Finger-Pointing Begins for GOP

Republicans try to distance themselves from McCain's campaign strategy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 2:41 PM CDT
Mark Salter, senior aide to Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., standing, left, talks to the traveling press corps in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Republicans inside John McCain’s campaign and out are pointing fingers at one another, striking a surprisingly past-tense tone about their efforts, Politico reports. The recriminations go to the top: senior Bush advisers criticized McCain for a poorly run campaign on the heels of an interview in which the candidate blames the administration for letting the country “get completely out of hand.”

“The cake is baked,” said a former McCain strategist. “We’re entering the finger-pointing and positioning-for-history part of the campaign.” The Republican National Committee has slammed the campaign for its unwillingness to coordinate; notes one strategist: “I think they can still win. But if they don’t think that, they need to look at how Bob Dole finished out his campaign in 1996 and not try to take down as many Republicans with them as they can.”