September 18th, 2007
02:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Craig makes first visit to Capitol since sex scandal broke

Listen to Craig's exchange with CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho made a surprise appearance Tuesday the U.S. Capitol, his first since the scandal broke last month over allegations he tried to solicit sex from an undercover police officer in a restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The Republican senator had a brief exchange with CNN's Ted Barrett at a Capitol entrance:

Barrett: "What brings you back to the Capitol today?"
Craig: "Go to work."
Barrett: "Are you intending to vote today, sir?"
Craig: "That's my plan."
Barrett: "Why decide to come back today?"
Craig: "Because I'm a serving United States Senator from Idaho."

Craig then stepped into the senators' dining room on the first floor of the Capitol. On the way he passed a visibly surprised Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who gave Craig a big welcome back handshake.

Craig was later asked by reporters if his presence in the Capitol today means he will not resign.

The Idaho Republican responded, " no not at all - I'm here to work with my staff and my office and to work with my legal team."

Asked if he is confident about his court case, he said, "I have no opinion. I'd like to be."

Craig pleaded guilty Aug. 8 to one charge of disorderly conduct, then sought legal counsel to change his plea to not guilty. A hearing on the request is set for Sept. 26

When the case became public, Craig announced his intention to resign Sept. 30. But days later, it was announced that Craig would fight to overturn his conviction and may not resign. Craig filed papers Sept. 10 to withdraw his guilty plea.

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in court Monday calling Sen. Larry Craig's bathroom bust unconstitutional.

Related: Sen. Craig gets support from ACLU

- CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Larry Craig
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. kathe oakland california

    You know it is real real funny to me that Craig can be welcomed back to Senate floor after this. It lets me know what type of "moral" folks we have representing us in Government – they are no better than OJ – they are all corrupt, evil,and get away with everything, including murder – you know 9-11????

    September 18, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Devika, Des Moines, Ia

    The fair-minded Dems have it right. So does the Canadian. The only bashing I'll do here is against Sen. Craig's record on the civil rights of gays and lesbians. Oh yeh, and against the hypocritical president who has sent our young people to was on false pretenses. Let's concentrate on what's REALLY threatening our country and our reputation in the world and leave Sen. Craig to get the due process he deserves. By the way if it turns out he is guilty - he's guilty of hypocrisy. NOT of being gay. Let's get that straight.
    To the comment on Cheney: it's beneath contempt. Hit him for the crimes against America he's perpetrated and leave the sexual orientation of his daughter alone.

    September 18, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Shamus the Dog

    Gotta love how the repubnicans always bash ACLU until it's their feet to the fire. Trash everyones rights then hide behind ACLU's skirt. That's what the REAL men are made of!!

    September 18, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. C. Mass, Washington D.C.

    Once again the ACLU is showing their true colors by going above and beyond in their never ending quest to impede the ability of law enforcement to protect the citizenry from perverts, murderers, and terrorists.

    The amazing part of this story is that the ACLU is trying to shed their ultra-liberal image by attempting to come to the rescue of a Republican.

    This guy was clearly not entrapped by the police in the airport, was very evasive during questioning, and even entered a guilty plea. Me thinks he is trying to worm his way out of this one and the ACLU is very skilled at helping wrongdoers find loopholes. This should be interesting!

    September 18, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Mark

    Check your facts..... Indiana Republican..... Try again.

    September 18, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Last time I checked being a hypocrite and/or lying to yourself is not a crime. Either is tapping someone else's foot. People are so quick to judge the man and I think most of that is based on some personal bias or agenda instead the actual facts of the case.

    I don't care is Craig is gay or some closet queen. The people of Idaho hired him to do a job. The votes Craig cast represent the wishes of the people who elected him. It is up to the people of Idaho to decide whether or not Craig should stay in office.

    The entire discussion is ludicrous.

