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article imageMitt Romney campaign tries to block media access to candidate

By Marcus Hondro     May 16, 2012 in Politics
In what seems a ploy to prevent the media from reporting on Mitt Romney during informal meet and talks, his team stopped reporters from getting near him at a campaign event in Florida Wednesday morning. At such times in the past he's made clumsy remarks.
Following Romney's speech in St. Petersburg he went down to the 'rope-line' to meet and greet people. This is customary for politicians and the press corp routinely follows to record newsworthy exchanges and take photographs. There was no advance warning that on this day and on this campaign stop it would be any different.
Romney Campaign stops press corp
But it was and, as New York Times reporters Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker reported in that publication, Romney "aides told members of the traveling press corp that they could neither enter the audience nor approach the rope line where Mr. Romney shakes voters’ hands and engages in casual conversation."
There was a confrontation with reporters who continued to try and access Mr. Romney and that was followed by texts and emails from media to Romney staff asking for an explanation. It was also followed by the Secret Service letting it be known that the blocking of reporter access to the candidate had nothing to do with security and nothing to do with them.
Romney Campaign reverses policy
By early afternoon, the Romney campaign decided what their reaction to the reaction of reporters who'd been denied access would be and a spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, sent an email to the press corp. In offering an explanation, she passed the buck: “This was an error on the part of the campaign staff and volunteers,” she wrote in that email. “We have reminded them that press is allowed on the rope line to record the governor’s interactions with voters.” She did not say how the error occurred.
Meanwhile, Time magazine noted that the presumptive Republican nominee for President seems to be "dodging the press" of late.
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