Trust Me, McCain Says
Senator John McCain has confirmed it: Mitt Romney is over 35, was born in the United States, and has lived here for at least fourteen years.
Newsweek/Daily Beast contributor Howie Kurtz recently speculated as to why the Republican party's nominee for President in 2008 has not been requested to campaign for its presumptive 2012 nominee, nor invited to speak at the party's national convention. Unfortunately, Kurtz erroneously reported that McCain went on vacation to Tahiti following his loss in 2008, rather than after his defeat for the nomination in 2000, as indicated in this corrected version of Kurtz's piece. McCain also labeled as "foolishness" and "left-wing trash" the contention there are "deep and personal wounds" between McCain and Romney left over from their contentious battle for the 2008 nomination.
These controversial statements, however, probably have served McCain well, encouraging attention to be diverted from a far more serious issue. The GOP has moved significantly to McCain's right. Further, the two are not in complete agreement on foreign policy, which is McCain's primary interest. Kurtz quotes McCain's 2008 campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, arguing Romney's campaign, of necessity, "is about the future" while "John McCain is very much a figure of the immediate past." Additionally, Kurtz, whom McCain vigorously attacks, cites his subject's "tendency to commit candor," as reflected in the Senator's statement that he bypassed Romney for Sarah Palin for the V.P. slot because "she was the better candidate."
Though it proved to be a product of faulty judgement, that should have been an uncontroversial assertion. A presidential candidate always selects whom he believes, for whatever reason, is "the better candidate" and Romney was not the only qualified Republican rejected in favor of the Alaskan governor. Indications are that Palin was selected as a hail Mary pass, with the McCain team mistakenly thinking that it needed a "game-changer" to defeat the charismatic Obama (who was more vulnerable that the campaign realized).
Kurtz was overly generous to McCain, not only by accusing him of committing candor but also for not reminding his readers that John McCain in 2008 asked for, and received, 23 years of Mitt Romney's tax returns. As of July 17 there were, according to the Center for American Progress, twenty "prominent Republicans" who had called upon the former Massachusetts governor to release substantially more tax returns than he has. Conspicuously absent from that list is the Man of Candor, John McCain. Only Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, the Romney accountant(s), and the McCain campaign have seen records filed by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee with the I.R.S. And John McCain has not suggested his party's choice to take over the Oval office reveal anything.
The Huffington Post reported that on July 17
When pressed about whether Romney might be shielding his returns because he paid no taxes, McCain refused to discuss such specifics.
"Please, I am not going to get into that kind of conversation," he said. "All I can tell you, and I can tell you again, is there was nothing disqualifying in his tax returns. And that is a fact."
And that is reassuring, given that we thought Romney may have been abroad, slipped unnoticed into this country a few years ago, and is awaiting his 35th birthday. The United States Constitution is clear: a President need only be a natural-born citizen, have lived in the U.S.A. for at least 14 years, and be at least 35 years of age. Senator McCain is not lying about Willard Mitt Romney. No doubt he "can personally vouch for the fact that there was nothing in his tax returns that would in any way be disqualifying for him to be a candidate."
Mitt Romney is no prostitute. (Odd that would be written but then, McCain assures us Romney is an American over 35 years old.) Nevertheless applicable is the old saying: "we know what you are. We're merely haggling about he price." We know Romney is hiding something, or things, on one or more of his returns. We just don't know what it is.