January 28th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney takes aim at McCain's connection to Kerry

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/28/art.romneyfla.ap.jpg caption=" Romney is targeting McCain over his ties to some Democrats."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mitt Romney took aim at John McCain Monday over reports he once considered signing on to John Kerry's presidential ticket, the latest effort by the Massachusetts Republican to paint his chief rival as an inconsistent and unpredictable conservative.

"I do recall a story that he was thinking about being John Kerry’s running mate - he gave that some thought," Romney said at an early-morning rally in West Palm Beach. "Had someone asked me that question, there would not have been a nanosecond of thought about it - It would’ve been an immediate laugh. And of course, if someone asked him if he would consider me as a running mate, he would have also laughed immediately.”

"So, we are different," Romney continued. "I’m conservative"

In 2004, reports surfaced that Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee, informally asked McCain if he would consider serving as his running mate. McCain has said he dismissed the notion immediately. But in an interview with the liberal Web site MyDD last April, Kerry said it was actually McCain's surrogates who floated the notion.

"His people…approached me to engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the ticket as vice president," Kerry said. "So his people were active - let's put it that way."

Romney's comments come just a day before Florida Republicans head to the polls in the season's first GOP primary that closes off independents and cross-over Democrats - groups that have been crucial to McCain's victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Also on Monday, Romney took aim at McCain's past record of teaming up with Democrats on campaign finance reform, immigration legislation, and an energy cap and trade-bill.

"If you ask people, 'look at the three things Sen. McCain has done as a senator,' if you want that kind of a liberal Democrat course as president, then you can vote for him," Romney said Monday. "But those three pieces of legislation, those aren't conservative, those aren't Republican, those are not the kind of leadership that we need as we go forward."

McCain sharply responded to Romney in an issued statement, taking aim at his record as governor, and painting him as a constant flip-flopper.

"The truth is, Mitt Romney was a liberal governor of Massachusetts who raised taxes, imposed with Ted Kennedy a big government mandate health care plan that is now a quarter of a billion dollars in the red, and managed his state's economy incompetently, leaving Massachusetts with less job growth than 47 other states," McCain said.

- CNN’s Alexander Mooney and Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (383 Responses)
  1. kc

    Mccain knows nothing about the economy. Romney's experience is in buying trouble companies and seel them for scraps....how does that translate in running a national economy?

    Rudy is the only well-round candidate who not only talk of change but have done it, fixed it, changed it.........all with great success. Wake up people, we hire people for the postive experience not for how good they are with soundbites and giving out hot air.

    Rudy 2008

    January 29, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. D.G.

    McCain is to much of a hot head to hold the highest office, and he supports amnesty for the illegal aliens that are flooding across our border.

    January 29, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Lee

    Ever notice how McCain supporters can't deal with truth? I'm not talking about the arbritary interpretation of truth as liberals are good at. I'm talking about McCain and his supporters as being incapable of understanding what truth is. McCain deliberately lies for his perceived benefit, period, not for the "good of the country." After this weekend's lying tirade, along with the statement by McCain's henchman, Lindsey Scam, who, when confronted with the truth, responded, "I don't care what he (Mitt Romney) meant [by his words]." I no longer have any respect or regard for McCain. McCain really isn't different than the Clinton's, Kerry, Gore, Feinstein, Kennedy, Pelosi, Reid, and all the other liberals he likes to team up with to create liberal legislation. McCain is truly part of the problem. To Mr. McCain – sir, you disgust me.

    January 29, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    what is the problem with CNN telling us that if insane McCain wins, it cements his position in the elections, if Romney wins in FL it leaves this elections for the republicans "wide Open" You morons at CNN want to influence us to beleive that would be the case. You don't give credit to the people of this country to choose the right leader of this country, you are lib lovers and worship Clintons and insane McCain.

    You won't give credit where credit is due, you jerkoffs have Ted toilet Turner as you lib boss, and you have to suck up to him, because he was paid off by the libs huh!

    Let this country vote who they want to without you feeding into this elections without race, sex or just love the libs like you want us to vote for.

    Just shutup a while CNN, ABC News let you you say what you want even take critic very well and leave it on their blogs, good for them.

    You get offended if someone doesn't take your crap and think different.


    January 29, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Reashiek

    why do u have Michigan for Clinton. That was not a real contest. Are u guys kidding

    January 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. K P

    I had forgotten about that! I am so glad he reminded me because I seriously favor McCain over such a narrow-mind!

    January 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. HY California

    It is too bad if we have to loose the candid and best leader like Barak Obama. He proves it that he can stand by himself unlike Hillary Clinton that lean on the popularity for the husband, former president of the U.S, and advised what to do and what to say to win the american voters. It does not matter if it lies, like what Bill Clinton did when he campaign for the president in 1990/1991, promising free health care for all american. after 2 terms of precidency, there is no proof at all. They know what to say to the voters even it lies as long as the voters like to hear that, and give the vote to his wife. Wake Up America. There is no time to fantacies for female president. The country need a strong leader, not a leader that need advise from the husband. The Clinton only work for the ambitions of the wife to be president and enter the white house again. This is all about personal interest of the Clinton. So, why should we bother being their tools by giving our vote to Hillary Clinton. Even Senator Kennedy knows better about politic, strategy and leadership, and concern for the future of this country that is why he endorsed Barak Obama. I do not know why some americans cannot see the fact. If only Nancy Pelosi will run for President, I will vote for her, because she works her ladder of achievement all by herself, promising a true leader, so when you thinking about female president, you can think about it for a person like Nancy Pelosi.

    February 5, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. tim

    For all of you who rely on John McCain's history of working with Democrats like Feingold, Kennedy, and Kerry to "prove" that he shouldn't be considered a Republican, consider the words of President Rutherford Birchard Hayes: "He serves his party best who serves his country best." McCain is willing to work with Democrats to do what is best for America, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    And if you want to keep the GOP in the White House, McCain is the only viable option. Americans are generally angry at Bush and the Republicans, and want a Democrat. John McCain, the moderate, is the only Republican candidate that can attract the support of independents and beat a Democrat. Stop being so adamantly and blindly supportive of Romney. If you truly want to keep the GOP in office, vote for McCain.

    February 5, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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