    September 18, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Melanie LA, CA

    CNN, you have to be kidding me...
    "The Indiana Republican responded, 'no not at all — I'm here to work with my staff and my office and to wrok with my legal team.'...
    He is from IDAHO. Do you guys get drunk before you type this stuff up? PS its "work" not "wrok"

    September 18, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Dave Taylor, Bowling Green, KY

    Did someone write this blog very, very quickly? I see one typo and missing punctuation. And it mentions that Craig is asked a question and says "the Indiana Republican responded..." so what gives?

    September 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Michael, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Did no one else notice the glaring error calling him the "Indiana republican"? Last time I checked Indiana and Idaho were on opposite ends of the country..... hmmmmmm PROOFREAD!

    September 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Rodger Knight

    I think it's great that Craig is doing his job in the face of so much adversity. He who is without sin can through the first stone. It's not like he's sending Americans young men to die knowing that we can never win a war against Muslims

    September 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Rockville, MD

    He's from Idaho, not Indiana. This is why no one trusts the mainstream media anymore.

    September 18, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Henry Sloan III, California

    I am a Democrat, mostly. Whatever I may think of Sen. Craig's politics, I could not support the police operation that nabbed him. There must be easier and less harmful ways to discourage loitering and soliciting in public restrooms. If police can do this to Sen. Craig, they can do it to anyone, and in a free society they should not be able to do this.

    September 18, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Joshua, Albany, NY

    First off, Senator Craig is from Idaho, not Indiana. Secondly, its work, no wrok; hooray for integrity and professionalism.

    September 18, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Ben, St Louis, MO

    It's interesting that he was going to resign, but when he found out there was not enough evidence to convict him he rescinded. But honestly I am more interested in who decided to publish this article without proof-reading it first. The spelling and grammatical errors are fantastic! Way to go CNN!

    September 18, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Denis Hall Palisades, Id

    I was not aware that Sen. Craig of Idaho had been elected to an office in Indiana as stated in your article.
    Denis Hall
    Palisades, Id

    September 18, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. John, Kansas City, MO

    To C. Mass:

    The ACLU (and the Bill of Rights) protects you from law enforcement and it also protects your freedom of speech...speech you choose to use to try and scare everyone into giving up their civil liberties in exchange for being "safe" from the scary terrorists. Finally, the ACLU is not trying to shed their "ultra-liberal" (you say that as if it's a bad thing) image. I guarantee you the next time some Republican tries to get the Ten Commandments put up in the school hallway, the ACLU will be opposing them .

    September 18, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. TAM, MD

    Did anyone checked the spelling or grammar in this article before publishing it?

    September 18, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Abu, Brooklyn NY


    September 18, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Elton, Indianapolis, IN

    First of all Sen Craig is not: The Indiana Republican responded, " no not at all — I'm here to work with my staff and my office and to wrok with my legal team." He is from Idaho. Nect please use spell check when writing articles: see above quote. Great journalism, we can really trust the author of this story.

    September 18, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. David J, NYC NY USA

    Am I reading wrong, or does the story refer to Craig as an Indiana Republican, instead of from Idaho?

    September 18, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    C. Mass

    ACLU is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights for all americans, even the ones who use only use when it works to their advantage. Like the KKK, NRA, Oliver North, and that kook protesting soldiers' funerals from the Westboro Baptist Church. They aren't as you suggest trying to shed any "ultra-liberal image." They are once again taking a stand for the civil rights of another person. Moreover, all that they did for Larry Craig was file a friend-of-the-court brief which doesn't do a whole lot to sway the judge/jury.

    September 18, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Angel, Alexandria, VA

    I didn't know the war was against Muslims, I thought it was against terrorists? Oh well, same thing, right?????

    September 18, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. L. Townley, Boise, ID

    You would think that the reporter doing this article could at least get the state that Senator Larry Craig represents correct. It is IDAHO, not Indiana!

    September 18, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Jenny M, Saint Louis, MO

    Whether he's gay, heterosexual or bisexual is not the issue. But,if Senator Craig gets his guilty plea thrown out. Because, as he admitted, he didn't know what he was doing when he signed it. (Even though a month had passed after his arrest.) Would this not imply he doesn't know what he's doing when he votes in the Senate?

    September 18, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Gilly, NYC

    It's Idaho. Not Indiana.

    September 18, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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