This CNN story shows us a candidate who's throwing mud and seeing if he can make it stick. In this case, the "mud" is a clear and purposeful distortion of Romney's Massachusetts record on abortion and related life issues -- and not just a twist of that record, but turning it upside down and inside out. It's pretty cynical stuff coming from the founder of the "Straight Talk Express."
Update: Patrick Ruffini has more. And so does Politico. McCain's not even trying to hide what he's doing. Yet.
Update 2: Thomas Edsall observes that McCain's tendency to think with his viscera has caused him problems in the past:
Maybe Bush supporters unfairly maligned McCain back in 2000. But McCain's angry response probably hurt him more than the attacks did.
Seven years ago in South Carolina, McCain, then leading in the polls, was goaded into attacking George W. Bush. The results were disastrous. At a veterans' rally for Bush in 2000, Thomas Burch, head of a group called the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition, charged that after McCain was elected to Congress, McCain "abandoned the veterans. He came home from Vietnam and forgot us."
A furious McCain charged that Bush "twists the truth like President Clinton." McCain ran an anti-Bush ad asking, "Do we really want another politician in the White House America can't trust?"Bush accused McCain of violating Reagan's 11th Commandmen. At a debate, he told McCain: "You can disagree with me on issues, John, but do not question my trustworthiness and do not compare me with Bill Clinton." McCain lost the high ground in South Carolina. Then he lost the primary.
Update 3: Dean Barnett has more.