September 18th, 2007
08:56 PM ET
14 years ago

Craig apologizes to colleagues at party lunch

Craig is surrounded by reporters his first day back on the Hill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, who made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill Tuesday, directly apologized at a party luncheon to his Senate Republican colleagues "for any embarrassment," a member present at the lunch told CNN.

According to the source, Craig did not address at the lunch whether he plans to stay in Washington beyond September 30 - the date on which he had previously said he would resign.

Asked after the lunch by CNN if he is considering staying in the Senate, Craig said, "We're working on that now."

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, who has previously come to Craig's defense, shook hands with the Idaho Republican in front of reporters and told Craig it's "nice to see you smiling."

Later, Specter indicated Senate Republicans may be willing to support Craig if he decides to stay in the Senate.

“There’s been a lot of favorable talk about Larry in the cloak room," Specter told CNN. "And I think the initial shock has worn off."

"He’s been a colleague for a long time – 17 years – you don’t toss over a friend of that duration and intensity easily," Specter added.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also offered support of Craig, saying, "I don’t think there was any underlying crime."

Hatch also said he thinks that "a good lawyer could win that case.”

- CNN's Jessica Yellin and Ted Barrett

Filed under: Larry Craig
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Richard, Austin, Texas

    It sounds like Senators Spector and Hatch spend a lot of time talking about Larry in the cloak room. They proclaim family values, but value power over values.

    September 18, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    He's sorry he's gay? He's sorry he's a hypocrite? He's sorry he's stupid enough to plead guilty and drag his name even further through the mud?

    September 18, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Robert Marley, Jamaica NY

    Disgusting stuff. I can't believe that they are welcoming this guy back with open arms. I wonder what else goes on in the "cloak room" Arlen?

    September 18, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Kanawah, Fairfield, Oh

    Apology not accepted. he lied hos way out of the page scandel. Not again.

    September 18, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Mary O'Connell New Jersey

    Citizen Larry Craig go home and stay
    there / too late!

    September 18, 2007 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Louis, Kansas City MO

    It would have been more appropriate for Specter to have said "there's been a lot of favorable talk about Larry in the closet."

    September 18, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. Ron, Virginia Beach, VA

    He apologized to Republican Senators for "any embarrassment" but not Democratic he implying that Democrats favor public bathroom sex and therefore see no embarrassment in this travesty? What a jerk....I feel sorry for his wife and kids. And the GOP plank in their platform is that they represent the "moral values" of this country?? Does any American still buy into this crap? If so, I can only say God punishes the stupid.

    September 18, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    I'm confused. Republican solicits heterosexual sex and everything is cool. Republican solicits gay sex, they distance themselves. Truly pathetic.

    September 18, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. Robert Calmus, Huntington Beach, CA

    I think Hatch meant to say "a good LIAR could win that case." Craig is sorry he embarrassed his political friends, not that he was caught and pleaded guilty to make the story go away. Wide stance? Only if he had his shorts and pants OFF or was riding the toilet side saddle. Last time my pants were around my ankles it was very difficult to spread my legs the width of a stall or anything else. I am sorry, but Craig is getting as laughable as Brittany Spears and the rest of the west coast liars' pack. Sad how the truth keeps getting lost...

    September 18, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. Sue, Michigan

    Sad that this story has so many comments, and the one above about a timeline for withdrawal has none...the old bait and switch at work again-is Rove hiding in that cloakroom?

    September 18, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    Mr. Craig, you have to stand up for yourself, stay in the senate, and run again in 2008. Let the people you represent decide.

    September 18, 2007 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  12. Amy, FL

    The man is a disgrace, period. Like the police officer said, as Craig responded to his questions with his bizzaro explanations, "embarrassing, embarrasing."

    I don't care what the guy is or isn't re: sexual orientation. Not my business. But he is an eleced public servant and his behavior throughout this sordid episode is another embarrassing, shameful example of the people sitting in our Congress.
    Retire already and spare us additional hypocritical denials, embarrassment, and BS. THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY AINT THAT STUPID ANYMORE. (God willing).

    September 19, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  13. Sam, IA

    Hmmm. How strange, the rightwing leemings go on for years debasing Kerry's service but run to the aid of Craig the Hypocrite. The trained monkeys beat their chest and proclaim all they have heard on Fox and hate radio to be gospel. No wonder your party is moving towards insignificance. Whiners make the best minority party.

    September 19, 2007 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  14. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Hmmmm, A good Lawyer got O.J. off too, did that mean he was innocent?

    September 19, 2007 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  15. roger, conway sc

    We Dems may not be perfect but we are alot more diverse & understanding than the Republicans who claim to be so self righteous, are so judgemental, they also think that whatever their view on something is that you must see things just as they do or you are unamerican or not a christian, I see them as hypocrites both Spector & Hatch...

    September 19, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  16. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    As they say "Sorry don't feed the bulldog."


    September 19, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  17. Mac, Frederick, MD

    Sen. Orrin Hatch: "I don’t think there was any underlying crime."

    Dear Sen. Hatch, how and why did Sen. Craig plead guilty, then?

    September 19, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. Pat, Huntington, NY

    Who cares if actually committed a crime! The fact is that he tried to hide his conviction by guilty plea from the Senate Ethics Committee, and the American People, because he thought as a US Senator, he could get away with it. That's utterly dishonest, unethical, and the epitome of the crime of abuse of power. Whether or not he's gay, or was soliciting bathroom sex is immaterial. He's a slimeball for lying through omission about what happened. And for that, he should be booted and expelled from the Senate.

    September 19, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Doug, from Los Angeles CA wrote:

    "the whole perception of the media as leftist is a false myth, but a brilliant one. All media in the world is owned by only five major corporations now."

    Sweetheart, rest your little head, for you clearly are in over it.

    I was a journalism major in college and worked for a couple of papers for a number of years. I know these people like the back of my hand, because I was one of them. There was not a Conservative among us and we all thought Bill Clinton was the Second Coming (no pun intended).

    Did you see the recent poll of the 100 most influential journalists and their political donations? I swear the donations were literally 90-plus percent to Democrats, if not higher.

    Yes, most press/media operations are owned my major corporations. However, the parent corporation has little if anything to do with the daily news content. That's decided by the news editors. I mean, the Seagrams Company (producer of "adult beverages") is a shareholder of Time-Warner, and also owns a majority of MCA Records, but the parent company Seagrams doesn't tell MCA which artists to recruit and promote, or even HOW to do it.

    Folks, the process of simply choosing WHICH stories will run (and where or when) in a media outlet can be impacted by bias. "Let's see, front page stories.. we can drag out another silly Larry Craig story with some footsy in the john or run this recent story of yet another felon sending huge sums of dirty campaing cash to Hillary Clinton's campaign... Craig on Page 1, above the fold and bury the Clinton story on page 53, under the ad for self-adhesive toupees."

    Honestly, ask a journalist the name of the last Conservative he/she voted for. You'll be stunned by the silence, if said journalist doesn't slug you for the "insult."

    September 19, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Dems are so very angry...did the DNC tell you to be this angry....or did you think of it all by yourself? (who am I kidding..of course it was the DNC....or people don't think for yourselves)

    September 19, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. J. Francisco

    'got a meetin' in the ladi..hades room, COME BACK REAL SOON...'

    September 19, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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