News Articles

Bauer denies rumors of infidelity; they voiced concerns, ex-aides say

WASHINGTON (BP)–Pro-family leader and presidential candidate Gary Bauer denied Sept. 29 rumors he has carried on an adulterous relationship with a young female campaign worker.
Former Bauer campaign officials, however, said they confronted the Republican Party candidate with concerns about what they considered the improper appearance of his relationship with the staff member and resigned as a result.
Bauer held the news conference at a downtown Washington hotel after five or six weeks of a “brutal rumor campaign and character assassination that goes to the heart of who I am,” he said. The rumors entered the news media Sept. 27 when an item in the New York Daily News hinted a presidential candidate had been having an adulterous relationship with a young woman. It also said staff members had resigned from his campaign. When his name was connected to the rumor by radio show hosts, Bauer decided to go public, he told reporters.
“These rumors and character assassination are disgusting, outrageous, evil and sick,” he said at the news conference. “They are trash-can politics at its worst.”
With his wife, Carol, and their three children at his side, Bauer said his wife and he “have been faithfully married to each other for 27 years. I have not violated my vows. She has not violated her vows.”
Bauer, however, avoided providing direct answers to numerous questions by reporters about whether campaign staff members had expressed concern to him about his behavior with a female staffer.
Later in the day, his former campaign chairman, Charles Jarvis, and former chief of advance operations, Tim McDonald, said they left the campaign to protest Bauer’s habit of spending hours behind closed doors alone with her and traveling alone with her, The Washington Post reported.
“As a pro-family and pro-life leader, Gary is held to a higher standard,” Jarvis told The Post. “Meeting hour after hour alone [with the woman], as a married man, candidate and as a pro-family, pro-life leader, he has no business creating that kind of appearance of impropriety.
“People have confronted Gary about the appearance of impropriety.”
According to the Daily News, Jarvis said he “had several private, one-on-one confrontations with Gary about this.” Nine staff members left the campaign as result of the situation, Jarvis said, according to the Daily News.
At the news conference, Bauer acknowledged his secretary of about 15 years had left the campaign. When asked, he declined to say whether she had expressed similar concerns to him before her departure.
Phone calls by Baptist Press to Jarvis and another Bauer aide who quit were not returned before deadline.
Bauer, who said his older daughter works down the hall from his office, said he “cannot imagine that anybody in the campaign would object to me having a meeting behind closed doors” with a professional woman. “I’ve done nothing that I haven’t done in 25 years” in Washington, he told reporters.
When a reporter pointed out Billy Graham and other Christian leaders have a policy of not being alone with a woman who is not their wife, Bauer implied the same standard did not apply to him.
“I am not a minister. I am not a pastor,” he said.
The female staffer in question will remain with his campaign, Bauer said.
Even though none of the former campaign workers have expressed publicly any belief Bauer was guilty of adultery, the incident, and Bauer’s response, would not seem to help him with his core constituency: conservative Christians.
Bauer, a domestic policy adviser in the Reagan administration, was president of the Family Research Council for 10 years before running for the GOP nomination. He has been closely identified with James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, of which FRC was a part for three years.
Among Republican candidates, Bauer has been one of the most outspoken advocates of protection for unborn children and for cultural renewal.
At his news conference, Bauer suggested the workers of one of his GOP rivals were behind the rumors. His staff, Bauer said, “has been told repeatedly that this report has been spun to them over and over and over again by operatives of one particular campaign.”
He declined at the news conference to name the candidate, but when asked later on the Fox News Channel whether the Steve Forbes campaign was spreading the rumors, Bauer said, “I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” the Daily News reported.
Greg Mueller, Forbes’ communication director, told the Daily News, “We don’t engage in those kinds of tactics. Our campaign is about issues and substance, and not innuendo.”
Since Sept. 15, Jarvis has been an unpaid adviser to the Forbes campaign, a Forbes spokesman said. After he switched campaigns, Jarvis said he believed Forbes was the only conservative who could win the GOP nomination.
Before he left to join Bauer’s campaign, Jarvis had served about three years as one of three executive vice presidents for Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo., a Focus spokesman said, confirming that McDonald also is a former Focus employee.
Bauer’s news conference occurred the same week former Vice President Dan Quayle, another Republican candidate supported by some conservative Christians, announced he was dropping out of the race in the face of Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s massive lead in the polls and fund-raising.