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John McCain aims his guns at Mitt Romney

Well, it may have something to do with John McCain's comeback rise in the New Hampshire polls and his desire to close in even closer on the tail of Republican presidential opponent Mitt Romney, but the former Navy pilot is letting loose with however many barrels he's got left to fire in those old wings.

Today, under the senator's own name, his campaign released a rather strong statement, usually reserved for aides to keep the candidate cleaner and above the dirty ground fighting. Here's what McCain said:

"I know something about tailspins, and it's pretty clear Mitt Romney is in one. It's disappointing that he would launch desperate, flailing and false attacks in an attempt to maintain relevance. As the Union Leader said today, New Hampshire voters just aren't buying his act, and these latest attacks won't help him."

Earlier today the McCain camp issued a lengthy list of old Romney statements on immigration, once perceived as a McCain weak spot among conservatives who did not like his support of so-called amnesty for illegal immigrants last spring. But now McCain is on the offensive, citing how Romney appeared to endorse similar positions in numerous news articles from the past. Echoes of the old flip-flop attacks.

And in case you missed it, here's Sunday's opening shot on Romney from the McCain camp by the senator's advisor (and frequent co-author) Mark Salter, issued just before the Christmas truce went into effect:

"Welcome to Mitt Romney's bizarro world, in which everyone is guilty of his sins. He didn't support Ronald Reagan. He didn't support President Bush's tax cuts. He raised taxes in Massachusetts by $700 million. He knows John McCain is gaining on him so he does what any small varmint gun totin', civil rights marching, NRA-endorsed fantasy candidate would do: He questions someone else's credibility. New Hampshire is on to you, Mitt. Give it a rest. It's Christmas."

Other than that, the two are getting along just fine as the Iowa caucus (Jan. 3) and New Hampshire primary (Jan. 8) near.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Romney is by far the best candidate.
I didn't hear McCain apologize for opposing the Bush tax cuts? I didn't hear McCain admit that he was wrong for supporing a bill for granting amnesty to Illegals?

-Remember McCain was the one who vehemently opposed the Bush tax cuts.
-Remember McCain co-sponsored the bill that would've granted amnesty to illegals.

McCain is just an old fox trying to deflect; media why don't you ask McCain about his McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill? or why he just recently changed his views?

McCain couldn't even manage his own campaign. It's virtually bankrupt. He's using our funds to keep his charade going. He's a career politician in the middle of the beltway. He's part of the problem - not the solution. Romney has been successful in everything he's tried from turing around failing businesses into multimilion dollar companies to rescuing the Olympics. He's a proven leader. He is committted to cleaning up Washington and making it run more efficiently. And he's not the King of Shamnesty like McCain. Romney respects the fact that we must secure our borders and that legal citizenship actually means something. McCain wants to give our social security benefits away to illegals. It's nuts. Romney wants to secure the border and enforce the laws and allow legal Americans -- of all colors, races, religions, genders etc -- keep more of their legally earned money. Mitt will turn around Washington and will clean up corruption and will empower the people.

Amnesty Shamnesty! 45% of the 12 million illegals now in the country overstayed their Visas. They didn’t sneak across the border or parachute in from outer space. I am so sick of Romney and Guiliani demagoguing this issue by talking only about fences and Border Patrol to solve the problem. I don’t care if you build a fence to the moon – it doesn’t address the problems with the State Dept. (called by Newt Gingrich one of the 2 most dysfunctional agencies in Washington) and its inability to work with state & local agencies, colleges, etc. to share information. Remember the 6 illegals that were arrested last spring for planning an attack on Ft. Dix? They had hundreds of interactions with NJ state & local agencies over 10 years, including police, school officials, etc. Why was it up to a Circuit City clerk to catch them? It’s a joke to worry about issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens when, during the 1.5 million U.S. Passport backlog this summer, a bad guy could have put in fake papers & now be sitting with an American passport good for 10 years.
Let’s elect John McCain, a leader, who’s familiar with the DC bureaucracy, to appoint smart Cabinet members (not Bush-like cronies) who will turn agencies upside down, get rid of incompetents & give them enough funding to do their jobs properly. The 400-page immigration bill was properly defeated. It tried to do too much and didn’t put the enforcement part first, but it was an attempt to fix a terribly broken system and it did bring the situation to the fore. If you want to be part of the solution, send your Senators and Congressmen constructive suggestions for changes to the bill. Oh, but then you might have to READ it. Stop parroting the word “amnesty” as if that takes any thought.

The honorable John McCAIN - GENUINE AMERICAN MILITARY HERO - is our only chance to prevail over Hillary next Nov. ; romney would make a great Sec. of the Treasury OR Commerce , but McCain is the only candidate who can beat hillary or obama in the General Election

It is clear and should be for ALL Republicans that Romney can not be trusted and will change his mind to get elected. He is a poor politician and the worst version of a flip flopper. The only reason he is in this election is because he is super rich.

