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McCain 2008 Campaign Opposition Research File on Romney Hits the Web, 200-Pages Long

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Sen. John McCain made nice with 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate Mitt Romney by offering his endorsement earlier this month, but the memory of their heated 2008 competition is not too far away, as someone has made sure we don't forget. The entire 200-page McCain campaign opposition research file on Romney from 2008 hit the web late Tuesday night, providing a handbook for journalists, the Obama campaign and the well-known anti-Romney faction within the Republican Party.

The document includes a biographical timeline, addresses and home values, education and employment history, and a devastating "Top Hits" portion bullet pointing executive record blemishes and unfavorable quotes from the former Massachusetts governor on issue after issue.

Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times notes that "these campaign documents have a funny way of leaking," pointing to the Clinton campaign’s internal book on how to make Bill seem honest and Hillary a warm and loving wife, that the Times’s Michael Kelly wrote about just after the 1992 election.

Business Insider outlined some of the most egregious Romney flip-flops uncovered in the the McCain campaign report:

1.On immigration and path to citizenship:

  • FLIP: “Gov. Mitt Romney expressed support ... for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship ... Romney said illegal immigrants should have a chance to obtain citizenship.”  (Evan Lehmann, “Romney Supports Immigration Program, But Not Granting ‘Amnesty’,” The Lowell Sun, 3/30/06)
  • FLOP: “I think I’m best off to describe my own positions. And my positions, I think I’ve just described for you – secure the border, employment verification and no special pathway to citizenship. I feel that’s the course we ought to take.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 5/22/07)

2. On Bush tax-cuts:

  • FLIP: “Romney spoke at the 10th annual legislative conference organized by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) and met with the Massachusetts delegation. ... Congressional sources said that a point of contention arose when Romney refused to take a position on Bush’s massive, 10-year tax cut plan.” (Noelle Straub, “Romney Talks Policy With Bush Staffers, Mass. Delegation,” Boston Herald, 4/11/03)
  • FLOP: "McCain opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, Romney noted. ‘I supported them,’ the former governor said.” (Lee Bandy, “Romney Targeting McCain,” The State [SC], 2/4/07)

3. Opinion of Ronald Reagan

  • FLIP: “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan- Bush,” Mitt Romney said during a debate with Ted Kennedy
  • FLOP: "'Ronald Reagan is one of my heroes,' Romney said as he praised Reagan’s strategy for winning the Cold War: ‘We win; they lose.’” (Michael Levenson, “Romney Links Gay Marriage, US Prestige,” The Boston Globe, 2/26/05)

4. On the National Rifle Association and gun laws:

  • FLIP:  “[Romney] said he will take stands that put him at odds with some traditional ultra- conservative groups, and cited his support for the assault rifle ban and the Brady gun control law. ‘That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA,’ he said. ‘I don’t line up with a lot of special interest groups.’” (Andrew Miga, “Mitt Rejects Right-Wing Aid,” Boston Herald, 9/23/94)
  • FLOP:  Romney told a Derry, N.H., audience, ‘I’m after the NRA’s endorsement. I’m not sure they’ll give it to me. I hope they will. I also joined because if I’m going to ask for their endorsement, they’re going to ask for mine.’” (Glen Johnson, “Romney Calls Himself A Longtime Hunter,” The Associated Press, 4/5/07

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