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GOP insiders: McCain campaign aimless
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Posted 02 July 2008 - 01:28 PM
WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Republican Party strategists say they are becoming increasingly alarmed by the way likely presidential nominee John McCain is running his campaign.
Citing mainly anonymous sources within the party, the Washington Web site Politico reported Wednesday that GOP leaders are blasting strategic choices made by Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., criticizing what they see as its lack of organization and worrying about its lack of fundraising acumen.
"It's not just message or not having just one single meta-theme to compete with Obama," a source described as a veteran Republican strategist with close ties to McCain's top advisers told the Web site. "It's not just fundraising, which is mediocre. And it's not even just organization, which is (just) starting or nonexistent in many states."
Politico said some Republican officials are optimistic because there is still time for McCain's campaign to right itself. But most voiced grave concerns about aimlessness within a campaign that has failed to take advantage of a four-month head start on Democrats and has showed few signs of gaining traction.
"McCain's campaign seems not to have a game plan. I don't see a consistent message," Ed Rollins, a veteran of Republican presidential campaigns, told the Web site.
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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:28 PM
McCain Blasted In the Words of His Fellow Republicans
"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
Senator Thad Cochran, R-MS
"I decided I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger."
Senator Pete Domenici, R-NM
"If either [John McCain or Mike Huckabee] gets the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party, it's going to change it forever, be the end of it."
Conservative talk show host and author Rush Limbaugh
"There's nothing redeeming about John McCain...he's a hypocrite."
Former House GOP Whip Tom DeLay
"He is a vicious person. Nearly all the Republican Senators endorsed Bush because they knew McCain from serving with him in the Senate. They so disliked him that they wouldn't support him. They have been on the hard end of his behavior."
Former Representative Charles LeBoutillier, R-NY
"John was very rough in the sandbox. Everybody has a McCain story. If you work in the Senate for a while, you have a McCain story. He hasn't built up a lot of goodwill." Former Senator Rick Santorum, R-PA
"There would be a lot of people who would have to recalibrate their attitudes toward John."
Senator Bob Bennett, R-UT
"For all his supposed, newfound enlightenment about what most Americans want - protection against invasion, commitment to the rule of law, meaningful employer sanctions, an end to sanctuary cities, enforcement-by-attrition plus deportation reform, and an end to special illegal alien benefits that invite more law-breaking-The Maverick remains a Geraldo Rivera Republican. Like the ethnocentric cable TV host who can't string a sentence about immigration together without drowning in emotional demagoguery, McCain naturally resorts to open-borders platitudes when pressed for enforcement specifics...McCain has learned nothing."
Michelle Malkin, conservative columnist and author
"His temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, that should disqualify him."
Former Senator Bob Smith, R-NH
"I heard about his temper more from others. According to them, he really unleashed on some of them, and they couldn't figure out why...It happened enough that it was affecting his credibility with some people."
Grant Woods, McCain's former Chief of Staff, former AG of Arizona, and current McCain staffer
An "embarrassment to the party."
Arizona GOP State Senator Susan Johnson
"What happens if he gets angry in crisis in the presidency? It's difficult enough to be a negotiator, but it's almost impossible when you're the type of guy who's so angry at anybody who doesn't do what he wants. It's the president's job to negotiate and stay calm. I just don't see that he has that quality."
Former Arizona GOP Chairman John Hinz
"No dissent, no opinion to the contrary- however reasonable- will be entertained. Hardheaded is one way to say it. Arrogant is another way to say it. Hubristic is another way to say it. Too proud for his own good is another way to say it. It's a quality about him that disturbs me."
Col. Larry Wilkerson, US Army (ret.) and former chief aide to Colin Powell
"He is the anti-conservative. He instinctively sides against conservatives and relishes poking them in the eye."
Conservative talk show host and author David Limbaugh
"It just seems like everything we did, John was someplace else...In my mind, he is not [a conservative]."
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-IL
"I think it's his style as much as much as the positions he takes...I think it's his attitude that it's his way or the highway."
Former Senator Tim Hutchinson, R-AR
"I don't like McCain. I don't like him at all."
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-CO
McCain "has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language."
Focus on Family Founder James Dobson
"John's a person I've had a lot of disagreements with, but you've got to have a lot of respect for him...I'm not speaking as if I'm a born again supporter of John McCain, I'm just trying to express it the way that I see him."
Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA
"What has struck me about McCain is that everybody underestimated the ability of his advisers and him to hypnotize the national media, because most of us in the media in Arizona thought of him as a guy who had a terrible temper, occasionally had a foul mouth, a guy who whined and pouted unless he got his way. McCain has a temper that is bombastic, volatile, and purple-faced. Sometimes he gets out of control. Do you want somebody sitting in the White House with that kind of temper?"
Pat Murphy, former editor of the Arizona Republic, and a former friend of McCain
"John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism, and youth. Like McCain, pollsters assured us that Dole was the most electable Republican. Unlike McCain, Dole didn't lie all the time while claiming to engage in ‘straight talk.'"
Ann Coulter, conservative columnist and author
"Is it possible that John McCain thinks you have too much freedom? ... I gotta tell you, I don't know what's happening to John McCain."
Wayne LaPierre, CEO and Executive VP of the National Rifle Association
even Rush Limbaugh has claimed the same -
After McCain won the New Hampshire primary last month, Limbaugh served notice that if either McCain or former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee got the nomination, "it's going to destroy the Republican Party. It's going to change it forever."
"If I believe the country will suffer with either Hillary, Obama or McCain, I would just as soon the Democrats take the hit . . . rather than a Republican causing the debacle," he said. "And I would prefer not to have conservative Republicans in the Congress paralyzed by having to support, out of party loyalty, a Republican president who is not conservative."
McCain has a history of strained relations with the party's right wing, especially on such issues as immigration, tax cuts and campaign finance reform. Yesterday Limbaugh said the candidate had "stabbed his own party in the back I can't tell you how many times."
Edited by Lt_Ripley, 02 July 2008 - 07:32 PM.
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