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Lingle follows Hirono in criticizing Romney for remarks

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:46 p.m. HST, Sep 19, 2012

Former Gov. Linda Lingle said today that she does not agree with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s controversial remarks about government entitlements.

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate said people in Hawaii do not believe in labels and that it was unfair to place people in a category. Lingle becomes the fourth Republican Senate contender to distance themselves from the GOP presidential nominee’s remarks.

But Lingle also said that U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, her Democratic opponent for U.S. Senate, is attempting to use Romney’s comments to nationalize the election.

"I am not a rubber stamp for the national party and I am not responsible for the statements of Mitt Romney," Lingle said in an email. "With that said, I do not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance, as I know many of them are driven, hard-working individuals who are actively working to better the situation of their ‘ohana. It is not fair to place these individuals into any one category. The people of Hawaii know I don’t believe in labels and I know they don’t either."

Earlier today, Hirono condemned Romney’s remarks and Lingle for her previous silence.

Hirono called Romney’s comment about the “47 percent” who will likely vote for Hawaii-born President Barack Obama no matter what because they are dependent on government “deeply offensive.”

"These words are an outrage. These views are unacceptable. And, this is just one more reason we must re-elect our island son, President Obama," Hirono said in in a statement prepared for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s state convention. "And, we cannot allow Republican Linda Lingle to go to the United States Senate."

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