Mitt Romney told FOX, "I think any Republican leader in this country would be honored to be asked to serve as the vice presidential nominee, myself included." He also "called Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama 'Chihuahuas' and McCain the 'big dog' on national security.
The Washington Post: "[A] $35 billion contract has been awarded to Europe's Airbus consortium to build the latest generation of tanker planes. The decision has sparked anger from Boeing's congressional supporters and critics of outsourcing. It has also focused attention on McCain's reliance on lobbyists in his campaign for president because his finance chairman and several other top advisers lobbied for Airbus last year when it was in fierce competition with Boeing for the Air Force contract."
"McCain has spoken out for years against the influence of special interests in Washington, but his campaign includes a number of prominent Washington lobbyists, including campaign manager Rick Davis, who founded a lobbying firm, and top political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., chief executive of a well-known Washington firm. Neither of them lobbied for Airbus."
"McCain finance chairman Thomas G. Loeffler and Susan E. Nelson, who left Loeffler's lobbying firm to be McCain's finance director, both began lobbying for Airbus's parent company in 2007, Senate records show. William L. Ball III, a former secretary of the Navy and frequent McCain surrogate on the trail, also lobbied for Airbus, as did John Green, who recently took a leave from Ogilvy Public Relations to serve as McCain's legislative liaison."
"McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said the senator from Arizona and his advisers have done 'nothing improper' in the tanker deal. 'John McCain was never personally lobbied on this issue,' she said."
Does McCain have an appearance problem because two members of his immediate kitchen cabinet are such well-known lobbyists?
VIDEO: March 11: While the Democrats rewrote the fundraising record books, presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain lags far behind. Now, playing catch-up has become his full-time focus. NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports.
The DNC has yet another YouTube that links McCain to Bush. In addition, the AFL-CIO holds a conference call to pounce on McCain's economic record.
The Los Angeles Times: "Democrats have seen their presidential contest draw record voter turnout and an influx of Latinos and younger Americans to the party. But some are becoming concerned that the party now risks losing its hold on a more established set of needed supporters: blue-collar workers. The fears are strong enough that the AFL-CIO today will announce a multimillion-dollar campaign to discredit Republican candidate John McCain among union households and link him to President Bush's unpopular economic policies."
"A separate labor-backed group, the Campaign to Defend America, has launched a television ad portraying McCain as 'McSame as Bush' on issues including the Iraq war, economics and energy policy. The spot ends with a picture of the two men embracing. It is all part of a preemptive effort to stem battleground-state defections by union households and other working-class voters known as Reagan Democrats -- swing voters who have been courted by both parties ever since they tipped the balance for Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election."