Joe Williams, a Politico reporter, was suspended late Thursday for making racially charged comments about Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the political news website reported.
"Romney is very, very comfortable, it seems, with people who are like him," Williams said during an appearance on MSNBC. "That's one of the reasons why he seems so stiff and awkward in town hall meetings, 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."
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Williams has also made critical comments about Romney on his private Twitter account, the New York Times reported. The reporter, who is black, was the Boston Globe's deputy Washington bureau chief before moving over to Politico, Slate reported.
According to his Politico bio, he covered the Obama administration cabinet and domestic policies, and also "examines the intersection of race and politics."
"Regrettably, an unacceptable number of Joe Williams's public statements on cable and Twitter have called into question his commitment to this responsibility," Politico's founding editors John Harris and Jim VandeHei wrote in a memo to the staff. "His comment about Governor Romney earlier today on MSNBC fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way."
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The Washington Post reported that Williams' dismissal, which happened late Thursday night, may reveal a pattern of how the website deals with "personnel issues."
"The handling of this matter may signal an emerging policy at Politico...: Deal with them quickly, decisively and, if possible, at night," wrote the Post's Erik Wemple.
Politico also dealt with the resignation of Kendra Marr after plagiarism finding in a similar manner, publishing an editor’s note with the announcement in the evening, according to the Post.