Hits and Mittses
The ever-evolving story of Big Game Willard-Mitt:
Officials in the four states where Mitt Romney has lived say the Republican presidential contender, who calls himself a lifelong hunter, never took out a license.
Romney says that’s because he has seldom hunted where he needed one.
Questions about his hunting activities trailed Romney this week after he remarked at a campaign stop that he has been a hunter nearly all his life. The next day, his campaign said Romney had been hunting only twice, once as a teenager in Idaho and again last year with GOP donors in Georgia.
That was wrong, Romney said the day after that, adding that he had hunted rabbits and other small animals for many years, mainly in Utah. Hunting certain small game there doesn’t require a license.
“The report that I only hunted twice is incorrect,” Romney said in a statement issued Friday. “I’ve hunted small game numerous times, as a young man and as an adult. I’m by no means a big game hunter. I’m more Jed Clampett than Teddy Roosevelt.”
Romney has been criticized for changing positions on issues such as abortion and gay rights during his campaign for the Republican nomination for president. Although he once supported strict gun control measures, he has spoken in favor of gun ownership rights while on the campaign trail and joined the National Rifle Association as a “Lifetime” member last year.
His staff refused Friday to provide details about his hunting history, including whose gun he used, with whom he hunted and whether he hunted in Utah as a college student or as an adult. He does not own a firearm, despite claiming to earlier this year.
The former Massachusetts governor issued the statement Friday after The Associated Press asked wildlife officials in Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Utah for any documentation verifying Romney had been a registered hunter.