He can’t stop with the Iran jokes

By this late in the campaign, one might think that John McCain would have learned to steer clear of jokes about Iran.

The Arizona senator got endless grief last year for turning the Beach Boys tune “Barbara Ann” into “Bomb Iran,” singing the altered chorus in response to a question from a man in South Carolina who had asked when the U.S. was going to send an “airmail message” to Iran.

But it seems he can’t help himself.

While waiting for cheese steaks at Pittsburgh’s Primanti Bros., famous for its thick sandwiches piled high with French fries, an Associated Press reporter asked McCain to comment on a report that U.S. exports to Iran had increased tenfold during the last seven years -- with cigarettes ranking as the top export.

“Maybe that’s a way of killing them,” McCain responded. He quickly followed up: “I meant that as a joke, as a person who hasn’t had a cigarette in 28 years.”

After his wife corrected him -- it’s actually 29 years since his last cigarette -- McCain said he’d look into the Iran export issue more thoroughly and might have a better answer later.


-- Maeve Reston