05/09/2008 02:25 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Truth Alert: McCain's Freudian Slip is Showing (and Very Telling)

At the same time that former West Wingers Brad Whitford and Richard Schiff were stepping forward to say that they too had heard John McCain say that he didn't vote for George Bush in 2000, McCain was grabbing a shovel and digging himself deeper with yet another denial.

Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, McCain told O'Reilly, "I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004."

But on the way to that unequivocal refutation, his unconscious mind jumped up, started waving its hands and yelled: "Not so fast!"

O'REILLY: Did you vote for President bush?

MCCAIN: Of course not. I campaigned all over this country for him.

As dear old Dr. Freud would tell you, the unconscious is a powerful thing. And the new, do-and-say-anything-to-be-president McCain clearly couldn't keep the old, give-it-to-you-straight McCain - and the truth - from slipping out. "Of course not."

There was another interesting wrinkle in the McCain/O'Reilly Bush vote exchange: after asserting that he'd twice voted for Bush, McCain added, "And not only that, far more important than a vote, I campaigned everywhere in America for him." [emphasis added]

Do I see a fallback position coming? "Okay, look my friends, I was angry, I was contemptuous of him, I knew I was better than him, he'd attacked my family, and I couldn't bring myself to pull the lever next to his name. But I campaigned everywhere in America for him - and that's far more important than one little vote, right? Right? Isn't it..? My friends..?

Check out the video and transcript below.

UPDATE: I've said before that when it comes to the love affair between John McCain and the media, old loves die hard. The latest proof of this comes courtesy of The New Republic's Michael Crowley. Faced with the mounting evidence that McCain is lying about not saying that he didn't vote for Bush, Crowley scrapes the bottom of the logic barrel and wonders: "Is it possible McCain was talking to Arianna about the Arizona primary?"

Talk about bending over backwards to give McCain some wiggle room! The media-McCain dynamic is pure high school: the nerds are always so grateful when one of the jocks is nice to them.

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O'REILLY: OK. Arianna Huffington says you didn't vote for Bush in 2000. She's one of these people who is going to come after you.


O'REILLY: On her website yesterday, somebody blogged that you collaborated with the North Vietnamese, and they didn't torture you. This is Arianna Huffington. Now Arianna Huffington flat out said you did not vote for President Bush in 2000.

MCCAIN: What can you say?

O'REILLY: Did you vote for President bush?

MCCAIN: Of course not. I campaigned all over this country for him.

O'REILLY: So you voted for President Bush.

MCCAIN: Of course. I mean, that's a ridiculous question.

O'REILLY: So she lied?

MCCAIN: Well, I don't -- frankly, I do not read Huffington Post. I spare myself from having that experience.

O'REILLY: You voted for Bush in 2000?

MCCAIN: I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004.


MCCAIN: And not only that, far more important than a vote, I campaigned everywhere in America for him.


MCCAIN: I enjoyed it. I campaigned with him. I did everything I could to get him elected and reelected president.