Sen. John McCain’s campaign team is getting called out by the very organization whose rating it cited on Twitter. Team McCain advertised his 91 percent rating in 2014 from conservative group ACU as the Washington insider heads into a tough 2016 campaign season. What it doesn’t mention is his abysmal 2013 rating of 52 percent or his history of higher ratings going into re-election fights.
The American Conservative Union (ACU), host of the hugely popular Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC), rates Congressional officeholders year over year.
McCain’s lifetime ACU based on 32 years in office is 82.13 percent. Looking back over the past decade, the numbers vary widely, and spiked during his 2010 primary challenge.
2006 65 percent
2007 80 percent
2008 63 percent
2009 96 percent
2010 100 Percent (as he faced primary challenger J.D. Hayworth)
2011 80 percent
2012 92 percent
2013 52 percent
2014 91 percent
McCain certainly seems concerned. He’s taken to Twitter to boost his image:
— Team McCain (@TeamMcCain) May 21, 2015
The ACU replied to McCain’s tweet with the following:
Yo @TeamMcCain get the numbers right. he got a 91 in ’14, but a 52 in ’13. Even by Common Core standards thats a 72% or a D+
— The ACU (@ACUConservative) May 21, 2015
Arizonans have wearied of McCain. What many Arizonans remember is the promise he made in his infamous “build the danged fence” border security campaign ad.
Republicans in his own state officially censured him in 2014, the year he claims a lofty conservative rating. Since the censure reports have surfaced that McCain and his allies have launched a political cleansing of their Arizona leadership, ousting one conservative Republican after another. Politico reported that after the censure, McCain’s team sought to, “unseat conservative activists who hold obscure, but influential, local party offices.”
Just before announcing his re-election effort, worried emails began pouring from the McCain camp. “I’m going to be the target of a wide array of powerful groups,” he said in a plea for his own re-election. That letter was quickly followed with a worried message from his wife, emphasizing fear-invoking dangers in the world and a plea to keep her husband in office.
Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward opened an exploratory committee in March that will help her determine whether she has the political and financial path available to challenge McCain in what she has called a battle on the scale of David vs. Goliath.
U.S. Representative Matt Salmon has been quiet about whether he intends to challenge McCain, but that remains a possibility. Salmon told the Hill he has yet to announce whether he’s in or out or will even run for re-election to his seat in the House. GOP party leaders have indicated Salmon could delay his decision until the fall.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana