Arizona Sen. John McCain took a shot at Dick Cheney on Monday for his attack on Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate and blasted a Newsweek article asserting tensions with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as “liberal left-wing trash.”
Regarding the former Alaska governor, McCain dismissed former Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticism of her by telling “Fox and Friends” that he was “always glad to get comments four years later” and by noting that he disagreed with Cheney on the use of torture.
Cheney had told ABC over the weekend that Palin was not qualified to take over the presidency.
Calling Palin “an attractive candidate,” Cheney added that, “based on her background – she had only been governor for about two years – I don’t think she passed that test of being ready to take over.”
“Look, I respect the vice president,” McCain responded on the Fox News program. “He and I had strong disagreements on whether we should torture people or not. I didn’t think we should have.
“But the fact is that I’m proud of Sarah Palin, I’m proud of the job she did, I’m proud of the job she continues to do. So, everybody has their own views and I respect those views. But I’m proud of what we did.”
Informed that Cheney’s daughter, Liz, praised Palin earlier Monday, McCain laughed.
“Is that right?” he asked. “Everybody’s entitled.”
Regarding the Newsweek article, Politico reports that Washington bureau chief and media critic Howard Kurtz said that McCain had failed in his efforts to counsel Romney and was frustrated with his behind-the-scenes role on the campaign.
Kurtz called McCain a “caged lion” in the exclusive article, Politico reports.
“Four years after his own presidential bid, McCain’s luster as a Republican Party spokesman appears to have dimmed: a number of proposed campaign trips on Romney’s behalf have quietly evaporated, and there has been no offer of a speaking slot at the GOP convention,” Kurtz writes.
“‘He’s chomping at the bit to do something,’ a McCain aide confides.”
But during a press stop in Tampa, Fla., today, McCain called the report “foolishness,” adding that it included at least one factual error.
“The record shows that I supported Gov. Romney early, I went to New Hampshire and endorsed him,” McCain said. “It’s just foolishness, it’s just the kind of liberal left-wing trash that I have to put up with from time to time.”
He described the factual error: “For example, in the story, it says Sen. McCain went to Tahiti after the 2008 campaign. I didn’t. The most amateur fact-checker would have known that. I went after 2000.
“That shows you the kind of slip-job work that went to the story, I’m reluctant to even comment on something like that,” McCain said.
Kurtz acknowledged the Tahiti error to Politico, but says he never questioned McCain’s support for Romney.
“The Newsweek piece makes clear that Senator McCain is enthusiastically supporting Mitt Romney,” Kurtz told Politico. “To the extent the Romney camp is not (with some exceptions) taking McCain’s advice or giving him a prominent campaign role comes in part from three interviews with the senator himself. Nothing ‘liberal’ or ‘left wing’ about that.
“I appreciate Senator McCain being generous with his time and regret the mix-up about the date of his vacation.”