Good times as John McCain and Mitt Romney attack Rudy Giuliani for his Bernard Kerik associations, only to prompt Randy Mastro to strike back for Team Rudy by calling Saint McCain's sainthood into question while pretending not to: "It’s no more fair to judge Rudy Giuliani on the basis of one issue than it is to judge John McCain on the Keating scandal." But Rich Lowry has the really rough stuff from Katie Levinson on Giuliani's behalf:
Let me get this straight – first, campaign finance crusader John McCain oversees a campaign that spiraled completely out of control and went bankrupt and now he wants a questionable $3 million loan? Doesn’t quite pass the smell test, does it?
Americans need someone in the White House who knows how to balance their own checkbook before they try to balance the federal government’s. They don’t need John McCain, they need Rudy Giuliani - who has actually balanced a budget and made a payroll.
Of course it was a payroll that included his good friend and former driver, the corrupt guy who kept getting promoted to head more-and-more important agencies until Rudy vouched for the guy and got him nominated, almost vetting-free, to be homeland security secretary. Levinson concludes:
Is this what desperation looks like? Bernie Kerik’s issues have been known since 2004 and John McCain still had glowing things to say about Rudy Giuliani and his leadership. What, exactly, changed today? Best as I can tell, it’s just John McCain’s pure desperation in the face of a failing and flailing campaign trumping his so-called straight talk. It is truly a shame that John McCain has chosen to stoop this low.”
I think when you start attacking the other campaigns for showing "desperation" -- like when Hillary Clinton gets mad that John Edwards has the temerity to point out that they disagree on the merits of some issues -- it mostly shows that you don't have a good answer. Rick Davis for John McCain counter-counter attacks:
Rudy Giuliani’s history with Bernie Kerik is a story of poor judgment. After being briefed on Kerik’s ties to organized crime, Giuliani named him chief of the New York Police Department. Without any further vetting, Giuliani asked him to join his security consulting firm. Despite obvious ethical problems, Giuliani went so far as to personally recommend Kerik for the top job at the Department of Homeland Security.
A president’s judgment matters and Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly placed personal loyalty over regard for the facts.
Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and liberals everywhere are smiling.
UPDATE: Ambinder has more on the food-fight, including John McCain's mom lashing out against Mormons:
As far as the Salt Lake City thing, he's a Mormon and the Mormons of Salt Lake City had caused that scandal. And to clean that up, again, it's not a subject,'' Roberta McCain said. JohnMcCain quickly stepped in: ''The views of my mothers are not necessarily the views of mine.' ''Well, that's my view and you asked me,'' Roberta answered.
I'd actually been waiting quite some time to see an unambiguously bigoted bit of Mormom-bashing, I think we have a winner here. The idea seems to be that because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and because the people who created the problems with the SLC Olypmpic bid are also Mormons, that Romney doesn't deserve credit for fixing things because in the Cosmic Balance of Mormonism it's all a wash. Or something.