Yesterday, conservative radio host Michael Smerconish sat in for Bill O’Reilly to host the Radio Factor. He opened the show by discussing yesterday’s front-page New York Times story detailing “how the White House shifted its sights, beginning in 2002, from counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to preparations for the war in Iraq.”
Smerconish ripped into Bush for the “national disgrace” of leaving the deaths of September 11, 2001, unresolved. Then he declared Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to be “representative of a continuation of the current Bush policy” — a fact that may present “a break point” between himself and the Republican party in the upcoming election:
To the extent that John McCain is representative of a continuation of the current Bush policy, I think it’s a huge impediment to his campaign for President of the United States. And I told him so. My feelings about this issue are so strenuous, are so strong, that it may represent a break point between yours truly and the Republican party in terms of the candidate on the top of the ticket. … I have never voted for a Democrat for President. I could do it on the strength of this issue alone because of my disagreement with the Administration and my fear that John McCain represents more of the same.
Smerconish warned his listeners, “I’m going to tell you something else many of you are not going to want to hear,” namely, “We’ve squandered resources in Iraq.” He added, “To my ear John McCain represents more of the same on this issue.” Listen to it:
The right-wing is already outraged over Smerconish’s apostasy. Newsbusters derided his indication that he may vote for a Democrat, asking “what kind of a Republican would consider voting for someone to the left of Barbara Boxer on abortion,” and “who would leave the Iraqi people to the tender mercies of al Qaeda…?”
When he interviewed McCain earlier this month, Smerconish told him his “vote was in play.”
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