Sen. John McCain offered, on Tuesday, what may go down as one of the more awkward moments of this campaign cycle, in which -- speaking in Western Pennsylvania -- he declared he 'couldn't agree more' with the sentiment that some of the people from that region were openly racist.
"You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately," McCain told the audience in the town of Moon Township. "And you know, I couldn't agree with them more."
Oops. It was, in many ways, a reflection of how tired these candidates have become as this nearly two-year-long campaign hits its final strides. And, to be fair, the crowd eventually got the point; booing at the reference to John Murtha, who said last week that some of his Western Pennsylvania constituents were racist. But there was a stunned silence after the gaffe.
For political humorists it is gold, made even more potent by McCain's botched attempt at a recovery. "I couldn't disagree with you," he declared (referencing what, no one knows). "I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god-loving, most, most patriotic part of America, and this is a great part of the country."
The line was reminiscent of Sarah Palin touting the pro-America parts of the country. And actually could be just as politically dicey than the inadvertent labeling of Western Pennsylvanians as racists.
Either way, the video is worth a watch... or three.
ABC News catches McCain flubbing another attack line, this time on Joe Biden:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this week has been flubbing not just parts of his speeches, but the pivotal attack lines his campaign prepares reporters to film and record.
In Belton, Missouri, Monday, McCain was supposed to say, "Just last night, Senator Biden guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President. We don't want a President who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars."
What he actually said, per ABC News' Bret Hovell: "Just last night, Senator Obama (sic) guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, Senator Biden said, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President," etc. etc.
He flubbed it again in the extended version of the attack.
"What's more troubling is that Senator Obama (sic) told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits, they would have to stand with them because it wouldn't be apparent Senator Obama would have the right response."
And this is from a Teleprompter!