John McCain says he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 instead of Mitt Romney because 'she was the better candidate'

 

When you have friends like John McCain, who needs political enemies?  That was surely the thinking of Mitt Romney today after the aforementioned said he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 over the former Massachusetts governor because she was the “better candidate”.

The slip by Senator McCain, which seemed to present Ms Palin as the gold standard of campaigning to which Mr Romney could not hope to measure up, came at a bad time. Mr Romney continues to face calls not just from Democrats but also some in his own party to release tax returns going back several years to quell questions about his personal fortune and whether he parked some of it overseas to dodge taxes.

Senator McCain thought he was being helpful. When in 2008 he rejected Mr Romney, his former rival for the nomination, as his choice for Veep it was not because of anything his vetting team had seen after sifting through two decades worth of Mr Romney’s tax returns, he said. But his follow-up – that he did it merely because Ms Palin seemed the “better” choice – ignited an unwanted uproar.

A livid Mr McCain later complained his words had been distorted. “We’ve taken an answer to a question as to why I selected her not Romney and twisted it around of course to some interpretation which is obviously not the case.  It’s really getting a little disgraceful, twisting someone’s words when clearly I said and meant that she was the best fit for our campaign.”

Today, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, made his own stab at bailing water for the Republican nominee. “This is another sideshow intended to draw the American people’s attention away from the real issue,” he said. “And the real issue is the president’s economic policies have failed. They’ve actually made things worse.” The election, he added, is “not about the tax returns. It’s about the economy.”

Another Romney cheerleader extracting his foot from his mouth is John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor, who was forced to apologise after saying on Tuesday that he wished “this president would learn to be an American”. He insisted later that he was talking about Mr Obama’s business policies, but it sounded a lot like he thought him either short on patriotism or – that old thing – born of another land.

Senator McCain says here merely wanted to “personally vouch” for the fact that Mr Romney’s tax returns are clean and proper. “The only reason why I’m saying what I’m saying now is because of the scurrilous, scurrilous Chicago style sleaze intimations with no basis in fact whatsoever that there might’ve been something wrong with Mitt Romney’s tax returns, which is disgraceful,” he said.

Moreover there was a more identifiable problem with Mr Romney that didn’t having to do with his campaign abilities.  It was his wealth. “It would be a big liability that the presidential and the vice presidential candidates together owned more than a dozen homes,” Steve Schmidt, the former top aide to Mr McCain, said this week. “It was like something out of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit. I mean, come on.”

Those Republicans who have joined Democrats in urging Mr Romney to release his returns in hopes of ending the cycle of negative media coverage have included Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Congressman Ron Paul, who both ran against him for this year’s nomination.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star