McCain and Hayworth: Tale of the Tape
Who is more conservative -- John McCain, or his primary rival, J.D. Hayworth? Hayworth officially announced his candidacy for the Senate on Monday. The Arizona Republic reported that
McCain has been portraying Hayworth as one of the big-spending Republicans who, during President George W. Bush's two terms, largely squandered the party's reputation for fiscal discipline.
Both men have served in Congress for multiple terms. J.D. Hayworth was in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007. Their voting records have been scored. So who is more conservative?
ACU lifetime score
NJ 2006 composite score
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- He sponsored McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform, much of which has been ruled unconstitutional. Despite the bill's attempt to limit the influence of moneyed interests in politics, Barack Obama was able to raise three quarters of a billion dollars in his presidential campaign.
- He sponsored the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, which would have capped CO2 emissions at the 2000 level. It lost in the Senate on a vote of 55-43 in 2003. It was reintroduced in 2005, when it lost on a vote of 60-38.
- He sponsored the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration bill in 2005. The Senate did not vote on it. Its follow-on bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, was sponsored by Arlen Specter in 2007 and cosponsored by McCain. It failed to pass committee.
- He voted in favor of the $850-billion TARP bailout one month prior to the 2008 presidential elections and influenced other Republicans to support it.
- "I think, frankly, the problem was with a Republican Congress."
- "Look, I was for tax cuts; I wasn't for those tax cuts."
- His complaints about Bush's policies: "Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10-trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously. Those are just some of them." He also complained about Bush's use of signing statements and executive privilege.
- On Obama: "I have to tell you he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared [of] as president of the United States ... I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishments."
- "The American people likewise want to see enforcement first -- no tricks, no triggers, no amnesty, enforcing existing laws and closing loopholes to reaffirm that our great Republic is, in fact, a nation of laws."
- "The tax relief package enacted in 2001 was central to pulling the economy out of the post 9-11 recession."