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From The Hotline Blogometer: Conservatives Reject McCain

Monday, January 14, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From today’s edition:

MCCAIN: A Conservative Nightmare?

With the latest CNN/Opinion Research national poll showing McCain surging, conservative bloggers are ratcheting up their attacks on the AZ senator:

Right Wing NewsJohn Hawkins: “McCain supports amnesty for illegal aliens, was behind the Gang of 14, is a gun grabber, opposed the Bush tax cuts, ran roughshod over the Constitution with McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform, opposes a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, was rumored to be considering switching parties multiple times, talked with John Kerry about being his Vice-President, lines up with the global warming alarmists, wants to close Gitmo, wants to coddle captured terrorists — you can go on and on with this…In other words, we’re talking about a man who could fairly be called a Rockefeller Republican, a Country Club Republican, a RINO, or just a toweringly arrogant, out of touch D.C. insider who seems to assume that any position he takes is right solely because he happens to hold it. However, what John McCain cannot fairly be called is a conservative.”

Townhall‘s Hugh Hewitt: “A GOP vote for McCain is a vote for a shattered base and a desultory campaign in the fall. It is a vote for lecture after lecture on global warming, campaign finance reform, and the bridge to nowhere. It is a vote for an old warrior way past his prime and the prospect of three debates against Barack Obama in which the age and energy gap goes unremarked upon while devastatingly obvious.”

NRO‘s Mark Levin: “There’s a reason some of John McCain’s conservative supporters avoid discussing his record. They want to talk about his personal story, his position on the surge, his supposed electability. But whenever the rest of his career comes up, the knee-jerk reply is to characterize the inquiries as attacks. The McCain domestic record is a disaster.”

NRO‘s Mark Steyn: “John McCain demonizes Big Pharma — i.e., the private pharmaceutical companies that create, develop, and manufacture the drugs that all these socialized health-care systems in every corner of the planet are utterly dependent on. He voted for Sarbanes-Oxley, a quintessential congressional overreaction (to Enron) that buries American companies in wasteful paperwork and hands huge advantages to stock exchanges in London, Hong Kong, and elsewhere…McCain is also gung ho for all the most economically disruptive Big Government solutions to ‘climate change’…McCain has an almost Edwardsian contempt for capitalism, for the people whose wit and innovation generate the revenue that pay for your average small-state senator’s retinue of staffers worthy of a Persian Gulf emir.”

NRO‘s Kathryn Jean Lopez: “John McCain has been stalwart on the surge in Iraq. We owe him for that — he was the D.C. leader articulating what the White House often didn’t. But as important as it was and is, the surge isn’t the sum-total of U.S. defense policy…Neither is the surge policy the sum-total of John McCain…when considering settling on a Republican nominee, conservatives need to consider the sum-total of a candidate. And when you look through John McCain’s record — and policies he advocates/leads on to this day — there’s plenty to disagree with.”

Meanwhile, Townhall‘s Patrick Ruffini calls McCain “a tax-loving, free speech-crushing, amnesty-awarding, big government Republican nominee.”

Power Line‘s Paul Mirengoff reacts to Hugh Hewitt’s interview with ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, in which Santorum excoriates McCain: “Santorum, whose conservative credentials are beyond question, makes a strong case against McCain on a number of issues near-and-dear to mainstream conservatives, and I have little doubt that a President McCain would infuriate such conservatives on more than rare occasions…Santorum complains that the MSM is building up McCain. That is true and it may even help account for his popularity. It’s also likely that, if McCain becomes the Republican nominee, substantial elements of the MSM will turn on him. But McCain is a national hero whose political independence is beyond dispute (it’s that independence that annoys Santorum and, to a lesser extent, me). The MSM may be able to chip at the edges of McCain’s image, but lacks the ability, in my view, to tarnish it significantly. This will be particularly true as long as events in Iraq continue to validiate McCain on the surge.”

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