His logic here isn’t indefensible, but since he now bizarrely appears to occupy number two on the list of politicians most loathed by Hot Air readers (behind only the Messiah himself) I expect nothing less than a full-blown meltdown in the comments.
“During the primary, Romney attacked McCain. He attacked me,” the one-time presidential hopeful said today on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. “One of the problems McCain would have if he picked Romney was that it takes the Joe Biden issue off the table where Biden is saying great things about McCain and terrible things about Obama. They’ll be running those tapes back over and over during the debates when Romney was attacking McCain and saying, ‘Which time do we trust you? Then or now?'”
Limbaugh responded he didn’t think the primary infighting among Republicans would make much of a difference in the general election.
“That’s true for both parties, and McCain’s running ads right now featuring Hillary endorsing him,” Limbaugh said. “There is a gold mine of Hillary audio and video that McCain can make an ad of. Those things happen in primaries.”
Huckabee said he would still support McCain even if Romney is selected as running mate, citing his opposition to abortion rights.
As I recall, McCain was a lot nastier to Romney than Romney was to McCain, but that’s beside the point here. Limbaugh’s right that you’ll run into this problem to some extent no matter who the pick is (well, not if it’s Pawlenty), but Huck’s right to worry that the DNC will get plenty of mileage out of a Maverick/Mitt ticket. McCain’s ad goofing on Biden for his anti-Obama statements during the primary was effective, but those statements lack the bitterness of the McCain/Romney feud and, I suspect, will be dismissed by most of the public as Biden engaging in strategic gamesmanship at the time. The ads using Hillary against Obama are sharper because the bitterness was obviously there, but (a) she’s not on the ticket, of course, and (b) last night’s hyper-high profile speech will undo some of the damage. The left’s already used the stupid houses thing fairly successfully to try to make McCain seem ridiculous (another subject on which Romney is uniquely exposed); running ads of him bickering with his own VP will make it worse.
Romney actually anticipated this argument yesterday at the “Not Ready” event in Denver, though. Skip ahead to 4:15 and pay attention to his point about how Hillary’s attacks on Obama differ in one critical respect from his attacks on McCain. Quite right. I wonder if they can sell it.