McCain Backpedals on Economy Quote

(CBS)
From CBS News' Dante Higgins:

TAMPA, FLA. -- John McCain tried to clarify comments he made during last night's Republican debate when he denied saying he wasn't an expert on the economy.

During the debate, moderator Tim Russert quoted McCain claiming not to be an expert on the economy and McCain responded, "I don't know where you got that quote from."

Opposing camps quickly sent out a Boston Globe article from last month showing he said just that.

Today, McCain explained that he was actually speaking in general terms.

"I was saying that in the context of the long conversation," he said. "If I made the impression that I am weak on the economy that is in contradiction to my record. He was later asked about this issue and he went on to list committees and economists who support his candidacy.

McCain also discussed his endorsement by the New York Times and how competitors say it's not such an asset for a Republican to be endorsed by a newspaper many Republicans don't feel is friendly.

"In the case of the Romney campaign which I understand is the one that is making the most of it, in all due respect, I got the endorsement of both of his hometown newspapers. The Boston Globe which is known to be more liberal and the Boston Herald which is very conservative. We got the endorsement of all the people who know him best in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts," McCain said.

"I appreciate anyone's endorsement. Because I received the endorsement of anyone does not mean that I necessarily share their views. It means, to me, that their endorsement means that they think I'm best qualified for the nomination of my party."

"Has he even gotten any endorsements?" asked McCain.
  • Andante Higgins

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