John McCain’s former campaign chief Mike Murphy and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan were caught on tape yesterday after an NBC interview. Their real thoughts about McCain’s judgment in selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate include the following:
Noonan: “The most qualified? No. … I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit…”
Murphy: “You know what’s really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism and this is cynical.”
(Complete transcript below.)
Mike Murphy, former McCain advisor: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor work. Engler, Whitman, Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. And these guys, this is all like how you want to (inaudible) this race. You know, just run it up. And it’s not gonna work.
Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter: It’s over.
Murphy: Still, McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
NBC’s Chuck Todd: Don’t you think the Palin pick was insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too (inaudible)
Noonan: I saw Kay this morning.
Murphy: They’re all bummed out.
Todd: I mean, is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
Noonan: The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political [B.S.] about narratives and (inaudible) the picture.
Murphy: I totally agree.
Noonan: Every time the Republicans do that because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at and they blow it.
Murphy: You know what’s really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism and this is cynical.
Todd: And as you called it, gimmicky.