Saturday, April 20, 2024

Republican Hardliner to Challenge McCain, Rallies Support from Controversial Anti-Immigrant Groups

J.D. Hayworth announced on Monday that he would be running against Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in the upcoming Senate race in August.  Hayworth plans to build his campaign message on the issues of border security and illegal immigration, tapping into the anger of conservative hardliners in Arizona.

“This is another year of change, but this time it’ll be a year of conservative change,” says Hayworth. “The energy behind self-identified conservatives is really high, and that’ll make the difference.”

Hayworth, a former U.S. congressman from Arizona who was defeated in a general election in 2006 and subsequently became a radio talk show host, hopes that the same conservative resurgence that has spawned the likes of the “tea party” movement will help carry him to Sen. McCain’s seat.  Many conservatives in Arizona condemn McCain for his bipartisan work on immigration and campaign finance reform.

Thus immigration, and particularly the issue of “amnesty”, is expected to be a main talking point for the campaign.  Hayworth supports severely strong enforcement of immigration laws, explaining his position that, “when you start enforcing the law, people respond to that action.”  His stance has earned him the endorsement of the founder of the Minutemen, a group of anti-immigrant activists who roam the border looking for illegal immigrants, and who have been referred to as vigilantes in the past.

Meanwhile, McCain has begun attacking Hayworth for his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who went to prison for defrauding the Native American groups he represented.  Abramoff made a contribution to Hayworth of more than $100,000 when he was in Congress and served as co-chairman of the Native American Caucus.

The Christian Science Monitor