Shurtleff criticizes Bennett for standing with Democrats

Kathy Woods Sep. 16, 2009, 10:47am

Mark Shurtleff (R)

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is taking aim at U.S. senator Bob Bennett, one of four Republicans to stand up and applaud President Barack Obama's attack on Sarah Palin.

Palin, the former governor of Alaska, was the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. She has drawn criticism for attacking the Democrats' plan for a national health care overhaul.

"It is no surprise Bob Bennett stood with the Democrats and applauded Obama's attack on Sarah Palin," said Jason Powers, campaign spokesman for Shurtleff. "In Washington, D.C., you are known for the company you keep."

Bennett has no apologies for applauding Obama. Shurtleff announced that he would be running against Bennett, his fellow Republican, for the Senate seat back in May.

Jim Bennett, the senator's son and campaign spokesman, called the Shurtleff campaign's comments "flippant" and "disappointing."

"Senator Bennett is doing some heavy lifting to make sure conservative principles are applied to health care reform and it's disappointing to see a candidate use it as a political football," he said.

Shurtleff said in an interview at the summer meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General that Bennett "is not in touch with the people of Utah."

Shurtleff has said in the past that Bennett should not be the Republican nominee because of the key role he played in drafting the federal bailout of the nation's financial industry.

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