MCCAIN ADVISER TOUTS STIMULUS…. It’s impossible to characterize economist Mark Zandi as some kind of liberal partisan — he was an adviser to the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008.

With that in mind, it should carry a little more weight than usual when he credits Democratic recovery efforts with creating strong economic growth. Here was Zandi yesterday:

I think stimulus was key to the 4th quarter. It was really critical to business fixed investment because there was a tax bonus depreciation in the stimulus that expired in December and juiced up fixed investment. And also, it was very critical to housing and residential investment because of the housing tax credit. And the decline in government spending would have been measurably greater without the money from the stimulus. So the stimulus was very, very important in the 4th quarter.” [emphasis added]

This isn’t exactly new. Last November, Zandi was saying the same thing, arguing that “the stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do — it is contributing to ending the recession.” He added, “In my view, without the stimulus, G.D.P. would still be negative and unemployment would be firmly over 11 percent.”

Maybe someone ought to let Tim Pawlenty know.

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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.