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Senate Republican leaders apparently want nothing to do with Mitt Romney’s 47-percent rhetoric

 

THESE GUYS aren’t heeding Tammy Wynette’s admonition to “Stand By Your Man.”

Senate Republicans insist that Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment won’t hurt them in their campaigns, but that didn’t stop them from running for the hills when the subject came up.

In the last week that Congress is in session before the November elections, none of the Senate Republican leaders took questions from reporters at their weekly press availability — something rarely, if ever, seen. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [above] left after giving brief remarks, and the remaining four leaders spoke briefly about unrelated matters and then walked away.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Huffington Post it was “pretty obvious” why the GOP leaders bolted: because they don’t want to talk about a newly released video that shows Romney describing 47 percent of Americans as Obama supporters who are dependent on the government and see themselves as victims. Romney has been on the defensive over the remarks, which he made during a private event in May that was secretly taped and made public this week.

“Everybody is running away from Romney,” Reid said. “That’s why Republicans all over the country are running away from Romney as fast as they can.”

UPDATE: Speaking of Republicans running for the hills, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is QUITTING the Romney campaign — ostensibly to take a lobbying job:

[I]t’s been widely assumed that Pawlenty would be rewarded with a prominent role in a Romney administration if the Republican won in November. Perhaps Pawlenty no longer sees that as likely?

Indeed, the timing of the announcement seems especially odd — Election Day is 47 days away. By resigning from Team Romney today, it gives the impression that Pawlenty couldn’t wait to get away.

For that matter, it doesn’t help Romney’s larger image problems to have one of his closest political allies quit his campaign to begin lobbying for banks.

UPDATE II: House Speaker John Boehner is also DODGING QUESTIONS about Romney’s gaffe.

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