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Senators Call for Craig to Resign After Bathroom Arrest

Following revelations about the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, on a disorderly conduct charge, several key Republicans called for his resignation. A political writer from one of Idaho's largest newspapers explains the impact in his home state.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Idaho Senator Larry Craig plans to be back at work in Washington when Congress returns from summer break next week; that word came this afternoon from a Craig spokesman, as the senator fought to save a political career that spans four decades.

    But this week's revelation that Craig was arrested in June for making a sexual advance to an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room today triggered the first calls from colleagues for his resignation. Senate Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of Minnesota joined House Republican Peter Hoekstra of Michigan urging that Craig step aside immediately.

    And a White House spokesman said the president was "disappointed" in Craig's behavior and hoped the Senate Ethics Committee would do its work quickly "in the best interests of the Senate and the people of Idaho."

    SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R), Idaho: While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else…

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Craig yesterday denied any wrongdoing, but in August he did sign a guilty plea stating that he, quote, "engaged in conduct which I knew or should have known tended to arouse alarm or resentment."

  • SEN. LARRY CRAIG:

    I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    The three-term senator said he had hoped to keep the episode out of the newspapers, especially the Idaho Statesman, which had conducted an eight-month investigation into similar charges against Craig.

  • SEN. LARRY CRAIG:

    In pleading guilty, I overreacted in Minneapolis because of the stress the Idaho Statesman investigation and the rumors it has fueled all around Idaho.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    The Statesman published its story yesterday, which included a May 14th interview with Craig, in which he denied several previous trysts with men. Responding to one anonymous claim that he "cruised," or followed, a man around a Boise sporting goods store in 1994, Craig told the paper…

  • SEN. LARRY CRAIG:

    I'm not gay, and I don't cruise, and I don't hit on men.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    The senator then went on to say.

  • SEN. LARRY CRAIG:

    I don't go around anywhere hitting on men. And, my god, if I did, I wouldn't do it in Boise, Idaho.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Craig also denied a claim from a gay blogger last fall that he had sexual contact with another man in a bathroom at Washington, D.C.'s, Union Station. The revelations have forced Craig to resign as co-chairman of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

    FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R), Massachusetts: Very disappointing. He's no longer associated with my campaign, as you can imagine. He resigned just today. And, you know, he was one of those who was helping my effort, and I'm sorry to see that he has fallen short.

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