Conservative group campaigns against McCain: 'He's no Ronald Reagan'
A political action committee "dedicated to electing conservatives in the mold" of former President Ronald Reagan has launched a campaign against Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who announced last night on David Letterman's show that he was running for president, with an official announcement to be declared sometime in April.
The 23-page report, "He’s No Ronald Reagan: Why Conservatives Should Not Vote for John McCain," was issued by the Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF), and according to a press release sent to RAW STORY "is thoroughly footnoted, covers abortion, campaign finance, global warming, gun control, illegal immigration, judicial appointments, same sex marriage, stem cell research, tax relief, and terrorist interrogation methods."
"Recent polls—including our own online straw poll—indicate that John McCain has fallen from frontrunner status," said David N. Bossie, president of CUPVF in the press release. "Our findings do not stem solely from McCain-Feingold. Rather, issue after issue, throughout his congressional career, John McCain has loudly and proudly opposed a myriad of bedrock conservative principles."
Bossie added, "Conservatives deserve a standard-bearer who is committed to a conservative agenda, not one who just mouths its rhetoric. In other words, we want a conservative optimist and visionary in the mold of Ronald Reagan. John McCain is decidedly not that person."
The report was referred to by conservative columnist Robert Novak earlier today, who noted that "McCain is the only announced Republican presidential hopeful not scheduled to speak" at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is attracting right-wingers from across the nation to Washington this weekend, Citizens United will distribute a 23-page attack on McCain," wrote Novak.
Novak adds, "It is hardly too late for such negative campaigning to bring down Republican front-runners because of inadequate conservative credentials. At this point in the 2000 election cycle, Bush was far in front with about 45 percent in the polls, with Elizabeth Dole second at 29 percent. McCain was at a mere 3 percent, behind Dan Quayle and Steve Forbes, before making the run that nearly won the nomination. The GOP race for 2008 may still be open, considering the conservative void."
"For the past year, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, has been vigorously attempting to convince conservative leaders and primary and caucus voters, whose support is critical in the Republican presidential nominating process, that he is the 'right' choice," the executive summary of the report begins. "He indeed boasts an impressive resume. He is a war hero. He is a distinguished United States senator in his fourth term—re-elected in 2004 with 77% of the vote. His media appeal is the envy of politicians on both sides of the aisle."
The executive summary continues, "But throughout his Capitol Hill career, John McCain has loudly and proudly opposed a myriad of bedrock conservative principles. His record is replete with glaring examples of why conservatives should not support his presidential candidacy. On issues like abortion, campaign finance, global warming, gun control, illegal immigration, judicial appointments, same sex marriage, stem cell research, tax relief, and terrorist interrogation methods, McCain has staked out positions that are anathema to conservatism."
According to CUPVF, "McCain’s views and votes aren’t his only problems."
"News reports confirm that he has considered changing his party affiliation, and during the 2000 presidential primary campaign he actually ran against the Christian conservative base," the summary continues. "The result speaks for itself: George W. Bush stood strong with conservatives—and won both the Republican nomination and the presidency."
The report continues, "Conservatives understand that John McCain is pandering to us, in the hope that we will minimize his past apostasy. But the apostasy isn’t just in the past—it’s in the very fiber of his character. Conservatives deserve a standard-bearer who is completely committed to a conservative agenda, not one who just mouths its slogans. In other words, we want an heir to Ronald Reagan."
"John McCain is decidedly not that person," the summary concludes.
Samples from the report:
This PDF link contains the entire 23-page report.