McCain Aggressively Defends Scheunemann’s Work For Georgia

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August 18, 2008 10:56 a.m.

This weekend, Sen. John McCain brushed aside all criticism of his chief foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, and the lobbying work Scheunemann has done for the government of Georgia.

In an interview with USA Today, McCain expressed no concern about the fact Scheunemann last year was simultaneously working for McCain’s campaign and lobbying the senator on behalf of a foreign government.

“I’m proud to have supported them,” McCain said of Georgia in an interview on the campaign plane. “And I’m so proud that so many of my friends have done so, who also believe in freedom and democracy.”

McCain dismissed criticisms from the Barack Obama campaign as beside the point.

Yet “rather than worry about the people of Georgia,” McCain said, his Democratic rival “worried about whether someone on my staff had supported Georgia or not.”

Last year, Scheunemann’s firm, Orion Strategies, signed a $200,000 lobbying contract with Georgia on the same day McCain spoke on the phone with the country’s president and issued a public statement in support of the government.

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