Last night during an interview with CNN’s Larry King, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tried to make the argument that, among the remaining presidential candidates, he is best suited to address “the economic challenges we face” because of his “extensive background” and “knowledge” of the economy.
McCain’s claim does not hold up to his own scrutiny. Throughout the past eight years, and as recently as last December, McCain has acknowledged on a number of occasions that he knows very little about the economy:
— Seeking to explain his shift to the left on economic issues, McCain claimed: “I didn’t pay nearly the attention to those issues in the past. I was probably a ‘supply-sider’ based on the fact that I really didn’t jump into the issue.” [Jan. 2000]
— “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” [Nov. 2005]
— “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” but “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.” [Dec. 2007]
On the issue of whether he’s prepared to lead on the economy, it sounds like John McCain needs to convince himself before he can convince others.