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Republican Governors Association Attacks McCain (Unintentionally)

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The Republican Governors Association is up with a new ad attacking North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Beverly Purdue for saying her state's economy was "fundamentally healthy." The ad calls that "a status quo statement no one can afford."

In doing so, however, the RGA appears to be unintentionally criticizing John McCain, who said virtually the same thing on Sept. 15.

Afterward, McCain attempted to explain away the out of touch sounding remark, by defining the economy's "fundamentals" as its workers and their ingenuity. Not too many observers found that explanation credible. And now the national umbrella group for Republican governors seems to have decided that the phrase, when uttered these days, can only mean the speaker doesn't "get it" on the economy.

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Is the shot at Purdue a clean one? Not really. Greenville's Daily Reflector newspaper has the full context of the quote being used in the ad, in which Purdue is talking about progress made since what the paper describes as "mass closings of textile and other manufacturers at the beginning of the decade." Of the intervening years, Purdue then said: "We've built those jobs back through education and science and technology and now we are, or we were, fundamentally healthy and on the right track."