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Former McCain Strategist Blames Charlie Black’s Gaffe On ‘Tremendous Reporter Cleavage’

By Matt Corley on June 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm

"Former McCain Strategist Blames Charlie Black’s Gaffe On ‘Tremendous Reporter Cleavage’"

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In a new Fortune magazine article, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) chief strategist Charlie Black claimed that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be “a big advantage” for their campaign. On Dennis Miller’s radio show today, former top McCain strategist Mike Murphy attempted to explain away the gaffe with a crude joke:

MURPHY: Well, he’s an old friend of mine, so I’ll defend him. I don’t know what happened. I think there must have been tremendous reporter cleavage involved or something.

MILLER: hahahahahahaha

MURPHY: Charlie got off his focus, he’s a good guy, he’s apologized for it.

Listen here:

In fact, the reporter who wrote the Fortune story was a man — editor at large David Whitford. Despite his friend’s attempts to explain away his mistake, Black has already admitted that his statement was wrong and “inappropriate.”

McCain has distanced himself from Black’s statements, but continues to stand by him. MoveOn is now calling on McCain to “fire Charlie Black once and for all.” Even Murphy, later in the interview, suggested that Black should step down if the story doesn’t go away: “I think he’s gotta look in the mirror and get out the old…sword and make a decision.”

Transcript:

MILLER: Charlie Black, the aide decamp for McCain who gacks it here, does he have to go, do you think?

MURPHY: Well, he’s an old friend of mine, so I’ll defend him. I don’t know what happened. I think there must have been tremendous reporter cleavage involved or something.

MILLER: hahahahahahaha

MURPHY: Charlie got off his focus, he’s a good guy, he’s apologized for it. I know, Charlie’s a patriot, he’d call for anything that, you know, was bad for the U.S. I think it was just a case of…

MILLER: No, I don’t believe that Murph, I just believe that these guys around him, around both candidates should zip it now because they’re both trying to say candidate things or to look wittier than thou in the moment and it’s ended up costing them their jobs.

MURHPY: Yeah, I think Charlie is catching some hell over that and, you know, I think it’s one of these things where if you can apologize enough to get it out of the headlines in 24 hours, that’s one thing. But if it won’t go away, I think he’s gotta look in the mirror and get out the old…sword and make a decision.

MILLER: Now, Murph, how hands on are you with John, or are you not at the disposal to tell us, because I know you met with him not long ago, or talked to him at least, I saw it in a…

MURPHY: The McCain campaign said I had a double secret meeting, I had to like sneak in with the Abe Lincoln beard and glasses in the backdoor and I read about it in the New York Times the 24 hours later, they cracked security, so they’re handling the secret foreign policy plans a little better there like British intelligence, you know? Ah, the answer is, he’s a good friend of mine. I ran his last campaign and we talk a lot. I just talked to him a day or two ago. And I’m giving him free advice from the peanut gallery and I’m ready to do whatever I can to help him out. I mean, he’d be a great president, he’s a great American and he can win this election. He just needs to, you know, step up his game a click.

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