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Letterman calls McCain's attempts to return 'squirrely'

October 9, 2008 |  5:33 pm

As anyone within shouting distance of David Letterman knows, two weeks ago Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain ditched the "Late Show" host in order, the senator said, to help fix the financial crisis.

To the delight of many viewers, and Democrats, Letterman did not take this slight well.

This week, the New York Post reported that the two former friends could have an on-air make-up session next week, when McCain is in New York to debate Barack Obama for the last time.

But in tonight's "Late Show," Letterman once again spouted off about the feud. And in the process of scornfully recounting it -- "war hero," "economy," "rush back to Washington," "spent the night in New York," "Katie Couric," yadda, yadda -- he revealed details about the negotiations to bring McCain back that ... well, it's hard to imagine that the McCain campaign will like this.

Here are excerpts of Letterman's remarks that we bring to you exclusively. And, FYI, when he mentions "that big-headed kid," he means MSNBC's Keith Olbermann:

"So now, in an attempt to save his campaign, they’re talking about coming back. You see what I’m saying? So we said, 'Sure, we would love you to come back.' And even on the phone, he said, 'I’ll bring…Sarah.'  But they’re being squirrely.  Politicians can be squirrely.  Because we have a date picked.  We do this show every afternoon at 5:30.  He wants to do the show at 5.  So one –- we have no guarantee he’s going to show up, period. And we’ve kind of already rearranged our schedule on his behalf to save the economy, right?  By getting that big-headed kid in here to talk about the politics. You know what I’m driving at? I just don’t know if we can trust him. And by the way, I don’t need to remind you that the road to the White House runs right through here."

The full transcript of Letterman's rant is after the jump.

Now here’s this thing with John McCain…you know a couple of weeks ago, John McCain was supposed to be on the show. And at the last minute he calls me up –- and I’ve got a lot of respect…you get a call from a senator –- you get a call from a guy who is a bona fide war hero –- all of a sudden, you know, your lips start to vibrate.  So I said “Sure, whatever you want.”  And he says, “Look, Dave, the economy is about to crater.”  It’s about to “crater,” his word.  “And I have to rush back to Washington to save the economy.”  And so it made me feel puny.  So I said, “OK, Senator, do what you have to do.  Rush right back to Washington.” And then I hung up and I felt like a patriot. I felt like I had done my part. And he was supposed to be on the show like an hour later. So now, we’re in a hole but everybody has to pull together in economic hardship times. So we all pull together and we get that guy with the big head from MSNBC. What’s his name? Keith Olbermann, yeah.  Giant head. So he comes over. He’s good. He’s very good. So now it turns out, not only did he not rush back to Washington, he spent the night here in New York City. He went on Katie Couric…he was on Conan…he was on Regis…he was everywhere. So now, in an attempt to save his campaign, they’re talking about coming back. You see what I’m saying? So we said, “Sure, we would love you to come back.” And even on the phone, he said, “I’ll bring….Sarah.” But they’re being squirrely. Politicians can be squirrely.  Because we have a date picked. We do this show every afternoon at 5:30. He wants to do the show at 5.  So one –- we have no guarantee he’s going to show up, period. And we’ve kind of already rearranged our schedule on his behalf to save the economy, right? By getting that big-headed kid in here to talk about the politics. You know what I’m driving at?  I just don’t know if we can trust him. And by the way, I don’t need to remind you that the road to the White House runs right through here."

-- Kate Aurthur 

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