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McCain Flack On Transition Chief Lobbying For Saddam: ‘We’ve Had No Associations With Any Lobbyists’

By Satyam Khanna on October 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm

"McCain Flack On Transition Chief Lobbying For Saddam: ‘We’ve Had No Associations With Any Lobbyists’"

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Yesterday, Murray Waas revealed that the head of Sen. John McCain’s transition team, power lobbyist William Timmons, was involved in a lobbying effort on behalf of Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s “to ease international sanctions against his regime.”

Today, MSNBC’s David Schuster asked McCain spokesperson Ben Porritt about the revelations. Porrit claimed that the campaign has had no associations with lobbyists, quickly changing the subject to Bill Ayers:

I’m actually not too familiar with his history, but what I do know is that throughout our campaign, we’ve talked about this a lot, we’ve had no associations with any lobbyists on our campaign, and I think there’s questionable associations with Barack Obama that needs to be addressed before we even get into talking about the transition:

“You have no associations with Charlie Black?” asked Schuster incredulously. “I mean, he’s a lobbyist.” Watch it:

Timmons is the chairman emeritus of Timmons and Company, an influential lobbying firm in Washington. In addition to helping Saddam avoid sanctions and trying to profit off Iraqi oil, Timmons has also lobbied for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the American Petroleum Institute. Time Magazine called Timmons “a Washington institution.”

It is absurd to claim McCain has “had no associations with any lobbyists.” He has at least 164 former lobbyists running his campaign, fundraising, and setting his policy agenda — including Charlie Black, Rick Davis, and Randy Scheunemann.

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