Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he’s "disappointed" by the number of ethics scandals in the nation’s capitol.
"There are a lot of things about Washington that give me real pause," Romney says. "One, by the way, is just watching the scandalous behavior that has been alleged on both sides of the aisle, but frankly, I’m particularly disappointed in our own. Maybe you expect it of Democrats — you shouldn’t. I’m just kidding a bit, but I certainly don’t expect it of Republicans."
Romney says, as president, he’d ask for a law similiar to one in place while he was governor of Massachusetts. It denies government pensions to those found guilty of a crime connected to their job as a government employee or appointed official.
"I think we’re going to have to find a way to demand a higher standard," Romney says. "There is no excuse for unethical conduct on the part of people who go to Washington to serve this country."
Authorities searched one of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ homes this past week as part of a federal corruption investigation, but Romney told reporters he wasn’t targeting Stevens, a fellow Republican, with his remarks.
"They are only allegations at this stage and people are innocent until shown to be guilty and I think we give people the benefit of the doubt," Romney said.
Romney spoke this morning to over 250 potential supporters who were served breakfast at the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale, courtesy of the Romney campaign.
In answer to a question about immigration, Romney said as president he would move to deny some federal money to cities which declare themselves "sanctuaries" for illegal immigrants. Romney told the crowd that "irks" him.
"We send hundreds of millions of dollars to these cities — even billions of dollars — from the federal goverment," Romney said. "We ought to stop doing that."
Romney wouldn’t cut off all federal aid to "sanctuary cities," such as assistance for police and fire departments, but he would place a hold on various "discretionary" federal grants. Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, one of Romney’s Republican rivals, is pushing just such a proposal in congress.