Politico has suspended reporter Joe Williams following incendiary remarks he made about Mitt Romney on Thursday. He later said that he was "done" working for the organization.
Williams, Politico's White House correspondent, appeared on MSNBC with Martin Bashir to discuss Romney's stance on immigration. When asked why Romney has trouble connecting with Hispanic voters, Williams said that the candidate appears "very comfortable" around "white folks." Watch his remarks at the 9:13 mark in the clip above.
Politico editors Jim VandeHei and John Harris called the statement "unacceptable" in a memo to staff. It "fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way," they wrote.
Williams' pointed remarks about the candidate on Twitter played a part in his suspension, as well. He made jokes about the infamous Seamus the dog story and Ann Romney's "unzip him" remark. In one tweet, he wrote, "Jeeves knows my tastes" in response to Romney saying that there is nothing surprising he has had the occasion to eat.
Conservative websites flagged the MSNBC segment Thursday afternoon, and highlighted Williams' tweets shortly thereafter.
Fishbowl DC reported that the reporter tweeted Friday afternoon, "@JillEBond. I’m done @ politico. Dtails to come."
Below, read the full text of the memo announcing Williams' suspension (via New York Times).
Politico journalists have a clear and inflexible responsibility to cover politics fairly and free of partisan bias. This expectation extends to all of the public platforms in which we and our reporting and analysis appears, including cable TV and social media platforms like Twitter.
Regrettably, an unacceptable number of Joe Williams’s public statements on cable and Twitter have called into question his commitment to this responsibility. His comment about Governor Romney earlier today on MSNBC fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way.
Joe has acknowledged that his appearance reflected a poor choice of words. This appearance came in the context of other remarks on Twitter that, cumulatively, require us to make clear that our standards are serious, and so are the consequences for disregarding them. This is true for all Politico journalists, including an experienced and well-respected voice like Joe Williams.
Following discussion of this matter with editors, Joe has been suspended while we review the matter.
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