Southern Scandal Watch: Reed admits "misstep"

After months of attempting to run from the scandals surrounding Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed -- a GOP candidate for Georgia Lt. Governor, with an eye on the governor's mansion -- says he agrees the connection was unsavory:

Ralph Reed, the political strategist and candidate for lieutenant governor, said recently that his work for disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff was a mistake that - if given the chance - he wouldn't repeat.

"Had I known then what I know now, I would not have undertaken that work," Reed said, according to the text of a speech posted on his campaign Web site this week.

Interestingly enough, Reed's statement never addresses the substance of the controversy -- namely, that Abramoff funneled $5 million to Reed from Indian gambling interests, while Reed conducted high-profile anti-gambling campaigns in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama.

Such moral relativism from a champion of family values has earned Reed a growing list of detractors -- including, unfortunately for Reed, leaders of the Christian Right:

[R]eed's remarks ... may also be a reaction to rising Christian concerns about his connections to the Abramoff scandal.

Last month, the evangelical weekly World, with a national circulation of 140,000, published a critical piece about Reed that portrayed the former head of the Christian Coalition as a "shrewd businessman who has spent years leveraging his evangelical and conservative contacts."

Next edition of Scandal Watch: Democratic leader Jim Black in North Carolina also admits "missteps," growing crisis of bad political footwork feared.