J.D. Hayworth is challenging John McCain in the Republican Senate primary August 24th in Arizona. The two squared off in televised debate Friday night and again Saturday night, along with the third candidate and tea party activist Jim Deakin. Bottom line is that while it may not be possible to declare either a clear winner in the debates, it is certain that J.D. Hayworth came off very well and probably helped himself.
Hayworth quickly went on the attack. He assailed McCain for supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, his vote for the wasteful TARP bailout, and his votes against the Bush tax cuts in 1992 and 1993. McCain defended by blatantly lying about his support for amnesty. This is a shocker considering that he sponsored the amnesty bill with open borders liberal Ted Kennedy. He must assume that Arizona voters have no memory, are too stupid to know the facts, or don’t care. Given the current high level of awareness over illegal immigration in Arizona at the present time, McCain would be wrong on all counts. It may be that Arizonans are just used to McCain becoming a temporary conservative for 6 months out of every 6 years when it is time to get re-elected to the Senate. It may work once more, but after these debates the odds seem a bit longer.
McCain’s professed conservatism during his reelection campaign in light of his clear record of attacking and undermining conservatives at every opportunity for the past 6 years is amusing. It is also disgusting because the polls have been indicating that it might be working. It enabled Hayworth to get under McCain’s skin in the first debate but McCain held his legendary temper in check. In the second debate on Saturday night some of the real John McCain came out when he called Hayworth a “pig.”
Tea party activist Jim Deakin did not shine. It is possible that some of his supporters will switch to Hayworth after these debates. The verdict on these debates won’t be known until we see whether Hayworth rises in the polls, where McCain has carried the lead until now.
The silver lining in the Obama win of the White House was that maybe we were finally rid of John McCain. It turns out that was premature. In five weeks we will know for sure.
More in depth on the McCain-Hayworth debates here:
The Gloves Come Off in Arizona by Robert Costa
John McCain Was Decimated by J. D. Hayworth in Second Debate, by Rachel Alexander
The Rachel Alexander report is persuasive, but she is part of the Hayworth Campaign.