Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Exclusive: Romney Push Poll 'Whistleblowers' on the Romney Payroll


Deepening the mystery surrounding the anti-Mormon polling calls, the Romney campaign is confirming that it referred reporters to two recipients of the calls without disclosing that the two were also on the Romney campaign payroll, TPM Election Central has learned.

In response to questions from TPM Election Central, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden confirmed that the campaign had failed to disclose this info to reporters. Madden suggested that the campaign had identified them as "supporters," which is a far cry from being directly paid by the campaign, as the two call recipients were.

The revelation could add grist to the theory -- now spreading on conservative blogs and even getting coverage by news organizations -- that the Romney campaign itself is behind the calls. Some have speculated that the calls -- which attack Romney and refer to his Mormon faith while saying positive things about McCain -- are an effort by the campaign to test negative messages about itself while getting McCain blamed for the calls.

The new revelation raises the question of whether the firm making the calls -- which is already reported to have on staff several people who have donated to the Romney campaign -- knowingly called Romney supporters because they could be counted on to tell the press about the calls and to suggest to reporters that Romney rival John McCain was behind them.........

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