During last night’s debate, the Straight Talk Express derailed into distortion, revealing the true character of the candidate. Over the ninety-minute long affair, John McCain resorted to a barrage of incorrect assaults aimed at his chief rival for the nomination, Mitt Romney. The most egregious moment revolved around a question debated for the last week – did Romney support a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, a claim pushed by McCain. The resounding answer, from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, was no. Yet on the debate stage, McCain stuck to his original statement, refusing to retract it.
McCain’s dissembling stretched far beyond that, reaching into the realm of immigration. When asked if he would vote for McCain-Kennedy, the now-dead immigration bill symbolic of McCain’s political apostasy, the senator demurred. Disapproving of hypotheticals, McCain said the legislation wouldn’t come up for a vote. Yet on Meet the Press last Sunday, he said he’d vote for it.
The flaps continue: citing an endorsement he never received, mischaracterizing a study to paint Romney as incompetent. “Facts are stubborn things,” Romney said at one point. Indeed, they are. It’s time for the media to wrest the mantle of straight talk away from McCain and grant it to someone more worthy.