As Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) shifted his attention to pushing his misguided economic policies yesterday, his campaign dispatched former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to blanket the cable news networks as his top economic surrogate.
But Romney may not be the best surrogate for McCain considering that, as CNN’s Campbell Brown pointed out last night, he aggressively hit McCain during the primary for saying that “he doesn’t understand how the economy works”:
ROMNEY: [McCain] doesn’t want to talk about the economy, because frankly, he has pointed out time and again that he doesn’t understand how the economy works. And right now, that’s the biggest issue that voters here in Florida are concerned about, and they want somebody who does understand the economy. And having him time and again say, I don’t understand how the economy works, I’ve got to get a V.P. that will show me how it works, that’s a real problem for him.
In a separate interview with CNN yesterday, Romney tried to offer an explanation for why he now trusts McCain’s knowledge of the economy, saying that McCain “spent over 25 years in Washington, DC” working on “economic policies.” Watch it:
But, as the Associated Press’s Glen Johnson points out today, Romney’s line about McCain’s “25 years in Washington” contradicts another criticism he had of McCain earlier this year:
For example, on Jan. 25 in Pensacola, Fla., Romney mocked McCain for equating his Senate tenure and committee chairmanship with Romney’s prior work in the private sector as a venture capitalist and outside the Beltway as governor of Massachusetts.
“Now he’s engaging in ‘Washington talk,’” Romney said of McCain, jabbing as the senator’s self-professed “straight-talk” manta. “’Washington talk’ says that somehow, because you’ve been in Washington, and you’ve been on a committee, that you somehow know about how the jobs of this country have been created.”
Not only has Romney contradicted himself while stumping for McCain, but he’s also contradicted McCain. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, Romney told MSNBC that “you can’t keep on growing the deficit” a day after McCain’s top econ adviser said that he wants the next president “not to talk about deficit reduction.”