John McCain: 2012 race is ‘nastiest I have ever seen’

March 19, 2012

The State Column

U.S. Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, believes that the 2012 Republican primary race is the “nastiest” race that he has ever witnessed, as he stated Sunday.

Mr. McCain endorsed Republican presidential candidate front-runner Mitt Romney in January, during the week leading up to the New Hampshire Republican primary election.

The Arizona Republican was involved in a bitter primary and general election in 2008, when he and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin lost to President Barack Obama. However, he feels that 2012 has been much more negative than 2008.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday, Mr. McCain gave his views on the primary race thus far.

“The super PACs have played a key role, unfortunately in my view, because most are negative ads, (have) driven up unfavorables of all the candidates and made it much more difficult to win the election,” said Mr. McCain. “This is the nastiest (campaign) I have ever seen.”

The McCain endorsed Mr. Romney has actually benefited greatly from the influence of Super PACs in 2012 though. The pro Mitt Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future has spent more money on negative attack ads than nearly all of the other remaining candidates combined.

Mr. McCain’s comments sound similar to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has continuously called on Mr. Romney to stop Restore Our Future from running a barrage of attack ads against himself and the other candidates.

The former Massachusetts governor has countered Mr. Gingrich and others criticism in that regard though by stating that he is legally not allowed to influence Restore Our Future and what advertisements they decide to run.

Mr. Gingrich has also been critical of Mr. Romney’s focus on attacking his rivals rather than the actual important issues currently facing the country. Mr. McCain also gave his thoughts on that aspect of Mr. Romney’s campaign.

“Mitt Romney will tell you he has to do a better job and he has to focus on the economy, and he has been giving speeches on the economy and jobs,” said Mr. McCain. “Super PACs have played a role, unfortunately in my view, and they had made it more difficult to win the election in November.”

The former presidential candidate also gave his views on Mr. Gingrich, who despite fading in popularity, has stated that he plans on remaining in the race until the Republican convention in August. Mr. McCain believes that the only reason he has been able to stay in the race financially is because of the pro Newt Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future.

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