As two hefty primary challengers loom back home in Arizona ahead of his expected run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has come out publicly against the nomination of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General because of her support for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.
“No he’s not voting for her, because she called the Obama executive action on immigration ‘reasonable,’” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in an email to Breitbart News in response to a breaking story from Politico that Lynch’s nomination is a “cliffhanger” that’s going down to the wire.
Only four Senate Republicans currently publicly support her, meaning that assuming all Democrats vote for her and no other Republicans do, she would have 50 votes—and Vice President Joe Biden would come in to cast the tiebreaker in favor of her nomination.
Two of the four Senate Republicans publicly supportive of Lynch’s nomination are close McCain allies: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
Rogers, McCain’s spokesman, hasn’t answered numerous times when asked if McCain will work with Flake on any major initiatives again any time soon—essentially supporting Flake after casting a vote for Lynch—and what McCain thinks of his fellow Arizonan’s behavior by voting to support Obama’s executive amnesty.
Graham’s spokesman Kevin Bishop told Breitbart News on Thursday night that despite all the national security concerns with Lynch, and her support for executive amnesty, at this time he’s remaining supportive of her nomination.
“It’s time to turn the page on Eric Holder’s tenure as Attorney General,” Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said while offering his public support for Lynch in committee. “We need a fresh start in the position, and this is an opportunity for our nation to move forward.
Graham’s sudden opposition to Holder after he wouldn’t join every 2012 GOP presidential candidate and the vast majority of Republicans in Congress in 2012 in demanding Holder’s ouster over Operation Fast and Furious is curious, but what’s even more interesting is the fact that Graham will likely never hear the end of his vote for Lynch—assuming he does vote for her—while he’d be running for president, as he is currently thinking about doing.
Graham has gotten some early signs of traction in places like Iowa and New Hampshire—and of course he represents South Carolina in the U.S. Senate—but a vote for Lynch would essentially derail any ability to be effective on the presidential campaign trail since by even McCain’s standards voting for Lynch is voting to uphold President Obama’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, and the way Obama did it by executive action flouting Congress.
McCain’s decision to come out against Lynch publicly comes as two prominent GOP politicians in his state are seriously considering running against him in the GOP primary in 2016, should he decide to run for re-election as he seems to be intending to do. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) is considering a bid against him, as is state Sen. Kelli Ward. Both are taking steps to build out a potential campaign, though Ward is much further along in the process—even though the timeframe on which they’d operate isn’t entirely clear yet at this point.
If McCain is unwilling or unable to encourage Graham and Flake to change their planned votes for Lynch, his plan to vote against her would likely fall short of being able to effectively protect himself from criticism over the matter on the campaign trail since he hasn’t said or done much at all to fight her and is essentially using his allies in the Senate to get her confirmed.
In fact, Flake and Graham could be putting McCain in serious political jeopardy on this issue should they move forward with voting for Lynch, since public perception in Arizona and nationally is very much that Flake, Graham and McCain work together closely on many major political issues. In fact, Graham’s presidential flirting has already earned him McCain’s endorsement for a potential 2016 White House bid should the South Carolinian decide to run—which essentially means McCain owns Graham’s vote for Lynch should Graham hold strong even though McCain himself is going to vote against him.
McCain always seems to give off the impression he’s tough on immigration and border security around election time, and infamously in 2010 ran television ads in which he said he’d “complete the danged fence” on the border if he was re-elected. McCain has failed to achieve that goal in five years since winning re-election, and instead spent much of his time since 2010 working to try to grant amnesty to illegal aliens through the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill last Congress rather than securing the border.