The Washington Times has the story:
On Fox News, Mr. Romney ridiculed a letter sent by Mr. Dole, of Kansas, to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. Mr. Limbaugh has attacked Republican front-runner, Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, and Mr. Dole wrote to the talk show host in Mr. McCains defense.
Mr. Romney said on Fox that Mr. Dole is probably the last person Id would have wanted write a letter for me.
Theres a lot of folks who tend to think that maybe John McCains race is a bit like Bob Doles race, Mr. Romney said.
Mr. McCain was on TV within hours, demanding that Mr. Romney apologize.
I think Governor Romney should apologize to Bob Dole for that comment. Hes a great American. And for Governor Romney, who has never had any military experience, to disparage the service and courage of an American hero, I think is disgraceful, Mr. McCain said on MSNBC.
How did Romney disparage Dole’s honor and courage? He didn’t. He just said Dole was a lousy candidate.
But Romney violated the Number One Law According To The Maverick: never say anything bad about a war hero — even if the criticism is legitimate, true, and has nothing to do with the hero’s military service.
John McCain has built his candidacy on enforcing that rule. He brings up his military service in every conceivable context, as a talisman against any criticism. Romney violated The Rule, and so Romney must pay. So McCain falsely claims that Romney was really criticizing Dole’s military service and courage.
The straight-talkin’ maverick’s statement is dishonest, self-serving crap. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.
I see no hands.