Does anyone else find it oxymoronic that Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts who has flip-flopped on hot-topic issues like abortion, is accusing a guy like John McCain of being “out of touch” with the conservative thought? Check out this transcript from CNN’s broadcast of the previous night’s Republican debate:
JANET HOOK, LOS ANGELES TIMES: Governor Romney, you’ve spent the last several days warning voters that John McCain as president would follow, quote, “a liberal, Democratic course.” But, by most measures, doesn’t he have a pretty mainstream conservative record?
ROMNEY: I’m sure on many issues he does, and he’s a good Republican. I wouldn’t question those credentials at all. But there are a number of pieces of legislation where his views are out of the mainstream, at least in my view, of conservative Republican thought.
So, for instance, he’s opposed to drilling in ANWR, I believe. If I’m correct — correct me, Senator. He voted twice against the Bush tax cuts. Only two Republicans did that.
He is a co-author of McCain-Feingold, which I think took a whack at the First Amendment and I do believe, as well, hurt our party pretty significantly. And I think it’s made money have an even greater influence in politics today, not less influence.
He also was one of the co-authors of McCain-Kennedy, the first bill, by the way, not that bad. About 5 percent or 10 percent of the people, by our calculation, got a form of amnesty. Most people went home.
Under the final version of McCain-Kennedy, everybody who was here illegally, other than those who committed crimes, was eligible to receive a Z-visa. For $3,000, they got to stay here for the rest of their life. That’s not a Republican thought.
And then now McCain-Lieberman, which is a unilateral — meaning U.S.-only imposed — cap-and-trade program, which puts a burden, as much as 50 cents a gallon, on gasoline in this country. It basically says Americans are going to pay for the cost of global warming, not the Chinese and Indians and forth.
So those views are outside the mainstream of Republican conservative thought. And I guess I’d also note that, if you get endorsed by the New York Times, you’re probably not a conservative.
COOPER: Senator McCain?
MCCAIN: Let me note that I was endorsed by your two hometown newspapers who know you best, including the very conservative Boston Herald…
ROMNEY: I’d say the same thing.
MCCAIN: … who know you well better than anybody. So I’ll guarantee the Arizona Republic will be endorsing me, my friend.
I decided to bolden the real “zinger” of this exchange because it doesn’t get any more douchier than a former governor of one of the most liberal states in the Union accusing somebody of not being conservative enough because they’re endorsed by a certain newspaper. Talk about grasping at straws…