On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), referring to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), told conservative bloggers that “it’s very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States.” Now one of McCain’s top surrogates, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, has picked up on the line of attack, telling the Reno Gazette-Journal that “the recent endorsement by Hamas” was “revealing”:
ROMNEY: I think Barack Obama was more of a blank sheet. I think the primary revealed more about him than perhaps he would’ve liked. The recent endorsement by Hamas of his candidacy is I think the kind of development which people find revealing.
QUESTION: What do you take that to mean?
ROMNEY: Well, I think he’s said in his first year he would be inclined to visit with [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, [North Korean President] Kim Jong Il, [former Cuban President] Fidel Castro. I think they find that appealing.
McCain and Romney’s scurrilous attacks are reminiscent of the over-the-top rhetoric of hardline right wingers like Rush Limbaugh and John Bolton. Earlier this month, Limbaugh claimed that “Islamofascists are actually campaigning for the election of Democrats” while Bolton contended in January that “the Mullahs in Tehran” want the Democrats to win.