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A Mid-90s Detour, This Time With the GOP

By Juliet Eilperin
ABOARD THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN PLANE -- Just moments before taking off for California, Sen. John McCain told reporters on his chartered jet that he was "very sad" to hear Mitt Romney's comments about considering Dole the last person he would want to help out his presidential bid.

This morning in an interview on Fox News, Mitt Romney was asked about a letter that former senator Bob Dole had written on behalf of McCain. "Well, it's probably the last person I would have wanted write a letter for me," Romney said. "I think there are a lot of folks who tend to think that maybe John McCain's race is a bit like Bob Dole's race. That it's the guy who's next in line, the inevitable choice."

Speaking about Dole and Romney later this morning, McCain criticized the former Massachusetts governor's comments.

"This is no way to end up this campaign, by attacking a genuine American hero," McCain said. "I don't know why he said it, but I hope he will apologize."

McCain added that Dole had worked hard to build the Republican party at a time when Romney was nowhere to be seen.

"Bob Dole has served his country in war and peace in a way we all admire," he said, adding that while he and Dole campaigned on behalf of other Republicans during the mid-90s, "Frankly I never saw Governor Romney out there doing work for the party in the mid-90s."

McCain said he was feeling encouraged about the election, but added, "I'm always nervous and I'm always superstitious, and I'm always a pain in a certain part of the anatomy to most of my friends and associates."

By Washington Post editors  |  February 5, 2008; 12:34 PM ET
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