Laura Bush defends Lobbyists

Washington Times:

First lady Laura Bush yesterday rejected Democratic claims that Republicans are mired in a “culture of corruption” and said she’d be “glad” to campaign for Republican candidates in the fall.

“It isn’t true,” Mrs. Bush said of the “culture of corruption” charges in an exclusive interview with The Washington Times while here for the inauguration of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president of Liberia.

Mrs. Bush offered her star power to Republican candidates after saying she did not know how the Democrats’ accusations will affect the congressional elections in November.

“I’ll be glad to campaign for Republicans who ask me to campaign for them or do fundraisers for them,” the first lady said at the U.S. ambassador’s residence here.

Mrs. Bush made clear that “there’s certainly not a role for any sort of bribery or anything that would be considered corrupt,” but said many lobbyists play vital roles in public policy.

“The whole lobbying aspect of politics is very interesting in the United States,” Mrs. Bush said. “There’s an important aspect to lobbying, as well.

“I mean, what people don’t think of is the American Heart Association or breast cancer research — each of those groups lobby for federal funds, for very, very important and worthwhile causes in our country,” she added. “And so I hope that people realize that there is a role for advocates for different issues.”

Please, won’t someone think of the lobbyists! The poor, defenseless lobbyists! They’re just, deeply misunderstood American citizens, really. They don’t corrupt or pervert the political process at all…

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