John McCain accidentally criticized Mitt Romney for his stance on earmarks while giving a campaign speech intended to boost the Republican frontrunner.
Addressing the crowd at a Romney campaign event in South Carolina on Friday, McCain was in attack mode as he spoke about pork-barrel spending, one of the Arizona senator's signature issues. But he unintentionally painted Romney in the same negative light as current rival Rick Santorum:
"Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint have joined with me time after time to go to the floor of the Senate to fight against the earmark pork-barrel corruption," he said. "Earmarks are a gateway to corruption, and I can tell you that neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Santorum share that view."
CNN correspondent Joe Johns weighed in on the error on Thursday morning as the network ran the headline "McCain Makes Another Flub." "He didn't quite get the delivery of that last line right," Johns said. "Actually, I don't think he wanted to say that Mitt Romney more or less shared the view."
The mixup wasn't McCain's only gaffe of the week. At a Romney event on Thursday, the former presidential candidate accidentally endorsed President Obama's handling of the economy, telling a Goose Creek Patch Crowd that "I am confident, with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around." (See video below.) In that instance, McCain quickly corrected himself after South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, also at the event, leaned over and notified him of the error.