With Friends Like These….

I know this blog has been Mitt-heavy today, but I just can’t resist this bit of friendly fire aimed at the GOP nominee, by his predecessor, as reported by Politico‘s Manu Raju:

Mitt Romney’s tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain’s decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a “better candidate.”

McCain received more than two decades worth of Romney’s tax returns as the former Massachusetts governor was undergoing the vetting process four years ago, far more than Romney has released publicly in the 2012 campaign. Democrats have questioned whether McCain saw something untoward in those tax returns and decided to choose Palin instead.

But on Tuesday, McCain flatly rejected that assertion and grew angry at questions over his decision to choose Palin over Romney….

Asked why he chose not to go with Romney, McCain said: “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. … Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”

And a stupid answer to match.

At least McCain didn’t name every one of Mitt’s potential running mates as among the “10 other people” deemed inferior to Sarah Palin.

In a slightly less egregious example of questionable witnesses for the defense, McCain’s 2008 campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, has denied that Romney was tossed off the Veep list because of his tax returns (which Schmidt personally did not see), while confirming it was because of Mitt’s wealth.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.