Mitt Romney had a conference call today with bloggers. Unfortunately, I had to drift in and out of it due to the demands of my job, and thus missed about half of the Q and A. Ed Morissey provides an account of the call here.
I agree with Ed that Romney sounded upbeat yet realistic, and you can’t listen to the governor for any length of time without appreciating how intelligent he is.
Romney’s criticism of McCain was powerful. Calling McCain the “quintessential Washington insider” was over-the-top, but calling McCain out for his weak responses to economic questions during this week’s Californial debate was spot-on. Romney heaped deserved ridicule on the Senator’s “stream of conscious, rambling” discussion of the economic outlook, in which McCain talked about punishing Wall Street and threw in a reference to a town in Norway. He also hammered McCain on McCain-Lieberman. Romney wondered how anyone who served on the Senate commerce committee for so long could have so little understanding of how the economy works. Romney attributed this shortfall to lack of interest on McCain’s part, which sounds about right.
On the negative side, though, I was more disturbed than Captain Ed with Romney’s answer to Phil Klein’s question about phone calls by the Romney campaign to Florida voters that attacked McCain’s position on Medicare Part D expansion even though Romney holds the same position. I don’t think it’s good enough to disavow knowledge of the ad and promise that it won’t happen again. The 2008 Florida primary won’t happen again either. This seems like a hit-and-run attack, not much different in kind than McCain’s false last-minute claim that Romney favored setting a date for withdrawal from Iraq.
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