Oops …

February 22, 2008 11:48 a.m.

I was wondering when we’d hear from Isikoff on this McCain business. (Remember, he was one of the other reporters in the hunt, one or more of whom seems to have prompted the Times to pull the trigger.) It seems that one of McCain’s sweeping denials from that presser yesterday morning is contradicted by a very good source: a deposition McCain gave back in 2002. Isikoff’s got the details.

Let’s step back for a moment from this particular ‘misrecollection’. Watching McCain over the last couple days particularly and in general over many years, the guy really has a problem with making blanket and obviously false denials. In fact, the obviousness is often so extreme that it can’t be a matter of strategy, at least not in a very thought out sense. In this case, he makes a blanket statement and there’s a written record of McCain himself contradicting his statement. You’ll notice also yesterday he grandly stated that he’d never spoken with the Times about the story. Then about 30 seconds later a reporter brought up the pretty obvious point that, well … the article discusses McCain’s talk with Bill Keller. And of course McCain quickly backtracks, since clearly what he had just said was completely ridiculous.

You’ll also notice, though I’m not sure anyone has really made this point that clearly, that he also claimed that he and his office hadn’t tried to prevent the Times from publishing the story. Well, pulling out all the stops and having all these conversations with the Times and hiring Bob Bennett to go toe to toe with them probably counts as trying to stop the story.

Then there’s this video ThinkProgress came up with yesterday where McCain tells a New Hampshire townhall meeting that he says: “Everybody says that they’re against the special interests. I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to.”

It’s almost too ridiculous to even try refuting. Needless to say McCain gets tons of money and always has from pretty much all the same special interests that everyone else gets money from.

There’s no way of getting around the fact that McCain routinely, almost constantly, issues categorical denials that are demonstrably false. The very volume and clarity of the bogusness of so many of these statements might even be viewed as his best defense.

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