Politico White House Correspondent Joe Williams has been suspended after he made comments about Mitt Romney’s inability to connect with anyone who is not white.
During a panel discussion on Martin Bashir’s MSNBC show Bashir said Romney might be having problems connecting with Hispanics because he rarely appears on shows outside of Fox. Following that statement Williams responded:
Romney is very, very comfortable it seems with people who are like him. That’s one of the reasons why he seems so stiff and awkward in some town hall settings, why he can’t relate to people other than that. But when he comes on Fox and Friends, they’re like him, they’re white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company.
That comment alone may have been brushed off if Williams hadn’t also jumped on Twitter and made a joke about Mitt Romney’s penis.
After suspending Joe Williams Politico founding editors John Harris and Jim VandeHei sent the following email to their staff:
Regrettably, an unacceptable number of Joe Williams’s public statements on cable and Twitter have called into question his commitment to this responsibility. His comment about Governor Romney earlier today on MSNBC fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way.
Joe has acknowledged that his appearance reflected a poor choice of words. This appearance came in the context of other remarks on Twitter that, cumulatively, require us to make clear that our standards are serious, and so are the consequences for disregarding them. This is true for all POLITICO journalists, including an experienced and well-respected voice like Joe Williams.
Following discussion of this matter with editors, Joe has been suspended while we review the matter.
Whether or not they will remove Joe Williams from his position is still not known.