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March 18, 2004
McCain Torpedos Bush Again

The degradation of Senator John McCain continues, as earlier today he spoke out to defend John Kerry's record on national security and scolded both candidates for running a "bitter, partisan campaign":

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday he did not believe Democratic candidate John Kerry, a friend and Senate colleague, was weak on defense or would compromise national security if elected president. ...

Asked on NBC's "Today" if he thought Kerry was weak on defense, McCain said: "No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense. He's responsible for his voting record, as we are all responsible for our records, and he'll have to explain it. But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense. I don't agree with him on some issues, clearly. But I decry this negativism that's going on on both sides. The American people don't need it."

Later on during the interview, McCain endorsed Bush but warned that a divisive campaign would lead to low voter turnout in November. Well, it may do that for people who think that an election should be nothing more than a feel-good popularity contest, somewhat akin to an episode of "American Idol" without Simon Cowell. Unfortunately, John Kerry's abysmal voting record on matters of defense and intelligence are very germane to the presidential election --- certainly more so than his four-month tour of duty in Vietnam, or whether anyone can remember seeing George Bush in Alabama in 1972, on which the Democrats seem to be basing Kerry's campaign.

Why is McCain flacking for John Kerry? I suspected he wanted to undermine Bush last week when he needlessly stoked the notion that he would consider being Kerry's running mate, if asked. Now I think it's demonstrably true. Republicans are trying to focus their campaign on Kerry's record, and one of their own leaders is out in front of Kerry, shielding him from the scrutiny.

McCain apparently will work to get a dangerous waffler like Kerry elected in order to exact some petty revenge for Bush's victory in the 2000 primaries. Unfortunately, his efforts are sure to garner a lot of media attention and will do the intended damage to Bush's campaign, instead of focusing on McCain's shortcomings as a team player and his self-involvement.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 18, 2004 11:09 AM

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