McCain campaign gives the 411 on Romney Campaign in NH

The following stories state clearly: New Hampshire law does not allow private staffers access to license plate databases, nor does it allow campaign staffers to pull over fellow citizens. The NY Times reporter stands by his report.

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http://unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Romney+camp+denies+pulling+over+Times+reporter&articleId=ccd27379-0959-4953-b465-798036ca9b8c
Associated Press: Romney Camp Denies Pulling Over Times Reporter
By Philip Elliott

CONCORD – Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign denies a report that aides pulled over a New York Times reporter trailing the former governor's caravan in New Hampshire, checked his license plates and told him to leave.
In a story profiling Romney in Saturday editions of the Times, the reporter, Mark Leibovich, wrote that while following Romney's caravan last month, an aide stopped him and told him his plates had been run.
"As we reported, I was instructed to veer off, which to me is the same as telling someone to leave," Leibovich said in an interview. "I obviously cannot speak to whether they ran my license plate or not. I can only speak to what the person told me he was doing."
New Hampshire law does not allow private staffers access to license plate databases, nor does it allow campaign staffers to pull over fellow citizens.
Romney spokesman Matt Rhoades yesterday said the campaign did not stop Leibovich.
"We will not comment on security procedures for the governor,"Rhoades said. "We can confirm, though, that at no time was the reporter'slicense plate run through a check or was his vehicle pulled over."
Romney's campaign said the group became lost on back roads after a May 29 stopat Harvey's Bakery in Dover. A construction detour confused them, the carsstopped, and the staffer walked back to chat with the unknown car.
The former Massachusetts governor does not have state-provided protection or a Secret Service detail. He does, however, travel between appearances in a motorcade of black sport utility vehicles and his aides wear earpieces.
Also last month, Romney apologized for not wearing a seat belt during a NewHampshire interview with NBC's Matt Lauer. The two chatted while traveling between campaign stops in Alton and Laconia. At times their caravan of cars reached 65 mph, according to an Associated
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http://news.bostonherald.com/politics/view.bg?articleid=1007553&format=text
Boston Herald: Romney Aide Pulls Out All The Stops In N.H.
By Dave Wedge
An advance man for former Gov. Mitt Romney who was once cited for driving a sedan illegally tricked out with police gear - including lights, sirens and abadge - is again under fire after a run-in with a newspaper reporter.
New York Times [NYT] reporter Mark Leibovich wrote last week that he was pulled over by an earpiece-wearing aide, who the Romney campaign confirmed was longtime aide Jay Garrity. Leibovich wrote that he was "led to the shoulder" on a back road while following Romney's SUV between campaign stops in rural Dover,N.H.
Garrity told Leibovich they ran his license plate and "explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney's vehicle," Leibovich wrote of the May 29incident.
It's illegal in New Hampshire for a private citizen to run a license plate or to pull over a vehicle.
While Leibovich said he was directed to "veer off" the road by Garrity, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said, "No one was pulled over the way the police would pull over a car."
"The governor's car stopped on the side of the road to check directions. An unknown car that was not part of the group stopped at the same time,"Fehrnstrom said. "A conversation ensued with the driver of the unknown car. No one's plates were run."
But Leibovich said, "What I said in my story happened. What I can't speak to is whether they actually ran my license plate or not. I can only go with what he told me they were doing."
In 2004, Garrity, who was then Romney's $75,000-a-year security boss, was cited by Boston police for driving a car illegally equipped with blue-and-red flashing lights, a siren, multiple police radios and tinted windows. Garrityalso reportedly had a police baton and a state police patch that said "official business." Cops made the discovery while towing the illegally parked car from the North End.
Garrity, who formerly worked for President Bush's campaign, faced no disciplinary action from the governor after the incident. Fehrnstrom said Garrity remains on the Romney team.
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http://mms.tveyes.com/transcript.asp?PlayClip=FALSE&DTSearch=TRUE&DateTime=06%2F21%2F07+08%3A41%3A08&market=m1&StationID=100
