McCain Witholds “Judgment” on Renzi Indictment

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As we mentioned earlier, Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) is one of two dozen co-chairs of John McCain’s campaign in Arizona. When reporters asked him today what he thought about Renzi’s indictment, he seems to have gotten a little tongue-tied. From the AP:

McCain seemed surprised when asked in Indianapolis for his reaction to the indictment, choosing his words carefully, shaking his head and speaking slowly.

“I’m sorry. I feel for the family; as you know, he has 12 children,” McCain told reporters on the presidential campaign trail. “But I don’t know enough of the details to make a judgment. These kinds of things are always very unfortunate. … I rely on our Department of Justice and system of justice to make the right outcome.”

While the timing of the indictment might have been a surprise, it should not have been unexpected. The federal investigation of Renzi was first reported in the fall of 2006. The FBI raided his wife’s office in April of 2007.

Back then, as Renzi was pressured to resign from all three of his committee assignments. He did. He was also pressured to resign. McCain refused to join in those calls — and also expressed a similar ignorance about the case, the details of which had been widely reported:

When asked Wednesday if the embattled Renzi would continue to play a part in his campaign, McCain said: “Look, Rick obviously has got great difficulties now. I know nothing about his case. He’s in my prayers. He’s in my prayers. And that’s all I’m going to say. All this stuff will come out.”

Well, now it’s finally come out. And it’s still unclear as of right now whether Renzi will continue to play a part in the campaign.