Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and close John McCain ally Mike Murphy were caught in an off-air but open mic conversation with MSNBC political analyst Chuck Todd just hours ago criticizing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s lack of experience and the “gimmick” of having a woman on the ticket. Noonan, who carries considerable weight in GOP circles, is clearly heard to say “it’s over” with respect to the Republican presidential race.
Read the rough transcript below the fold.
Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor work. Engler, Whitman, Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. And these guys, this is all like how you want to (inaudible) this race. You know, just run it up. And it’s not gonna work.
Noonan: It’s over.
Murphy: Still, McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
CT: Don’t you think the Palin pick was insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too (inaudible)
Noonan: I saw Kay this morning.
Murphy: They’re all bummed out. I mean, is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
Todd: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
Noonan: The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives and (inaudible) the picture.
Yeah, but what’s the narrative?
Noonan: Every time the Republicans do that because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at and they blow it.
Murphy: You know what’s really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism and this is cynical.
And as you call it gimmicky.