He can't win in the General Election. He couldn't beat Kennedy in 1994 what makes any sane person think he can beat Clinton. Here's a reminder of the Flip Flopper Romney back in 1994

Romney, of course, also opposed the 2003 Bush tax cuts at the time too. It came as such a surprise to Barney Frank that the Boston Globe quoted him as saying: “I was very pleased. Here you have a freshman governor refusing to endorse a tax cut presented by a Republican president at the height of his wartime popularity.”

In addition, as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney announced that he was open to imposing new taxes on gasoline and SUVs, pushed through an additional $300 tax increase on small businesses, not to mention that his signature achievement while Governor, MassHealth, has turned into a massive boondoggle. It has not only to failed to cover all of the uninsured in Massachusetts (despite including an individual mandate that strips away consumer choice), but it’s also cost $150 million more than Romney said it would.
Not only that, but Romney isn’t necessarily the best spokesman to discuss the virtues of “Reagan 101″ given that he explicitly repudiated Reagan’s leadership during his 1994 Senate run.
“Look, I was an independent during Reagan-Bush. I don’t want to return to Reagan-Bush.”

Mitt Flip Flopper Romney can't be trusted. It is time for Republicans to support the only candidate, John McCain, that can beat Hillary in the general election

"He couldn't beat Kennedy in 1994 what makes any sane person think he can beat Clinton."


The fact that he won as governor speaks volumes as to his ability to win over democrats.

Mitt Romney is just the GOP version of John Kerry. John McCain is the only true leader running. I can't imagine any of the other candidates commanding our military.

Any candidate that would need to accept matching funds to keep his campaign afloat is obviously not the one we want for president. He can't even manage his own campaign, what makes you think that he can run the country without going bankrupt. How a candidate runs their campaign is a good indicator at how well they can run something.

Military hero, yes; Honorable? Do you really know? Our only chance to prevail over Hillary! Are you serious??

With all due respect. John is too stuborn to realize that he is way too old to run a Country like the United States. Beside sitting in a Senate seat for 24 long years, what make you think he would be a great President?
He was just a pilot that got shutdown in Vietnam, he was not even a General. Piloting a 1960 fighter jet doesn't qualify you to run a Country.

McCain would resurrect all the old coots from Washington, Lieberman is one of them. Nothing wrong with them, just make me feel like the the Rolling Stones (Rolling Bones). Just a bunch of old men that cannot stay away from the limelight.

McCain: I love you but.... your time has come and gone 7 years ago, you couldn't beat GWB; so now you think you have a better chance to beat a woman? You are in DENIAL and so is the Press.

Give it a rest, enjoy your retirement when you still can and let the younger generation have their chance to bring new ideas in Washington.

Be a HERO, leave the race with pride, you do not need the stress, that is not good for a cancer survivor.

I have never seen so much biased journalism in my life as we have seen against Romney. Every article says something negative and try's to portray Romney in the worst light possible, ignoring all his successes and trying to turn them into negatives. The liberal media definitely have Romney in their sights. Meanwhile, McCain is resorting to personal attacks and looks increasingly bitter and hostile. Romney is the most talented Republican candidate that we've had in some time, My vote will be for Romney.

John Mc Caine just voted to grant social security benefits to illegal aleins. Why would I vote for a public official that just doesn't get it? Mitt Romney wants to hold up federal funds to city like New york and Los Angeles that continue to grant asylum to illegal immigrates. If illegal immigrates are using fraudulant social security numbers. Why should they recieve benefits? Why are they not placed in jail? No, let's grant them social security benefits. And you wonder why there is so much I.d fraud?

Milton Romney believes that the biblical Garden of Eden was in Missouri.....pretty cool huh ?? LOL

(Actually, his actual name is Mitt--he's named for a great-uncle who was a pro football player with the Bears--and let's not get into what we "know" someone believes here. We can't know anyone's beliefs and it only serves those who're into derision. All religions have some doctrines that are pretty funny-sounding to non-members.)

Mitt Romney is a phony. He's in a tailspin, desperate, flailing, looking for anything to stop his freefall. Not only the Concord Monitor wrote that Romney is a phony, but Romney's hometown newspaper, the Boston Herald agreed.

When I first started voting some 40+ years ago, I was a democrat because I thought they were for the pore people. But you know, I found out that all Politicians no matter what there stand, are richer than any of us.
I don't vote for some one because of there RACE or there GENDER, or There Age. all of the above is discrimination !!!!!! For me they better have all there ducks in a row. I want to know there back round, what have they done and what haven't they done. What is there experience to hold the highest office in our country.. I am really tired of mud slinging (like little children instead of adults) That just shoes me, that person has not met there maturity and I'm not likely to take him or her as seriously as they would like !


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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