The Norquist-McCain verbal slugfest
continues. Norquist -- who feels his integrity was impugned by details of money-laundering schemes
outlined in Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) recent report on Jack Abramoff -- has opined
that McCain is "delusional" and a liar. (As we all know too well, 373 pages of painstakingly documented facts is what passes for delusional among certain D.C. circles.)
McCain's people have fired back. âThe one thing I admire about Grover is how hard he works to make himself relevant. But heâs not relevant. He never has been and never will be," McCain strategist John Weaver told The Hill
newspaper. "He should go pick on some fourth-graders.â
One McCain adviser told the paper rather matter-of-factly that there was no way to write the report and not include details of Grover's malfeasance, which was mostly laundering money from Abramoff's questionable sources to conservative outfits: McCain adviser: âGroverâs fingerprints where all over this stuff, " the adviser said. "You would have to work hard to keep him out of it."
McCain's chief of staff Mark Salter backed that up. âItâs simply âHow did this scheme unfold? We didnât invent this stuff. Groverâs got a hell of a lot more to rebut than what may or may not have been in the committee report.â
To make matters more interesting, Norquist has told folks that even as McCain bashes him publicly, he has made private overtures to win Grover's heart.
"Norquist said that within the past year, four high-level lobbyists sent by McCainâs operations have contacted him, seeking to mend fences, including one lobbyist who sent him a $10,000 check," The Hill reports. Of course, McCain's people shoot that down, pointing out that Norquist refuses to identify any of the four alleged lobbyists.
âHe certainly has our permission to release the names,â Salter told the paper.