

    This guy is solid. This interview only demonstrates the strength of leadership Romney possesses and the vision he has.

    Vision is something many of this election's candidates have shown. There has been a lot of politics and I'm pleased to see Romney keeps his gloves up where he has to, but when it comes down to it, his message and vision is clear. Whether you are leaning towards another candidate, it's hard to deny this guy has what it takes and has surprised a lot of people.

    August 30, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Keith - Atlanta, GA

    Ironic McCain is giving political advice.

    If anything Craig supporting McCain over Romney might boost McCain's poll ratings (pardon the pun) in Iowa, SC and NH. I am basing this off of where McCain stands in these states and what % of the population engage in the behavior Craig is accused of.

    August 30, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Leigh, PA



    hhhmmm... sounds like you Mitt!

    August 30, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. David, Salinas, CA

    I don’t condone political name-calling but Governor Romney makes it hard to refrain. The man has no sense of loyalty to people or ideas. We’ve already heard him change positions on immigration, health care, gay rights, abortion and now he won’t even stick up for his friend and supporter. Larry Craig was part of Romney’s campaign until last week. Craig made a even made a video (now back up on YouTube) endorsing Romney’s family values. And now, while Senator Craig is still claiming he’s innocent of any wrong-doing, Romney is calling him “disgraceful” and “disgusting” without an ounce of sympathy for a friend who, regardless of guilt or innocence, is going through a personal crisis.

    I feel sorry for Senator Craig. But I don’t like Mitt Romney. A man who won’t stand by his ideas or stand up for his friends shouldn’t be standing at the head of our nation.

    August 30, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. David, Gilbert Arizona

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly politicians canabalize each other when a situation even remotely scandalous arrises.

    Romney, just like everyone else, automatically assumes Craig was soliciting lewd acts from the undercover cop. The difference is Romney should know better. Romney is throwing Craig to the wolves for nothing other than political gain. I've lost a lot of respect for the man because of it.

    Various media outlets have gone so far as to re-enact the restroom encounter. To watch the foot tapping and finger wagging inside a public restroom stall is beyond comical.

    In all honesty if I were sitting in a restroom stall and the person in the adjacent stall tapped his foot and reached under the metal dividing wall I would hand him a roll of toilet paper. It would not even enter my mind that the man was trying to engage in lewd acts with me.

    Now if Craig was in his office with a cigar and a female intern I guess the situation would be just fine with everyone, right?

    August 30, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    As Idaho Governor Otter says above, "you can't unring this bell", nor unsignal the undercover cop, nor unplead guilty, nor undo the public opinion of Craig as a lying preeve.

    August 30, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Travis, Afton, Wy

    Ishmael, the dog loved riding on top. I guess you think it is more humane to put the dog in a shelter?

    Skel, I'm more wary of you being from San Francisco then Romney being Mormon.

    August 30, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Anyone who suggests that someone needs to delve in to their conscience, probably ought to do the same.

    August 30, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Ryan, Oakland, CA

    Wow Skel, maybe you should paint those warnings on a sign and go out on a street corner somewhere so you can warn more ignorant secularists about this impending threat.

    Personally, I'm much less afraid of a Mormon candidate than an Evangelical one. What with their relatively moderate stances and their church's stated "no opinion" on political issues, that's not so bad.

    Sure they beleive some bizarre things but evangelicals beleive the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that Joshua stopped the sun by holding up his hands! Heck, Catholics beleive that bread and wine actually turn into pieces of Jesus' body during communion, even though they look exactly the same as before! Can't get much weirder than that.

    I'm not anti-religion, I'm just saying its foolish, and bigoted to characterize a religion as a "cult" simply because their unprovable beliefs are different from your unprovable beliefs.

    August 30, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Romney's comment was like all the other politician's comments: mealy-mouthed double-talk. I'm for him, I'm against him. I can't say if he should resign or say. I'm against badness in all of its forms, but I'm for goodness. If you like gays, then please know I'm tolerant. If you hate them, then please know I'm against them too.

    And, by the way, vote for me. I can make the tough calls.

    August 31, 2007 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  16. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Yeah,Romney has what it takes to promote a theocratic agenda of bigotry and discrimination.He didn't have that baggage when Massachusetts elected him.I take his holy roller stance to be a cover-up of a lewd personal life like Craig's.

    August 31, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Ishmael Carter, Salt Lake City, Utah

    For the record I am not a PETA member. I just think that a man with good conscience who exemplifies leadership and strength like you say he does should have better judgment when strapping scruffy to the top of the roof. But I guess better judgment doesn't mean anything as long as the candidate is electable and made of plastic like Romney.

    August 31, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. roger, conway sc

    If Romney was not running for office he would have never critized Senator Craig "because he is one of THEM", but he wants to appeal to the right wingers as being very conservative, first signs of another hypocrite.

    September 1, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  19. David, Salinas, CA

    Remember the good old days (last week) when we could post comments on ALL the Ticker stories?

    The “add a comment” links have disappeared from most stories for the last couple of days.

    If the Ticker is changing it’s posting policy they should post a notice.

    If the Ticker is having technical problems they should post a notice.

    This is an interactive online community. We provide content which ultimately profits CNN. They owe us an explanation.

    I hope other regular posters will comment on this situation.

    September 1, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Lisa, Burbank, CA

    Romney doesn’t have a conscience. He doesn’t make a reflection in a mirror, either.

    September 1, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |