The Corner

Fred Barnes and McCain

Matthew Continetti:

This Ramesh Ponnuru article on Rudy’s fans in the conservative press is an interesting read, but it contains a factual mistake. Fred Barnes tells me he’s never endorsed John McCain for president, as is reported in the piece, and doesn’t plan to endorse any candidate. “That’s not my business,” he says.

At worst, I made an error of interpretation, not a “factual mistake.”  And I don’t really think I made an error at all. If this article didn’t constitute Barnes’s endorsement of McCain, then the word “endorsement” has no meaning in this context. An excerpt:

Thus the promise of the McCain candidacy remains alive. . . . The promise, as McCain’s pal Lindsey Graham says, is that Republicans nominate the candidate with the best combination of “conservatism and electability” to win the general election in November 2008. That’s McCain. He’s “right of center, but still in touch with the center,” just where a Republican presidential candidate should be.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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