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Reilly criticizes Romney attacks on Kerry

Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly blasted Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenent Governor Kerry Healey yesterday for taking part in Republicans' ''personal attacks" on Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night.

''They are decent people and I didn't think they'd participate in something like that, but they did and they clearly made that choice," Reilly said of Romney and Healey at a new conference outside his office.

In speeches Wednesday night, Romney and Healey echoed Republican themes in portraying Kerry as waffling and indecisive and questioning his record in public service.

''Where's the talk about health care? The talk about education? The talk about jobs? Talk about the economy?" Reilly said. ''There's none of that. Just personal attacks on a person's reputation and their character and their courage and their service."

Reilly, a Democrat, has recently been raising his public profile amid widespread speculation that he plans to run for governor in 2006. He came out strongly against Romney's proposal to move the Committee for Public Counsel Services from the judicial to the executive branch to solve the ongoing bar advocate crisis. Earlier in the year he refused Romney's request that he seek a delay of the Supreme Judicial Court's gay marriage ruling.

He has also taken up consumer causes, publicly challenging proposed car insurance rate hikes, criticizing the rising cost of health care, and eyeing a greater role in prosecuting abuses by mutual fund and securities companies, a job held by the secretary of state.

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