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McCain, Romney split began over SLC Olympics

By Gary Jacobson

February 3, 2008 at 4:05pm

The acrimony between Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney dates back to 2000 and a fight over funding for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, which Romney headed.

“The dispute provided an early preview of the fissures that still divide McCain and Romney as they face what may be decisive contests” in the Super Tuesday primaries, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

In 2000, McCain vowed on the Senate floor to kill or delay “this pork-barrel spending,” the Times reported. McCain estimated the cost of the games to American taxpayers at nearly $1.5 billion. Romney argued it was actually $250 million. The funding fight lasted two years.

The mood among commentators on the TV talk shows Sunday morning generally gave McCain the advantage going into Tuesday. Politico.com headlined one of its stories about Super Tuesday, “Mitt Romney’s last stand.”

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