AP: Romney's NH mansion "a valuable asset"; Edwards' NC mansion "contrasts with anti-poverty message"
Research ››› ››› SIMON MALOY
A July 10 Associated Press article by Philip Elliott reported that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's (R) New Hampshire vacation estate, valued at $10 million, "allow[s] him to portray himself to New Hampshire voters as one of them as he seeks to win the state's first-in-the-nation primary." The article reported that "[f]or a man who could be the next president, the estate at the tip of Clark Point could easily serve as a remote, [Lake] Winnipesaukee White House." But the AP presented a very different view of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' $5.4 million North Carolina estate, which a February 7 AP article stated "contrasts with" Edwards' "anti-poverty message."
According to the February 7 AP article (written, according to the Nexis database, by Mike Baker), "Democrat John Edwards, who has made an anti-poverty message the theme of his 2008 presidential campaign, is taking heat for the lavish home he has constructed in Orange County, N.C." The article quoted Monty Johnson, a neighbor of Edwards and a supporter of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani's (R) presidential bid, saying: "There's no way that a normal family could ever need a house like that. It's only going to hurt him. I don't think he's going to be able to sell his story that he's for the poor people." The article also cited Republican political consultant Bill Miller in reporting that "the lavish estate could become a sore point for the candidate."
But the July 10 article on Romney's estate, while noting that "[t]he abodes of most New Hampshire voters, however, have little in common with the candidate's residence," included no suggestion that the mansion -- one of three houses Romney owns, according to the July 10 article -- would remind voters that he supports economic policies that favor the wealthy. Indeed, the only quotes in the article are from members of the Romney family and from the Clark Point, New Hampshire, town administrator, who said simply of the house: "It would be like Kennebunkport" -- a reference to the Bush family's Maine vacation house.