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McCain Faces Fire from Conservative Radio Hosts

Posted on 1/30/2008 2:48:00 PM
Republican senator John McCain has been criticized by the conservative quarter even as he proceeds into the Florida primary. According to some conservative talk radio hosts, McCain is not conservative enough.

For instance talk show host Rush Limbaugh said that the event of  McCain (or Mike Huckabee) winning the republican nomination would "destroy the Republican Party." Similarly, conservative radio host, Laura Ingraham said that she was concerned about the "mental stability of the McCain campaign". Mark Levin even called the senator, "John McLame".

Hugh Hewitt also voiced similar sentiments when he said to the Associated Press, "Senator McCain is a great American, a lousy senator and a terrible Republican." He said, "He has a legislative record that is not conservative. In fact, it is anti-conservative."

According to Hewitt, the antagonism directed at him had its roots in McCain's rejection of conservative ideas and his maverick approach to handling issues such as global warming, illegal immigration, and campaign finance. That the Arizona senator has been endorsed by the conservative punchball, the New York Times, just adds up to it.

Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, rejected any possibility that the radio hosts would lose reputation if McCain were to win the GOP nomination. He said radio hosts were not evaluated based on their choice of candidates. "It will give them an opportunity to reposition themselves in a more independent and populist way," he said.

In any case, the warnings do not seem to have done much to affect McCain's improving popularity rankings. McCain has already won the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina and was locked in a tie with Mitt Romney in the Florida primary. So much so, that Michael Medved termed talk radio as a medium that had "unmistakably collapsed in terms of impact, influence and credibility because of its hysterical and one-dimensional involvement in the GOP nomination fight." Medved also predicted that the continuing hostility towards McCain would have a damaging effect on the radio industry.

However, Hewitt said that if McCain was the Republican option against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, he would vote for him, as would his other colleagues.
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