Mitt Romney’s campaign kicked off a new effort on Monday accusing President Obama of engaging in “crony capitalism” that rewards people who donated to his campaign. But when asked to name one single policy reform Romney would implement that would prevent such corruption, a top surrogate demurred.
“I don’t think you can do this with one overarching rule,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) told TPM on a conference call organized by the Romney campaign. “It hasn’t worked with prior administrations. You really need to elect someone who is committed to weeding it out and not making political bundling the top requirement for a job application.”
Cuccinelli repeatedly attacked Obama for appointing “bundlers,” or top campaign fundraisers, to his administration, but offered no assurance at all that Romney would institute a policy restricting their appointments. Even if Romney did insist on keeping bundlers out of his administration, it would be impossible to tell. Romney, unlike Obama, John McCain and President George W. Bush, won’t release a list of his bundlers, according to campaign finance advocates. The only ones publicly disclosed so far are bundlers who are also registered lobbyists, since they’re governed by disclosure requirements. Obama, by contrast, does not allow lobbyists to raise money for his campaign.
Cuccinelli also wasn’t able to say whether Romney had a position on the DISCLOSE Act, though it wasn’t clear if Cuccinelli was caught off-guard, if Romney doesn’t have a position on it, or if the Etch-a-Sketch is still shaking. With surrogates like these, who needs enemies? No wonder Democratic Party spokesman Brad Woodhouse offered to buy satellite time so Romney could spend more time on TV doing bumbling interviews.