McCain's 2008 oppo research file on Romney released

The playbook that Arizona Sen. John McCain used in his 2008 presidential run to attack former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been released to the public. It was originally released by Buzzfeed.

The playbook contains many of the common attacks used against Romney in the current campaign, but brings back a lot of important tidbits that are often overlooked. The “Top Hits” section had six categories: Social issues, economic issues, foreign policy, domestic policy, business record and political issues.

It has been well covered that Romney has changed his views on abortion over time. The playbook states that Romney claims to have been converted after meeting with a stem cell researcher, however, months after the meeting Romney stated his support for abortion laws and appointed a pro-choice judge.

The playbook describes how Romney claimed to be a committed member of the National Rifle Association and an “avid hunter”, but only joined the gun rights group until shortly before his campaign to become president and had only hunted two times.

On economic issues the McCain playbook says that state spending in Massachusetts, “increased well over rate of inflation under Romney’s watch,” that he “left his successor to fill a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion,” increased fees “more than $700 million per year,” and raised fees by a nation-high $500 million in his first year alone. The total tax burden in Massachusetts increased by 7 percent during Romney’s time in office.

Romney has come out in the past as being favorable to taking government measures to combat global warming, and the playbook highlights that he once proposed an “SUV tax” on vehicles with poor gas mileage.

While McCain’s old playbook doesn’t have any dramatic revelations, it does provide a glimpse into a large number of attacks that have been or will will be pulled out against him both now during the Republican primary, and later if he takes the nomination. Some of the attacks are minor and petty, but others will be seen as serious concerns for conservatives or other voters.