Citing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) accusations about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee said that “this campaign has sunk to lows the likes of which I have never seen, and it is disgraceful and despicable.”
“But it is what it is. So there really isn’t much point in complaining about it,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said last night on Fox. “But I don’t think over time, the American people think this is a worthwhile exercise to accuse someone who is quoting a quote ‘anonymous source.’ That’s a violation of everything that Americans believe in.”
McCain said that it was standard for presidential candidates to release two years’ worth of tax returns, so even though he saw many more years of Romney’s returns via the vice presidential vetting process four years ago he defended this year’s candidate on not releasing any more returns.
“Senator Reid does some rather bizarre things, I’ve noticed over the years,” McCain said of the Senate leader’s assertion that a Bain source told him Romney doesn’t pay his taxes.
“Joe McCarthy went to West Virginia to say that he had a list of people in the state department who were communists. Harry Reid went to the floor of the Senate to quote an anonymous source saying he knew that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes,” McCain said. “I mean, which is worse, Joe McCarthy going to West Virginia and saying he had anonymous sources or Harry Reid going to the floor of the United States Senate and saying he has anonymous sources which are really an attack on the reputation of Mitt Romney?”
Shifting gears, McCain said the Senate had made a grave mistake in agreeing to automatic sequestration cuts should the deficit reduction commission fail.
“I think we did a stupid thing when we said if the select committee failed then there would be automatic across- the-board cuts,” he said. “You should never do across-the-board cuts because you take a meat ax and put valuable programs on the same level as those that need to be eliminated or reduced. So I plead guilty. It was a bad thing to do, OK?”