Someone is up to something – and the something is not good. Apparently, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are starting to complain about anti-Mormon phone calls. From The Politico:
“In an apparent push poll, a research firm has called Iowa Republicans this week praising John McCain and critcizing Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith.
An individual in Manchester, Iowa, contacted me on Wednesday night saying he received a call with information about McCain’s military service and anti-spending record.
Then there were ‘lots of negatives on Romney,’ said the recepient of the call in an e-mail, including mentions of his ‘flip-flops,’ hiring illegal immigrants as landscapers and extensive discussion of Mormonism.
‘Statements were on baptizing the dead, the Book of Mormon being on the level of the Bible, and one about equating it to a cult,’ said the Iowan, deeming them ‘common criticisms of Mormonism.'”
Alright, pro-McCain, Anti-Romney phone calls in Iowa. Obviously, McCain is the primary suspect, but I have a gut feeling that it is probably not him. I have a funny feeling that it is either the Rudy Giuliani or Mike Huckabee campaign pushing these calls – and using McCain’s name to mask their identity. Both of these campaigns have the same goal, albeit with different motives: To bring down Romney. For Huckabee, it is because he wants to win the nomination, for Giuliani, it is because he wants Huckabee to take Romney out of the running for him, and then dispatch Huck in NH. Using John McCain’s name does, I have to admit that it makes sense. McCain is pretty much a non-factor in Iowa, so the chances are that playing him up a little would not serious benefit his campaign – if it didn’t hurt him, not to mention the fact that John McCain has a history of this kind of thing.
So, with all that said, I have to remind you that this could very well be coming from McCain, and I wouldn’t be overly surprised if it was. However, my gut still says otherwise. The reason? Because, John McCain has basically written of IA, and the idea that he would put precious resources into trying to attack the top guy in Iowa just doesn’t make sense. Secondly, John McCain is not stupid, and he knows that associating himself so clearly with anti-Mormon rhetoric is not going to play well.
Whoever it is, they need to stop it, because this kind of personal attack undermines serious political deabte – the kind that should rule the primaries. Hopefully making these calls public will be enough to stop them.