This afternoon after a speech in Franklin, Haslam publicly commented for the first time on Todd's arrest. He dodged questions about whether Todd should remain in the House Republican leadership. Meanwhile, House GOP leader Gerald McCormick has decided not to disband his firearms task force, after all. The task force will stay in business—with a new chairman.
Q: What’s your reaction to Curry Todd’s arrest?
Haslam: I was obviously, you know like everybody else, really sorry to see that happen. It was a big mistake by Representative Todd that could have had dangerous consequences and I think he’s aware of that as well.
Q: Should he remain as a committee chairman?
Haslam: You know, I don’t think that’s my proper role to decide that. I mean, that’s why we have that branch of government. I’ll let the speaker and others in House leadership make that call.
Q: The gun issue is one that’s controversial and fraught with peril. Does this underline that for you?
Haslam: … Drinking and driving is wrong under any circumstances. Now obviously having a weapon in the car makes it worse. There’s all sorts of things we can point to that we’re not happy about there.
Q: Have you spoken to Representative Todd?
Haslam: I actually saw him this morning. The speaker and Representative Odom have a golf tournament that they do together, and I went out there to have breakfast with them and Curry was part of the group playing golf.
Q: Did you talk to him?
Haslam: I just asked him how he was doing. It was purely more of a personal conversation. We didn't talk about the legislature at all.
Q: What did he say?
Haslam: He said, 'I realize I made a bad mistake and I’m sorry.'