WASHINGTON -- Throughout most of his career, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has had what can best be described as a testy relationship with the Boston Herald.
The conservative-leaning tabloid, the Boston Globe's counter-balance of sorts, has long treated the former Massachusetts Governor as an ideological chameleon. Recent headlines from both its news and editorial side range from "Just one more reminder that Mitt Romney can’t win," to "Mitt Romney has it all — except GOP stalwart support," to "Health-care jabs bloody up Mitt Romney."
One GOP operative described the rapport between the paper and the former governor as "horrific."
So with an eye towards patching up the animosity and earning, perhaps, a bit of good coverage in the process, Romney came to the Herald's defense on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the Herald reported that the White House Press Office had "refused" to allow its reporters "full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news 'fairly.'"
In an effort to defusing the drama a bit lower in the piece, the article quoted a White House aide saying that the Globe had already been tasked with covering the event for the local pool and that its reports would be sent other outlets -- including the Herald.
But the story still riled conservatives. It also presented Romney with a chance to earn chips from a publication with which he's often butted-heads.
"[T]he media needs to be truthful and interesting and the Herald is both of those things. And for the White House to deny the Herald access to an official presidential visit absolutely makes no sense at all and really violates the spirit of the First Amendment," he told a local radio station. "I think it’s embarrassing for the White House to have taken a retribution type of act against a leading journal such as the Boston Herald."
The Romney campaign subsequently sent the GOP hopeful's remarks to its broad press list.