JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in Lynchburg, Virginia, on May 12, 2012.
Reporters covering Mitt Romney’s campaign tweeted complaints on Wednesday of being prevented from asking the presumptive Republican nominee questions at a public event in Florida.
Sara Murray of the Wall Street Journal tweeted:
Press lead on the #Romney bus announces there will be no questions for the candidate today. "Isn't that our decision?" a reporter asks.— Sara Murray (@SaraMurray) May 16, 2012
The grievances came after campaign aides reportedly tried to physically hamper reporters from asking Romney questions. ABC’s Emily Friedman said that most journalists persevered despite being asked to stop and leave by members of the United States Secret Service.
Romney, however, still refused to answer any questions. In an e-mail to Politico, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said there had been an “error” on the part of the staff. The incident illustrates the dynamic and anxious relationship between political candidates and the media.
What obligations to reporters, if any, must high-profile politicians fulfill at public events? In a public setting, when, if ever, is it appropriate to block reporters from asking questions of candidates running for public office? How should we define the relationship between a presidential candidate and the press?
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times Washington Columnist, covering national and international politics
Sara Murray, reporter, Wall Street Journal; she was at the event in Florida and tweeted about the incident
Kelly McBride, senior faculty for ethics, at the Poynter Institute