Republican Senator John McCain put to rest rumors that Mitt Romney‘s tax returns may have factored into the 2008 elections when McCain decided to pick Sarah Palin instead of Romney as his VP running mate.
Romney, who made his own short run for president in the 2008 GOP primary, supposedly provided McCain’s team with over 20 years of tax returns as part of the vetting process for the presidential hopeful’s vice presidential slot, which is significantly more than he has made public, according to CNN.
On Tuesday, McCain rejected the notion in an interview with Politico, and even grew angry at questions over his choice to pick Palin instead of Romney. McCain stated when the magazine asked him if tax returns disqualified Mitt Romney during the vetting process:
“Of course not. I don’t know what depths these people won’t reach. Obviously, it’s just outrageous. That’s just outrageous. It shows the – it’s so disgraceful for them to allege something that they have absolutely no knowledge of.”
When they asked why John McCain chose to go with Sarah Palin over Mitt Romney, the Republican Senator responded:
“Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. … Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”
The Huffington Post spoke with Steve Schmidt, who was McCain’s top 2008 campaign strategist. He also stated the same thing, that Romney’s taxes had nothing to do with the decision to pass him over. Schmidt stated:
“I get the political hyperbole and all, but that’s not the way the decision was made. We never sat around having a discussion about Mitt Romney’s taxes through the prism of a liability if he were chosen.”
Schmidt did admit, however, that Mitt Romney’s wealth was a possible problem to the McCain 2008 campaign. He explained:
“Senator McCain got caught flatfooted answering a question about how many houses he owned. In fact, they were Cindy McCain’s properties, but that distinction was lost in the political optics and we knew it would be a big liability that the presidential and the vice presidential candidates together owned more than a dozen homes. It was like something out of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit. I mean, come on.”
What do you think of John McCain’s decision to pick Sarah Palin over Mitt Romney in 2008, despite the fact that McCain is now fully endorsing Romney in the coming election?
Check out the video below to see who John McCain thinks Mitt Romney should pick as his VP: