Robert Novak

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's 1994 effort to unseat Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts continues to haunt him. A Democratic blogger named SoThisIsWashington posted a video clip on YouTube of a debate with Kennedy in which Romney deliberately separates himself from Ronald Reagan.

The video, from their campaign debate, shows Kennedy telling Romney that "your economic program" is "the program of Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush." Romney responded: "Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."

In the same debate, Romney promised to "sustain and support" the Roe v. Wade abortion decision. Romney also was damaged with conservatives by a 1994 letter in which he claimed he was more pro-gay rights than Kennedy.


Newly elected Rep. Steven Kagen, a rich allergist who self-financed his campaign in Wisconsin, by his own account taunted President and Mrs. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove during a White House function for new members of Congress in December.

Kagen told a group of activists that after he found himself in the restroom with Rove, he blocked the White House deputy chief of staff's departure by holding the door closed. According to Kagen, he then said: "You're in the White House and you think you're safe. . . . My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass."

The new congressman said he said separately to both Bush and Cheney: "Thank you for coming to Green Bay. I couldn't have won without you coming." Kagen also said he approached Laura Bush and purposely called her Barbara, the name of the president's mother. Kagen's remarks were reported in "The Scene," published in Appleton, Wis.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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