Mitt Romney Parts Ways with Consultant Mike Murphy

Mitt Romney has split with long-time advisor Mike Murphy, according to AP Political Writer Glen Johnson.

Gov. Mitt Romney has ended his formal relationship with Mike Murphy, the political consultant who guided Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign and helped Romney chart a course for his own potential White House run in 2008.

A spokesman for the Republican chief executive said Friday that Romney made the decision after announcing last month he would not be seeking a second term as governor in the fall. Romney paid Murphy’s firm, DC Navigators LLC, $208,000 last year, according to campaign finance reports. “Since Gov. Romney is not seeking re-election, there is no campaign to run, and so he has ended his contractual relationship with Mike Murphy,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, the governor’s communications director. “Mike has been a trusted friend and adviser, and he always will be.”

Murphy had publicly expressed ambivalence about working on a Romney presidential campaign as long as there was a possibility that McCain, an Arizona Republican, may make a second presidential bid. Both Romney and McCain have yet to announce their decision on a presidential candidacy. In an interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based consultant said: “It’s just that I love John McCain very dearly and I also feel very close to Mitt Romney. I have a personal belief that when you work for somebody as intimately as I do, they trust you with a lot of information and let their guard down around you. I feel it wold be unethical to work against somebody who’s trusted your with everything.”

Quite interesting. This is one of the rare times in politics where what the principals are saying publically is probably an accurate reflection of events. Murphy has strong ties to both McCain and Romney but is tacitly committed to running McCain’s 2008 campaign if, as presumed, he runs. Romney can’t wait around for McCain and, in the meantime, it is indeed awkward for Murphy to have a foot in both camps.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.