by James Oliphant
As we await the State of the Union, here's an update on this morning's imbroglio involving Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund and his report that Sen. John McCain has told "conservatives" that he would support Supreme Court nominees in the mold of John Roberts, but not Samuel Alito. Conservative bloggers immediately erupted with predictable outrage at the Arizona senator.
The National Review's Byron York caught up with McCain in Orlando today to ask him about Fund's report. Here's what he said:
"Let me just look you in the eye. I've said a thousand times on this campaign trail, I've said as often as I can, that I want to find clones of Alito and Roberts. I worked as hard as anybody to get them confirmed. I look you in the eye and tell you I've said a thousand times that I wanted Alito and Roberts. I have told anybody who will listen. I flat-out tell you I will have people as close to Roberts and Alito [as possible], and I am proud of my record of working to get them confirmed, and people who worked to get them confirmed will tell you how hard I worked."
McCain suggested that the report was perhaps a dirty trick on the eve of the Florida primary. "It's distressing," he told York, "on the day before a primary that something like this should come up, because one, it's distracting, and two, I have done nothing but support these people."
BTW, in this household, the pageantry, such as it is, before the president's speech was not greeted warmly by its most junior member. "I don't want to watch this," daughter Kate declared, eyeing an interview with Rep. Ike Skelton with deep suspicion. "I want to watch Curious George."
Perhaps so might much of America.