(USA TODAY/WUSA9) -- Maryland's attorney general, an outspoken opponent of underage drinking, says it was not his responsibility as a parent or a high-ranking law enforcement official to intervene at a teen beach party in June where alcohol was apparently served, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Douglas Gansler, a Democrat candidate for governor, says he does not remember whether he saw anyone drinking at the high school party in Delaware, the newspaper reports Wednesday.
In a press conference Thursday, Gansler said he was only at the party to speak with his son.
A photo, which was posted to Instagram by one of those attending, shows Gansler with a cellphone pushing through a crowd of young people, including some dancing shirtless on a table amid a smattering of red plastic cups.
The Sun says underage participants at the party at a rented house in South Bethany, Del., later confirmed that many were drinking alcohol.
"Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler tells The Sun. "How is that relevant to me? ... The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."
Gansler said Thursday he probably should have done more.
"In hindsight I probably should have assumed there was drinking and talked to the chaperones about whether that was appropriate," he said.
Gansler appeared in a video last year that was part of a campaign by the Century Council, a non-profit that fights teen drinking and drunken driving.
"Parents, you're the leading influence on your teen's decision not to drink," Gansler says in the video for the organization's campaign to persuade parents to talk to middle-school children about drinking. "It's never too early to talk with your kids about smart ways to say no."
Although Gansler, according to the newspaper, was among the group of parents who rented the six-bedroom beach house for the teen party, he tells the newspaper that he was only briefly at the event and that his son was not drinking.
"My responsibility is only to my child. ... Everybody has their own moral compass. Mine is to raise my own child," he tells The Sun.
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