December 4th, 2009
09:07 AM ET
8 years ago

Romney says he takes Huckabee at his word

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney said he takes former political rival Mike Huckabee at his word for taking responsibility for granting clemency for a man accused of recently killing four police officers, but added that when he was a governor he never acted on a pardon.

During an interview Thursday night on CNN's Larry King Live, Romney, who in his four years as governor said he did not pardon or commute a single sentence, noted the focus should be on the tragedy that struck the lives of Washington State residents.

Huckabee has come under fire because, as governor of Arkansas in 2000, he signed a clemency order for Maurice Clemmons. That made Clemmons, who at the time was serving a 108 year prison sentence, eligible for parole, which was granted. Clemmons, 37, was fatally shot Tuesday by police in Seattle, Washington, after a two-day manhunt that began after he allegedly killed the officers at a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington.

"You have three families that lost their father, one family that lost their mother, and this is just tragic," Romney said. "I think [Huckabee] indicated that had he got the chance to do it again based on what he knows now, of course he wouldn't have made that decision and I believe that's true."

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney said he put strict pardoning guidelines in place to avoid letting personal impressions fog his judgment.

"My conclusion was if somebody has been convicted by a jury of their peers and they have been prosecuted and the police were able to get the evidence necessary to put them behind bars, why in the world would I step in and reverse that sentence," he said.

Romney and Huckabee, who both unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, are considered possible contenders for the 2012 GOP nomination.

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Zach K

    Romney will never be our president. No one likes someone who compares himself to someone. Romney is no Reagan, and Reagan was actually more moderate than that Fraud.

    December 4, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is a change from the 2008 presidential primaries where it seemed that Romney didn't like or believe Huckabee. I guess there could be hope for the GOP.

    December 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |