For much of last year, Romney downplayed his business experience while trying to appeal to conservative voters largely on social and moral issues.ALL THIS FOLLOWS A FAMILIAR PATTERN:
A Romney ad now airing in Florida highlights his experience in the private sector. "I know how America works, because I spent my life in the real economy," he boasts, in front of the Jacksonville skyline.
"Governor Romney is touting his qualities and his experience and resume as a manager; I am telling the American people - and they know it - that I am a leader," McCain said at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale. McCain was challenged at the news conference over an answer he gave in a debate the previous night when asked by moderator Tim Russert if he had said he was "not well versed on" economic issues.
"Actually, I don't know where you got that quote from," McCain replied.
McCain conceded yesterday that he had made such a remark.
"It was in the context of a conversation on my qualifications to serve: that I am proud of my record as chairman of the commerce committee, of being involved in every single major issue that affects this country," he said.
In fact, on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, McCain has volunteered that he is unsatisfied with his lack of knowledge about aspects of economics.
"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated," McCain told the Wall Street Journal in late November.
In December he said, "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," as the Globe reported on its "Political Intelligence" blog at the time.
On at least one occasion, McCain has raised the matter himself. On Nov. 10, while traveling through New Hampshire on his Straight Talk Express bus, McCain was asked what he would seek in a vice presidential candidate if nominated.
After mentioning the ability of a potential running mate to replace the president, McCain said, "You also look for people who maybe have talents you don't, or experience or knowledge you don't, as well."
"What are those qualities that you don't - that you wouldn't mind complementing?" asked David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times.
McCain paused. "Uh, maybe I shouldn't say this, but, somebody who's really well grounded in economics," he said.
- MCCAIN'S FIRST IMPULSE IS TO ANGRILY SMEAR HIS OPPONENT. HE IS, AFTER ALL, A LOOSE CANNON
- THEN HE LIES ABOUT HIMSELF. THEN HE LIES ABOUT HIS OPPONENT
- THEN HE ADMITS THE TRUTH - AND CALLS IT STRAIGHT TALK.