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McCain: I’m Proud Of My Conservative Record

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, answers a question as former ...

Romney Accuses McCain of ‘Dirty Tricks’

Jan 31, 2008

By LIZ SIDOTI

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney accused John McCain of using dirty tricks by suggesting the former Massachusetts governor wanted a deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, in a spirited debate Wednesday night that underscored the intensity of their presidential rivalry…

“I have never, ever supported a specific timetable” for withdrawing troops, Romney said. McCain’s accusation on the eve of Tuesday’s primary, he said, “sort of falls into the dirty tricks that I think Ronald Reagan would have found reprehensible.” …

McCain stuck to his guns, saying, “of course he said he wanted a timetable” for a withdrawal. McCain had made the allegation in Florida as he tried to shift the debate from the ailing economy, a stronger issue for Romney, a former venture capitalist and businessman.

Last April, Romney said U.S. and Iraqi leaders “have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about” in private.

In Wednesday’s debate, Romney said he was not calling for a specific withdrawal date. “It’s simply wrong, and the senator knows it,” he said. “I will not pull our troops out until we have brought success in Iraq.” …

Romney tried to portray McCain, who performs well among political independents, as out of the conservative mainstream as the contest moves toward a cluster of states where only registered Republicans can vote. He said the Arizona senator twice voted against President Bush’s tax cuts and pushed campaign finance reforms that restricted fundraising and spending. The Republican establishment embraced the tax cuts and opposed the new campaign law, which many saw as helpful to Democrats.

“Those views are outside the view of mainstream Republican thought,” Romney said. He made similar arguments in Florida, but lost to McCain by 5 percentage points.

McCain disputed the claims. “I’m proud of my conservative record,” he said.

In a counterpunch, he said Romney left Massachusetts with high taxes and a large debt. “His job creation was the third worst in the country,” McCain said, a claim Romney rejected…

McCain tried to deflect questions on illegal immigration, a sore point with many Republicans who resented his push for a Senate bill, ultimately unsuccessful, that would have granted a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants now in the country.

Asked if he would vote for his bill now, McCain replied, “it won’t” come to a vote “because people want the borders secured first.” He said he supports new efforts to prevent illegal crossings…

Romney said McCain opposed Bush’s first-term tax cuts because they were tilted largely toward the rich. But Romney defended the cuts, saying, “I believe in getting rates down. I think that builds our economy.”

McCain said he opposes tax cuts that are not coupled with spending restraints. Republicans lost congressional seats in 2006 less because of the Iraq war than because of out-of-control spending that alienated conservatives, McCain said.

Mr. McCain does seem to be somewhat detached from reality, if he can say things such as this:

McCain disputed the claims. “I’m proud of my conservative record,” he said.

No wonder he is such bosom pals with Hillary.

If anything, the problem is that Mr. Romney is being too gentle. 

(Thanks to the ever-watchful BillK, who first posted this on the “Other News” thread.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 31st, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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