Romney: Bulger's arrest brings relief
June 23rd, 2011
12:35 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney: Bulger's arrest brings relief

(CNN) - The arrest of James 'Whitey' Bulger Wednesday hit close to home for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who aggressively went after the criminal's brother while serving as Massachusetts governor in 2003.

"I hope the capture of Whitey Bulger brings some measure of relief to the families of his numerous victims," Romney said in a statement Wednesday. "It brings to a close a sad and sordid chapter in recent Massachusetts history."

Whitey's brother, William 'Billy' Bulger, took a completely different path in life, pursuing a 35-year career in state politics and later serving as the president of the University of Massachusetts.

As part of a federal investigation to find his brother, Billy Bulger was summoned in 2002 to a Congressional hearing where he pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify on Whitey's whereabouts. Bulger later appeared before the House Government Reform Committee but denied accusations that he knew where his brother was hiding.

"I do not know where my brother is. I do not know where he has been over the past eight years," Bulger said at the hearing. "I have not aided James Bulger in any way while he has been a fugitive."

In his first year as governor Romney grew furious over Bulger's lack of cooperation in the investigation and launched a campaign promising to oust him from his seven-year post as university president. He called for Bulger to resign and encouraged other elected officials to follow in his steps.

Despite nearly full support from the university's board of trustees, Bulger announced his resignation in 2003, saying the public feud became an unwanted distraction for the school.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Trying to score political points again? What a slime ball.

    June 23, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. Mike - Dayton, OH

    Then comes the part where Romney and the rest blame Obama for not catching this guy for the last 16 years which of course makes him soft on crime.

    June 23, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Mitt Romney - He'll Say ANYTHING To Get Elected

    Not sure why Romney sought to ruin the livlihood and standing of the brother who had, by all accounts, lived an honest and public-serving life in government & academia.

    Seems that Romney [and some close-minded Republicans] are unable to recognize that people are individuals and that just because one's brother is murdering crook, that doesn't translate to a sibling. I guess Mitt thought he could score some cheap political points at his expense. Thank God Romney only got one term.

    And what's with his call to keep America's sons & daughters in harms way in Afghanistan? I'll bet he'd be singing a different tune if any one of his FIVE sons was serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. He's got some nerve to be spouting off about troop deployments when not one of his 5 boys, in a post 9-11 environment, had the conviction to serve their country.

    I'll bet Joe Biden, [whose son served in Iraq] has a different view than the santimonious Mitt Romney.

    June 23, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. ConservaFASCISTS

    "It brings to a close a sad and sordid chapter in recent Massachusetts history."

    Why couldn't you bring him to justice Mitt? If you can't bring this common criminal to justice, how can we trust you fight Al Queda????/

    June 23, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Texas Doc

    Yet another prime example of responsible people getting something done that GOP folks couldn't (think Bush and Osama Bin Laden).

    June 23, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. GOP Tea Party Is Selling America to China and India at Low Bottom Wages

    It is Obama's fault! – Romney is blaming President Obama again, after he blamed the president for RomneyCare!!!

    When are these GOP wussies going to stop blaming everyone else but themselves?!

    June 23, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Bruce

    Both S. California and Mike are morons. Just because they don't like Romney they are commenting on something that has NOTHING to do with the story. Typical libtard ploy.

    June 23, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Shelby

    Good for Romney. He has never been known to be soft on crime and slimy criminals.

    June 23, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Zissa Ramani facebook

    Old White was very good to the Oklahoma Indians and we shall not forget him for-his great deeds.- Whitee was a great man and always fought for the under dog and many of the people they claim he took-out was done for abuse to children and crimes committed against women trafficking. Yes crimes committed against the Palestinian people who suffer.-- Mayor Oscar Goodman was getting scared about being an informant him self and running out the Italian Mafia out of Las Vegas to bring in the Zionist Mafia.

    June 23, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Yup, just another fine example of a Massachusett Democratic politician. At least Whitey was up front about being a criminal and a thief. Billy did it the legal way, by getting elected by the corrupt Democrat Party controlling the state. Several Democrat politicans from the state have been convicted in what is an ongoing daily occurrence.

    June 23, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. thomas

    It's sad that Mr Creep Mitt Romney used his power to condemn Whitey's brother, William 'Billy' Bulger, who took a completely different path in life, pursuing a 35-year career in state politics and later serving as the president of the University of Massachusetts.

    Mitt , when will you tell the American people the reasons for all five of you sons declining military duty ?

    June 23, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Who cares about what you did or said in Massachusetts about this bulger when you are too much of a coward and hypocrite to stand by your romneycare, which, BTW, my brother in law who lives in that state says it's the best (and only) thing that happened while you were in office which worked.
    Flip/flop. flip/flop.

    June 23, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. mdn

    Obama catches the first two on the FBI's most wanted list...OBL and Whitey.

    June 23, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. bb

    Oh come ON!!!!!! Romney, you have nothing better to do, like working with the GOP on jobs creation, other than to follow the news like an ambulance chaser mouthing a 'yes' or a 'no'. How 'bout those Kardashians, Romney? Casey Anthony, the news today on potato chips, Justin Bieber's new song??? Romney, you are a fluffy marshmallow with fake gray temples...spare us.

    June 23, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. The Other Michael in Houston

    LMAO @ Mike – Dayton OH. Yep, these morons will somehow try to tie this to the President. I am trying to figure out how this guy was an informant for the FBI for all those years, and they couldn't find him until now. Let me get this straight, 20 guys from the middle east, hijack 4 planes, run two of them into the WTC, one into the Pentagon and one was on the way to the WH, and in 2 days, we all know their names, where they were born, what collr socks they wore etc, but you have an old guy, who got off on killing people, living in the United States, who worked as an informant for the FBI, and it took them 16 years to find this guy?????? Hmmmmm, something does not sound right to me.

    June 23, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Marjee123

    Why was Romney hunting him down himself. There are a lot of bad guys out there. Why not go after them all.

    June 23, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Bill

    Typical Romney.....go after the well educated, former Senate President and President of UMass, who also just happens to be a Democrat......and leave the murdering, criminal slimeball brother alone.

    June 23, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |