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Conservative Radio Attacks McCain

Posted on 2/8/2008 11:30:00 AM

McCain's Super Tuesday lead has alarmed more than rivals Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Conservative radio hosts, who hold much political clout, continue to express displeasure over the increasing possibility of McCain's presidential nomination from the Republican Party.

Rush Limbaugh, for instance, raised the issue of McCain's ideological differences with the GOP. The fans of his radio show also condemned the senior senator's liberal outlook. McCain was criticized as lacking in the strength of his convictions, they said, when compared to former President Ronald Reagan. This anxiety amongst the conservative faction is bound to present a major hurdle in McCain's path as he attempts to form a strong united conservative Republican front.

McCain put up a brilliant performance on Super Tuesday, winning nine primary contests. He is widely seen as the inevitable choice for the Republican Party's nomination, and could be a likely successor to George Bush as the next President of the United States.

However, detractors, such as Limbaugh, see McCain's popularity as a danger to the party. "We are trying to stop the wanton destruction of the party, the wanton dilution of the party," he said on his radio show, which has a good fan audience across many states. Criticizing McCain for wooing the Democrats, Limbaugh said, "We are sick and tired of how the people who seem to be triumphing in our party are precisely the people who seem to be selling this party out in terms of its ideology."

Other issues over which conservative have a grouse against McCain include tax policy, freedom of political speech, and immigration. The conservatives' lack of ease with McCain is reflected in the remark by evangelist James Dobson, who said that he would not vote in favor of McCain. There are surely others too who would rather not vote than vote for McCain.

As it is, there exists a strong conservative resentment against Bush's failure to infuse Christian principles into state policy. McCain's nomination, many right-wingers fear, could further reduce the chance of this happening. For instance, radio host, Sean Hannity, warned that if McCain were to win the presidential nomination, there would be the danger of him leaning to the left in an attempt to consolidate his support amongst the moderates. "The problem (with) John McCain ... isn't that he's a moderate Republican. It's worse than that on some issues and that's just a substantive disagreement," he said.

Not all talk show hosts held the line taken by Limbaugh and Hannity. For instance, Herman Cain said talk radio was there to influence opinion, not dictate it. Another, Neal Boortz, stressed on the need for conservatives to become realistic, saying that they should realize that no candidate espoused their views. However, a caller on radio echoed popular conservative sentiment when she said that between Hillary Clinton, a democrat, and McCain, she would vote for Clinton.

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