USA TODAY cites Thompson aide: “Romney will ‘do anything, say anything, flip-flop on any position’ to win”

“An e-mail headlined “Statement on Romney’s South Carolina Cover-Up” seems to have rocketed the Republican nomination race into a new, nuclear phase,” writes the estimable team of Memmott and Lawrence and the Romney cover up and the Thompson response.

The statement from Todd Harris, communications director for Fred Thompson, accuses Mitt Romney’s campaign of a “half-baked cover-up” of what he alleges is the association between a Romney consultant and a hastily pulled website that said nasty things about Thompson.

Harris concluded with the kind of rhetoric that tends to warm Democratic hearts: “This latest episode only serves to prove what many voters are already figuring out: Mitt Romney will do anything, say anything, smear any opponent and flip flop on any position in order to win. The American people in general and the Republican Party in particular deserve better than this.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden’s response: “We had no knowledge of the development or administration of this site. We also disapprove of the site and have made it very clear that the site does not have an affiliation with our campaign.” Madden also said: “Today is a day of remembrance, and should be a day without political statements or attacks on opposing campaigns.”

Update at 6 p.m. ET: Harris tells us that the Thompson campaign “felt compelled” to respond today, rather than wait until tomorrow, after hearing the Romney camp attempt to “cover up” its connection to the website. “They need to know that if they’re going to hit us, we’re going to hit back harder,” Harris said.

Our friends at ABC News also are following the story about PhoneyFred.org. Jake Tapper writes that the man behind the site is Wesley Donehue, who directly works for Mitt Romney’s senior South Carolina consultant J . Warren Tompkins and another Romney consultant, Terry Sullivan … more

For more details, see The Palmetto Scoop blog and The Washington Post.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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