Ignoring reversals and shifts, Wash. Post claimed "conservative maverick" McCain committed "heresies on taxes, immigration"February 5, 2008 2:17 PM EST ››› ERIC HANANOKI
In a February 4 Washington Post article headlined "GOP Senators Reassess Views About McCain," staff writer Paul Kane described Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "conservative maverick" and asserted that he has committed "heresies on taxes, immigration and campaign finance." Yet Kane did not mention McCain's shifts and reversals on the issues of immigration and taxes that have more closely aligned him with the mainstream of the Republican Party. Kane's assertion follows a pattern, documented by Media Matters for America, in which the media label McCain a "maverick," shifts and reversals notwithstanding, because of past positions on issues such as immigration and taxes.
From the February 4 Washington Post article:
McCain's relationship with House Republicans has been strained for years. After stumping for more than 50 GOP candidates during the 2000 campaign, McCain dramatically scaled back his efforts in 2002 out of pique toward House Republicans who opposed his effort to overhaul campaign finance law. In 2004, while McCain was objecting to GOP-backed tax cuts, then-Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) suggested that the senator, a former prisoner of war, should go to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to see what "sacrifice" meant to the nation.
Nevertheless, many House Republicans now view McCain as the best possible nominee. Despite the senator's heresies on taxes, immigration and campaign finance, Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), chairman of the Republican campaign committee, said McCain could appeal to independent voters.
"You'll have more Democrats running away from Hillary Clinton than you'll have Republicans running away from our nominee," he said.