In defending Romney video, McCain recalls his own ’08 gaffe

Holly Bailey
September 18, 2012

John McCain defended Mitt Romney's secretly recorded comments about President Barack Obama's supporters being reliant on government handouts—likening it to his own gaffe during the 2008 campaign, when he declared the "fundamentals of the economy are strong."

Per the Tampa Bay Times, McCain, who was campaigning in Florida on Tuesday on behalf of his former GOP rival, said he thinks most Americans ultimately won't care about the Republican presidential nominee's comments on the surreptitiously recorded video at a May fundraiser:

"I can remember in 2008 I said, 'The fundamentals of our economy are strong.' The tidal wave of criticism ... I made several comments which people then said [were] terrible statements. ... When the financial crisis happened we stopped our campaign, we went to Washington. Obama did the same thing. Who got criticized? Who got hammered? John McCain."

McCain continued, "So life isnt fair. It's still a very close race, and I still think that there's a lot of people who have not made up their minds, and I still think they have a very good chance of winning. You will always hear voices out there who could do it better. That's one of the reasons why they're out there and not inside because they're not very good."

He said Romney's comment won't damage his chances.

"I think that people will pay attention to the whole campaign, to jobs and the economy," McCain said. "I don't think that people will believe that, as Gov. Romney made very clear, that we will exclude a single voter."