CNN-TV (American Morning): Brief On Romney's Security Pulling Over An NYTReporter
JOHN ROBERTS: republican presidential candidate mitt romney's denying a report that his aides pulled over a reporter from ""the new york times"" who was supposedly trailing romney's caravan in newhampshire. the reporter said the aids checked his license plate and told him tostop following. i can tell you from personal experience, the civilian securitythat follows mitt romney around does have guidelines that recommend against letting journalists near the governor's two-vehicle motorcade.
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http://mms.tveyes.com/transcript.asp?PlayClip=FALSE&DTSearch=TRUE&DateTime=06%2F20%2F07+17%3A08%3A49&market=m128&StationID=1605
WMUR-TV (ABC-NH): Brief On Romney's Last Visit To NH
JEAN MACKLIN: presidential hopeful mitt romney's campaign is denying reportstoday about his last visit to new hampshire. romney's security aides reportedlypulled over a ""new york times"" reporter, trailing theformer been's caravan. aides allegedly checked the reporter's license, told himhis plates had been run and then asked him to leave. new hampshire law does notallow private security staffers access to license plate databases. nor does itallow private staffers to pull over fellow citizens. today, rom phi's spokesmande -- romney's spokesman denied the incident ever happened.
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http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2007/06/romney_campaign.html
Boston Globe's Political Intelligence Blog: Romney Campaign Denies NYT Report
Scott Helman
Over the weekend, The New York Times had an entertaining read on Mitt Romney'sstyle of campaigning. Included in the piece was this humorous aside aboutRomney's operations team:
Between stops in New Hampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the formergovernor's S.U.V. on a back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructedto "veer off" by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr.Romney's car. "We ran your license plate," he told the reporter, andexplained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney's vehicle.
Well, today, Romney's campaign is denying that happened. Romney spokesman MattRhoades said the campaign did not stop the Times reporter, Mark Leibovich, theAP reported.
"We will not comment on security procedures for the governor,"Rhoades said. "We can confirm, though, that at no time was the reporter'slicense plate run through a check or was his vehicle pulled over."
Leibovich is reportedly sticking by his report. So what gives?
A couple of bloggers unfriendly to Romney have weighed in with their own takes.
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http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2007/06/romney-campaign.html
USA Today's On Politics Blog: Romney Campaign, NYT Reporter Slightly At OddsOver Roadside Encounter
By Mark Memmot and Jill Lawrence
A disagreement over something an aide to Republican presidential candidate MittRomney did, which began with a brief account buried deep inside a New YorkTimes story last Saturday, is still in the news this morning.
It all began this way:
Saturday, in a long look at Romney and his campaign, Times reporter MarkLeibovich wrote of the former Massachusetts governor that:
He travels with an entourage that includes two or three "operations"guys who serve as advance men and a security detail. (Between stops in NewHampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the former governor's S.U.V. ona back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructed to "veeroff" by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr. Romney's car."We ran your license plate," he told the reporter, and explained thatno one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney's vehicle.
As the Boston Herald notes today, "it's illegal in New Hampshire for aprivate citizen to run a license plate or to pull over a vehicle."
The Herald says the man Leibovich encountered was "longtime (Romney) aideJay Garrity ... who was once cited for driving a sedan illegally tricked outwith police gear -- including lights, sirens and a badge."
According to the Herald:
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said, "No one was pulled over the way thepolice would pull over a car."
"The governor's car stopped on the side of the road to check directions.An unknown car that was not part of the group stopped at the same time,"Fehrnstrom said. "A conversation ensued with the driver of the unknowncar. No one's plates were run."
But Leibovich said, "What I said in my story happened. What I can't speakto is whether they actually ran my license plate or not. I can only go withwhat he told me they were doing."


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New Hampshire Press Office
John McCain 2008