PAUL VS MCCAIN….As if John McCain’s campaign freefall weren’t embarrassing enough before, this has got to hurt.

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Reports: Though often regarded as a longshot candidate for president, Republican Ron Paul tells ABC News that he has an impressive $2.4 million in cash on hand after raising an equal amount during the second quarter, putting him ahead of one-time Republican frontrunner John McCain, who reported this week he has only $2 million in the bank.

In an exclusive interview taped Friday and airing Sunday on “This Week,” Paul said his campaign is on a better trajectory than McCain’s.

“I think some of the candidates are on the down-slope, and we’re on the up-slope,” said Paul.

Ouch. Salt on the wound.

To be sure, I don’t exactly expect mainstream campaign observers to start treating McCain and Paul as equally credible presidential hopefuls, but who would have guessed, half-way through 2007, that Paul would have more money in the bank than McCain?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.