Audio: Kerry says McCain's staff approached him about joining the 2004 ticket; Update: McCain camp, Newsweek dispute

Emphasis: they approached him. Admittedly, we’ve got a not-very-credible source here in Waffles, but there does seem to be an awful lot of corroboration for the rumors about McCain’s aide, John Weaver, being unusually chatty with Democrats about rescuing Maverick from the clutches of the Republican Party. And not all of that corroboration is recent, i.e., election-flavored: Daschle first mentioned it in a book published four years ago, and WaPo did a story about it as far back as 2001.

Now here’s Kerry with another story about McCain wanting to jump ship, this time in the grandest way possible.

Fred!’s only two points behind St. John in the new Rasmussen poll (although no one’s quite sure why). This ought to change that.

Update: McCain admitted in 2004 — to Rush Limbaugh, no less — that he’d “entertain” the idea of a fusion ticket, but here’s how he played it off on “Good Morning America”:

“It’s impossible to imagine the Democratic Party seeking a pro-life, free-trading, non-protectionist, deficit hawk. … They’d have to be taking some steroids, I think, in order to let that happen.”

If it’s impossible, why did Weaver (allegedly) approach Kerry?

Update: Weaver and J-Mac chief of staff Mark Salter have already hooked up with TownHall for a quickie interview to deal with this. According to them, it was Waffles who first approached McCain (in 2003) about a fusion ticket and offered him the sun, the moon, and the stars to bring him onboard. A Newsweek article published in 2004 corroborates their story, with Kerry allegedly having told McCain’s camp that he wanted “plausible deniability” at having made the offer in case McCain turned it down. Wouldn’t both sides have wanted plausible deniability, though? Pro-war sentiment wasn’t exactly sky high among the left in 2004.

Also, how’s about this from the TownHall interview:

“At no point did John consider it. Not for a nanosecond,” said Weaver.

Not even for a second? Then why did he tell Rush, “Obviously, I would entertain it” at the time?

Update: Since we’re piling on McCain, check out the Iraqi shopkeepers at the Shorja market unloading on him for pretending that security has improved in Baghdad. Although one of them did see fit to damn him with faint praise:

“Although these U.S. officials were using this visit for their propaganda to tell the Americans ‘we are gaining progress here don’t worry,’ it left a kind of good impression with some of us,” he said. “They are at least better than Iraqi officials who never venture out their Green Zone to talk to normal people and see their problems. I hope that this visit will encourage Iraqi officials to leave their fortified houses inside the Green Zone.”