No, really, I'm a conservative

During a speech Thursday in Texas, John McCain accidentally referred to himself as a "conservative, liberal Republican."

Published February 29, 2008 5:43PM (EST)

Talk about a Freudian slip. Thursday afternoon, while speaking at a town hall meeting in Richardson, Texas, Republican presidential candidate John McCain referred to himself as a "conservative, liberal Republican."

Here's the full excerpt from McCain’s speech: "I will conduct a respectful debate. Now, it will be spirited because there are stark differences. I am a proud conservative, liberal Republica -- conservative Republican."

He then caught himself and got right back on message. Over laughter from the audience, McCain said, "Hello? Easy there. Let me say this: I am a proud conservative Republican and both of my possible or likely opponents today are liberal Democrats!"

Among others, the Los Angeles Times is already having fun with the clip, running a story on the event with the headline: "Did McCain say 'liberal'? He meant 'completely not liberal.'"

The Wall Street Journal did note, though, that the substance of what McCain said afterward hardly marked him as a liberal. In a blog post Thursday, Laura Meckler wrote:

In any case, his answers were conservative, including his response to a man who identified himself as gay and asked if McCain would consider repealing the "don't ask-don't tell" policy that prevents gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. McCain replied that military leaders he respects believe the policy is working. "There are some issues in which we just have to rely on the views of our military leaders," he said.

Considering the difficulty he's had with them thus far, one can only wonder if Rush Limbaugh and his fellow right-wing radio hosts will be convinced, though.

Video of McCain's slip-up:

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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John Mccain R-ariz.