War of Words Continues Between McCain and Romney

(CBS)
From CBS News' Dante Higgins:

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- The war of words between John McCain and Mitt Romney continue today in Florida. After a roundtable discussion on national security issues McCain had harsh words about Romney, in response to Romney's earlier harsh comments about McCain.

McCain went after Romney on his economic record as Governor of Massachusetts and questioned his commitment to keep workers employed. He called Romney a "flip-flopper" and attacked Romney's statewide healthcare plan in Massachusetts, claiming it was not a conservative effort.

"One thing I think we should really give Governor Romney credit for; he is consistent. He has consistently taken both sides of any major issue. He has consistently flip-flopped on every issue... He's consistent in that he's flip flopped on every single major issue," said McCain, using issues such as campaign finance reform and immigration as examples.

The "L" word has been thrown around a lot today - Romney used it to describe McCain earlier today, but then McCain tossed it back at Romney this afternoon.

"As the liberal governor of the state of Massachusetts he raised taxes by $730 million... The state of Massachusetts is now saddled with a quarter billion dollar debt over his government mandated healthcare system," he said.

McCain didn't stop there. He attacked further, challenging Romney's economic record in Massachusetts. "When he was governor they had the third or fourth worst economy of any state in America. Manufacturing jobs left this country at 7%, they left Massachusetts at 14%," he said.

And McCain added by criticizing Romney's private sector experience, which Romney has used as his platform for being able to bring America's economy back.

"As the head of his investment, quote, company. He presided over the acquisition of companies that immediately laid off thousands of workers. So, I appreciate the fact that Governor Romney has been entirely consistent. He has consistently taken at least two sides of every issue, sometimes more than two. Congratulations."

McCain finished his press conference insisting, "Everything I said today is backed up by the facts as a matter of record."