Kerry, McCain dispute who approached whom

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday fanned the flames of speculation over Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) flirtation with leaving the GOP, telling a liberal blog that the Arizonan’s camp approached him about a Kerry-McCain presidential ticket in 2004.

Asked about The Hill’s report last week that McCain discussed quitting the Republicans in 2001 with several senior Democrats, Kerry told MyDD.com, “It doesn’t surprise me completely, because his people similarly approached me to engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the ticket as vice president.”

McCain’s senior advisers, already grappling with fundraising totals lower than his two main rivals and poor poll numbers for his 2008 presidential run, pushed back at Kerry on conservative blog Townhall.com.

“The idea that McCain approached Kerry is a fantasy,” McCain chief of staff Mark Salter said on the website, describing the situation in reverse, with Kerry repeatedly importuning McCain to become his running mate.