In town, Romney compares Clinton to an 'intern'

By Stacy St. Clair
Daily Herald Staff
Published10/31/2007 12:11 AM

During a brief visit to the suburbs Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney likened Sen. Hillary Clinton to an "intern" -- an occasionally troublesome word in the Clinton lexicon.


Romney, in town for fundraising events in Wheeling and Winnetka, contends Clinton does not have the experience needed to lead the country, despite her roles as first lady and a U.S. senator from New York. He made similar statements about the Democratic front-runner on a national news show Monday night.

"You need to have a person who is experienced to lead something as large as the government of the United States," he said. "The presidency is not an internship. And Sen. Clinton has never run anything."

The former Massachusetts governor said the Oval Office demands a president who has experience leading a state, city or private corporation.

"There are a number of people who have experience," he said during a brief news conference at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling. "She just happens not to be one of them."

The internship reference is a somewhat loaded word because of Bill Clinton's relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky during his presidency. The scandal led to his impeachment and raised questions about the Clintons' marriage.

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Hillary Clinton's campaign denounced Romney's statement as a cheap shot meant to help a campaign that's lagging in national polls.

"Hillary Clinton is a two-term United States senator who has represented the United States in 82 countries around the world and has been one of the nation's leading advocates for children and families for 35 years," campaign spokeswoman Ann Lewis said in a statement. "Trying to diminish her service isn't going to help Mr. Romney's weak and rudderless campaign."

Before departing for a fundraiser in a nearby airport hangar, Romney also reiterated his support for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid. He said he would publicly back the effort, much as British Prime Minister Tony Blair did when he successfully lobbied for London to be the 2012 host.

Romney, who organized the Salt Lake City Games in 2002, said he also would earmark money to help the city with safety and transportation issues connected with the massive event.

"There's no question there would be a lot of behind-the-scenes calls … expressing the importance of the United States getting the Games again," he said. "There's no question I care about the Olympics. I believe it's important for a country."

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