TIMOTHY NOAH JANUARY 18, 2012
Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed got his hands on what appears to be Sen. John McCain's 200-page opposition research book on Mitt Romney from the 2008 GOP primaries. It's been up for about 16 hours without McCain denying its authenticity, so I'm going to stick my neck out and say it's probably authentic.
Did you know that in October 2002 Romney said, "I'm basically in the investor's hall of fame"? It checks out. He said it in a gubernatorial debate, as reported in the Lowell Sun on Oct. 25, 2002.
Did you know that in 1994 Romney "opposed the Contract With America without even reading it"? Again: true. The Boston Globe reported on Oct. 1, 1994 that "Romney aides, hoping to keep their candidate out of the controversy the contract has generated and as far from Washington politics as possible, said the GOP hopeful, who is seeking to unseat US Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, has not read the document and had no plans to support it."
Did you know that in 2003 Romney refused to endorse the Bush tax cuts? Again: true. The Globe reported on April 11, 2003 that then-Gov. Romney declined to endorse the Bush tax cuts, but told the Massachusetts congressional delegation in a private meeting that he wouldn't oppose them publicly because he needed to maintain "a solid relationship" with the Bush White House. "I was very pleased," Rep. Barney Frank, who attended the meeting, told the Globe. "Here you have a freshman governor refusing to endorse a tax cut presented by a Republican president at the height of his wartime popularity." (Yes, this was a very long time ago.) Romney's quiet opposition didn't stop him in 2007 from attacking McCain for opposing the tax cuts.
Did you know ... hmm. Maybe I should just let you read the thing yourself. I've posted it below. And if that leaves you hungry for still more embarrassing Romney-related campaign documents from the 2008 presidential campaign, check out this slide from a 2007 Romney campaign Power Point candidate briefing, which urged Romney to avoid discussing his connections to France (where he did his Mormon mission work) and Massachusetts (where he was, uh, governor).