Here's Sen. John McCain, explaining Wednesday why he didn't do more to object when one of his supporters called Hillary Clinton "the bitch": "I can't dictate what other people say -- that's not my business. Nor is it an appropriate role for me to play in a gathering at a restaurant, and if anybody thinks that I should, then I think they have the wrong idea of what gatherings are all about."
And here's John McCain, explaining in September why he thought Democratic presidential candidates had an obligation to "personally and publicly denounce" MoveOn for its Petraeus/"Betray Us" ad: "Now, they acknowledge that [Petraeus] is an honorable and fine military man, but they refuse to repudiate MoveOn.org. And as you say, if you can't stand up to them, how can you stand up to the tough challenges that are presented to you as president of the United States? I don't know the answer to that."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.