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‘He completely betrayed me’: Steve Schmidt tells all about John McCain

Previously, Schmidt has had a lot to say about his regrets for playing a role in the elevation of Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate. Schmidt has long argued that the roots of Trumpism, which he has spent the past seven years fighting, lie in the movement that first coalesced around Palin in 2008.

But Schmidt has always been more circumspect about McCain, his former hero and the man who actually chose Palin. Recently, however, he turned to Substack to unfold a surprising new chapter on the legendary senator and his failed 2008 campaign, which we discuss in depth on the show.

He also told us something he’d never revealed before: His disillusionment with McCain was so deep at the end of the 2008 campaign that he didn’t think McCain should be in the White House.

“The only conceivable conclusion you could come to after observing his conduct in this campaign was that he is completely unfit to be president,” Schmidt told us. “The truth is, I didn’t vote for him either.”

He left the presidential line on his 2008 ballot blank.

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