Four States Re­port Rom­ney Never Got Hunt­ing Li­censes

The Washington Post Sunday - - Politics - By Glen John­son

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 is be­cause he sel­dom has hunted where he needed one.

Ques­tions about his hunt­ing ac­tiv­i­ties trailed Rom­ney last 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 gone hunt­ing just twice — once as a teenager in Idaho and last year with GOP donors in Ge­or­gia.

That was wrong, Rom­ney said a day later. He said he had hunted rabbits and other small an­i­mals for many years, mainly in Utah. Hunt­ing cer­tain small game there does not re­quire a li­cense.

“The re­port that I only hunted twice is in­cor­rect,” Rom­ney said in a state­ment is­sued Fri- day. “I’ve hunted small game nu­mer­ous times, as a young man and as an adult. I’m by no means a biggame hunter. I’m more Jed Clam­pett than Teddy Roo­sevelt,” he said, re­fer­ring to the “Bev­erly Hill­bil­lies” char­ac­ter.

Rom­ney has been crit­i­cized for chang­ing po­si­tions on is­sues such as abor­tion and gay rights dur­ing his cam­paign for the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. 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. He does not own a firearm, though he said ear­lier this year that he does.

The for­mer Mas­sachusetts gov­er­nor is­sued the state­ment Fri­day af­ter the As­so­ci­ated Press asked wildlife of­fi­cials in Michi­gan, Mas­sachusetts, New Hamp­shire and Utah for doc­u­men­ta­tion ver­i­fy­ing Rom­ney had been a reg­is­tered hunter.

BY CHAR­LIE NEIBER­GALL — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

GOP pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Mitt Rom­ney, shown with sup­port­ers in Iowa, said he hunted mostly small game.

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