Can’t anybody here play this game?

CAN’T ANYBODY HERE PLAY THIS GAME?…. The Politico’s Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin had a scoop over the weekend, reporting that the McCain campaign is poised to launch a new economic plan, focused on tax cuts for capital gains and dividends. McCain’s new package, the report explained “would amount to a do-over from the hasty introduction of McCain’s mortgage buy-up program.”

Yesterday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of McCain’s closest allies and most enthusiastic campaign surrogates, confirmed the Politico’s report while appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” McCain’s tax-cut proposal, Graham said, “will be a very comprehensive approach to jump-start the economy, by allowing capital to be formed easier in America by lowering taxes.”

A few hours later, the McCain campaign reversed course, said there is no new plan, and concluded it didn’t know what Graham was talking about.

Despite signals that Senator John McCain would have new prescriptions for the economic crisis after a weekend of meetings, his campaign said Sunday that Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, would not have any more proposals this week unless developments call for some. […]

McCain advisers later said they did not know why Mr. Graham said that. One noted that Mr. McCain’s economic plan already would cut capital gains and dividend tax rates, by extending President Bush’s 2003 tax cuts. At the phone bank, Mr. McCain declined to answer a question from a reporter about what he was considering.

“We do not have any immediate plans to announce any policy proposals outside of the proposals that John McCain has announced, and the certain proposals that would result as economic news continues to come our way,” said a campaign spokesman, Tucker Bounds. Mr. McCain’s policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said, “I have no comment on anything, to anybody.”

Developments like these really should be humiliating to the McCain campaign. It’s almost as if the McCain campaign is deliberately trying to reinforce the “erratic” meme the Obama campaign is so fond of.

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Steve Benen

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.