Oh kids! Things are getting ugly on the other side of the aisle!
(CNN) — GOP front-runner John McCain is cruising into Super Tuesday with a hefty lead in the polls, but he’s drawing a backlash from some top conservatives who say he is too liberal to carry the Republican nomination.
Sen. John McCain has come under attack from conservatives who say is he too liberal.
Radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt and Lars Larson are among the conservative voices speaking out against the Arizona senator.
The attacks have gotten so heated that former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole Monday wrote Limbaugh defending McCain.
The battlelines are being drawn!! Let’s watch!
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who endorsed Romney last week, recorded an automated phone call being used in several Super Tuesday states that directly questions whether McCain has the temperament to be president.
“As a conservative, I don’t agree with McCain on many issues and I don’t think he has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction,” Santorum says in the call, according to a Romney source.
Santorum notes that as a senator, he worked hard to stop Democrats and pass a conservative agenda, and “a few senators like John McCain stood in our way.”
McCain, who went to Pennsylvania to campaign for Santorum in his ill-fated 2006 Senate re-election bid, said he was “puzzled” by the calls.
So much for gratitude, huh?
McCain continues to say he is proud of his conservative record, adding he has picked up support from some key conservatives.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki backed him Monday, and last week, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he was endorsing McCain.
McCain has also picked up the support of former Solicitor General Ted Olson, Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.
From Guardian Unlimited:
James Dobson, founder of the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family last night became the latest rightwing conservative to denounce McCain and say he would not vote for him “under any circumstances”.
The party hierarchy fears that such vitriol could turn the primary campaign from a healthy debate about the future of conservatism into a fight that can only benefit Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. McCain and Romney have been attacking each other in recent days that have only added to a sense of internal acrimony.
From the Washington Post:
Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and most of the other warriors of the airwaves have made an all-out effort to turn their millions of listeners against McCain — so much so that the candidate can’t decide which of them is his main foe.
Limbaugh, declaring that a McCain nomination would “destroy the Republican Party,” said: “I can see possibly not voting for the Republican nominee.”
Other talkers — Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Michael Reagan and Michael Savage — have piled on as well, but less, it seems, out of affection for McCain opponent Mitt Romney than a shared antipathy toward McCain.
From Fox News:
Mike Huckabee has won the West Virginia Delegate Convention and has been awarded its 18 delegates—the first win out of Super Tuesday. This is a disappointing loss for Mitt Romney, who spoke at the convention this morning, and they are alleging that the McCain campaign cut a “Washington backroom deal.”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson reported that McCain delegates at the convention were “instructed by the campaign to throw their support to Mike Huckabee.”
The Romney campaign responded sending out a statement from campaign manager, Beth Myers:
“Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change.”
“Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues. This is why he led on today’s first ballot. Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington backroom deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party.”
But wait! There’s more!
CHARLESTON, W.Va. AP) — Former Sen. Bob Dole, the failed Republican presidential candidate in 1996, became the focus Tuesday of an increasingly testy exchange between GOP presidential contenders John McCain and Mitt Romney.
The tit-for-tat began with Dole coming to the aid of McCain, a fellow war hero and former Senate colleague, in a letter to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. He has relentlessly criticized the front-running Arizona senator as insufficiently conservative.
Before long, McCain was claiming Romney disparaged Dole and should apologize.
Romney countered that he had nothing to apologize for, but nonetheless, he tried from his campaign plane to phone Dole.
Asked about Dole’s letter on the FOX News’ “FOX & Friends” Tuesday, Romney, who has tried to portray himself as a genuine conservative alternative to McCain, responded: “It’s probably the last person I would have wanted write a letter for me. I think there’s a lot of folks who tend to think that maybe John McCain’s race is a bit like Bob Dole’s race. That it’s the guy who’s next in line, the inevitable choice.”
Oh, Mittsie! Why open up yet another can of worms?
So, to recap–Mittsie hates Chuckleberry who hates Romney who hates McCain, who is hated by radio squawkers, but defended by Pataki and Dole, who was dissed by Mittsie until he took it back, but not before McCain was disparaged by Limbaugh and Santorum, and……oh, I give up! I can’t keep track. Let’s just sit back, relax, and watch the fireworks. 😀