WAVING THE WHITE FLAG….Here in the leftosphere we’re so consumed with the Democratic primary that occasionally we forget to look in on our good friends who are running for the Republican nomination. But tempers are definitely fraying over there. It started when Mr. Straight Talk decided to trash Mitt Romney for wanting to “wave a white flag” in Iraq:

“If we surrender and wave a white flag like Senator Clinton wants to do and withdraw as Governor Romney wanted to do, then there will be chaos,” Mr. McCain said to reporters in Fort Myers on Saturday morning.

At a town-hall-style meeting later in Sun City Center, a retirement community, Mr. McCain reiterated his accusation.

“My friends, I was there — he said he wanted a timetable for withdrawal,” Mr. McCain said.

Romney, of course, went ballistic — though it’s hard to say which offended him more, the “white flag” comment or the comparison to Hillary. McCain claims that Romney’s offending words came last April in an interview with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America:

MS. ROBERTS: ….Do you believe that there should be a timetable in withdrawing the troops?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, there’s no question but that — the president and Prime Minister al-Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about. But those shouldn’t be for public pronouncement….

MS. ROBERTS: So, private. You wouldn’t do it publicly? Because the president has said flat out that he will veto anything the Congress passes about a timetable for troop withdrawals. As president, would you do the same?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, of course. Can you imagine a setting where during the Second World War we said to the Germans, gee, if we haven’t reached the Rhine by this date, why, we’ll go home, or if we haven’t gotten this accomplished we’ll pull up and leave?

If this is McCain’s evidence he seems pretty clearly full of shit to me, and just as clearly unconcerned about it. But Mike Huckabee is defending him (angling for a VP spot?), as well as various other McCain surrogates, so it’s game on over in GOP land. Accusing someone of being insufficiently warlike is about as bad in Republican quarters as race baiting is in Democratic quarters, so it looks like pretty much everyone has decided that late January is the right time for the serious mudslinging to begin.

And Rudy? He’s just slogging along in the background and says he’s going to try to stay positive. Good luck with that, Mr. Mayor.

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