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McCain Used To Hate Robocalls

The McCain campaign’s robocalls have drawn a lot of attention over the past couple of days.

The phone calls play one of several automated messages about Sen. Barack Obama and are being made in swing states across the country, including Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia.

The messages include a slew of dishonest accusations, among them:

Obama “put Hollywood above America“; is not commited to winning the war on Terror; palled around with former Weatherman Bill Ayers; and voted to deny medical care to newborn babies who survive abortions.

Now that Sen. John McCain has decided to embrace this negative tactic, it’s worthwhile to recall some of the things he said during the 2000 GOP primaries — when he was the target of a vicious robocall effort run by Karl Rove on behalf of then-Gov. George W. Bush.

During a GOP primary debate in South Carolina in February 2000, McCain addressed robocalls. From the transcript:

MCCAIN: … so here’s what happened. We ran an ad that was a response ad. At a town hall meeting, a mother stood up and she said, “Sen. McCain, my son was 13 last year. We had a lot of trouble explaining things to him that went on in Washington.” She said, “Now he’s 14. He’s told me not long ago, ‘John McCain is my hero.’ He’s the man I want to be like.

“Well, last night he came into her room,” she said, “and he had tears in his eyes because he had answered the phone and even though he told the caller that he was 14, [the caller] said, ‘Do you know that John McCain is a liar, and a thief and cheat?’”

Well, that night I called my people together. I said, take down our response ad.

We’re running nothing but a positive campaign from now on. I committed to that, I promise that.

In a March 5, 2000, appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McCain said he would never want to say, “I ran that kind of campaign.”

“I can’t say that, with the things that have happened. I’ll support the nominee of the party. I will support him, but I cannot say that things like that, with the Wyly brothers and the phone calls and the attack ads such as the one you just–it’s not… it’s not a campaign that I would run, and nor would I ever want to look back and say, ‘I ran that kind of campaign.’”

Congratulations, Sen. McCain. You’re running that kind of campaign.

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