…. and that’s totally John (not Meghan) McCain’s assessment of the 2008 v. 2000 campaign press. Sen. McCain aired a couple of press-related gripes in a piece by The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore, published over the weekend. Writes Moore (who, yes, refers to McCain as “this maverick”):
In [a] 2005 interview, Mr. McCain told me rather famously that “I don’t understand economics very well.” The Obama team echoed that phrase throughout the campaign. It’s still stuck in his craw, and it’s one of the first topics he brings up.
“Could I mention, Steve, that I kept hearing during the campaign the stuff about McCain being weak on economics. They obsessed about this in the media. They never said Obama is weak on economics. I came to Washington as a Reaganite limited government tax cutter.” He’s right about the media treatment. Neither candidate had a strong command of economics—certainly not Mr. Obama, as events have shown. Mr. McCain was simply being honest.
He seems perplexed that his pals in the media turned on him in 2008 after years of worshipful press treatment. “In 2000 [when he ran against George W. Bush] I used to go chat with reporters on the back of the bus, and we would have these long, pleasant conversations … . I was the underdog clawing my way up. But then in 2008, I noticed that it would be kind of a gotcha session with the press—a totally more hostile attitude.
Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.