Today, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign manager Rick Davis sent an e-mail to supporters attacking the New York Times’s bombshell story on McCain’s ties to lobbyists. Davis claims that “objective observers” view it as a “sleazy smear attack from a liberal newspaper.” One of the “objective” sources he cites? McCain’s attorney Bob Bennett. Davis writes:
Objective observers are viewing this article exactly as they should — as a sleazy smear attack from a liberal newspaper against the conservative Republican frontrunner. … Washington attorney Bob Bennett, who was the Democrat counsel during the Keating investigation, said, “This is a real hit job.”
Bennett is far from an “objective observer.” In fact, Bennett is currently being paid by McCain to help beat back the New York Times story. In December, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz reported that McCain hired Bennett “to deal with the matter” of the Times’s investigation.
Davis made a similar reference on Fox and Friends this morning. He identified Bennett as only “the counsel for the Keating investigation,” yet cites him saying that it “was total bunk that there was anything inappropriate by John McCain’s actions” in the scandal. Davis never mentions that Bennett is now employed McCain. Watch it:
Now it’s true that as an investigator in the Keating scandal, Bennett has been on the record saying McCain was less culpable than his Senate colleagues. But Davis is referencing comments Bennett made in the context of a scandal he is being paid to squelch.
That’s not “straight talk.” That’s dishonest.