17 Months Out from Election: McCain’s Angry, Desperate Friends Spitting Fire

There are angry, intolerant and intemperate remarks, and then there are the hateful, if not despicable, remarks of J. Charles Coughlin.

Coughlin is the president of Phoenix-based High Ground Public Affairs Consultants, an organization which really should put a leash on its leader. He was the chairman of Jan Brewer’s gubernatorial transition team and has been named “Best Political Operative in Arizona” by the left-stream media outlet Arizona Capitol Times. “Political Vulture” would be a more apt descriptor.

In his commentary, “The Dark Soul of the Tea Party Movement,” Coughlin savages the Tea Party and State Senator Kelli Ward without actually having the courage to name her.

Ward has been quite critical of Senator John McCain and may even run against him next year. But Coughlin writes her candidacy would “die in the darkness of her own soul.”

To write such frothing, over-the-top remarks, one must surely be seated in a dark place himself. For a McCain apologist, one must share the senator’s contempt for conservatives and conservatism.

And especially for the Tea party.

Dripping with contempt, Couglin writes:

“I find that most Tea Party advocates, such as the State Senator from Mohave County, appear to lack any gratitude    for the fact that we live in the greatest country on Earth.  When I listen to a good deal of their rhetoric, I am drenched in negativity; the politics of vilification, the hatred of those who want to blame others for the challenges that confront our country today.

“I am drenched in negativity.” Have truer words ever been stated? Though Coughlin wasn’t attempting to point three fingers back at himself.

The Tea Party has become the “Party of No” and that is not the Republican Party I am a part of. It is not the party that John McCain, Jan Brewer, Fife Symington, Grant Woods (all of whom I have worked for) represent.  It is not the party of Jon Kyl, Jeff Flake, or Doug Ducey, either.  All of these leaders are the products of American exceptionalism, a country based upon the notion that we are all created equal and are endowed by Our Creator with certain unalienable rights and among those is the right to pursue life, liberty and most of all, happiness.

The gloves are off. McCain: censored by numerous Republican organizations in the past 10 years, subject of two recall efforts — all pre-dating the Tea Party. The man who spent thousands of dollars to oust conservatives from leadership in his home legislative district. The failed candidate who offered only token resistance to Barack Obama.

Senator Jeff Flake: McCain’s hand-picked successor to Jon Kyl. Rewarded for agreeing with McCain on amnesty.

Former Attorney General Grant Woods: member of every short-lasted attempt in recent history to move Arizona to the Left; little or no resemblance to a Republican.

Brewer: stampeded by the Left into spiking religious freedom in Arizona.

Symington: removed from office by scandal, and used by McCain to try and muscle conservatives out of power in his home legislative district.

Have these folks not been the cabal of “no”?

Sounding almost teary-eyed Coughlin continues:

Senator McCain is dedicated to the future security of our State’s border and the resolution of an immigration debate which has the greatest impact on the future of our State’s economy to grow, to thrive, and to create opportunities for others – to continue to give life to the American dream.

That dream will never be realized by McCain’s political track record and philosophy. But how dare anyone entertain a thought to challenging “the chosen one” in the 2016 election.

Thank God for the Tea Party, which never would have been needed if establishment Republicans like McCain, Flake, Graham, Dole, Romney, McConnnell, Boehner, McCarthy, King and others hadn’t continually aimed low for the status of perpetual minority party. And succeeded.

Their likenesses are destined to be enshrined on the Mt. Rushmore of “no majority.”

It was at the Tea Party’s insistence that the House of Representatives was wrested away from the Left in 2010. It was the Tea Party which helped win back the majorities in both chambers, despite the “minority addicts” digging in their heels along their stubborn road.

You can leave the soul of America to the Tea Party and feel good about it. The same cannot be said for McCain and the other dissidents standing on the fringe of the Republican Party.

But before we adjourn, let it be known to Coughlin, Woods and others that when McCain faced a challenge in 2010, he glad-handed the faux “Tea Party of Scottsdale’s” support. When the heat was on, he revised his own history to morph into a “Reagan foot soldier.”

Coughlin claims we need more leaders like McCain. The truth is McCain has never been a leader. He’s been an agitator. Better said, he’s been a thorn in the party’s side for several years now. He and McConnell fought the party base on cutting the size of the government behemoth, a pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.

Finally, Coughlin writes of a peaceful, joyful, loving spirit. That isn’t what we’ve seen in McCain, Woods and their friends. We’ve seen nothing close to that. They are the company of “no” to much of what the Republican Party  says — in print — that it stands for. Obama and the Democrats are a minor distraction; it’s the conservatives in our party who are the chief irritant.

And now it’s the Tea Party that has become the Republican wing of the Republican Party — because the recalcitrants reject that role.

To quote the Arizona Tea Party site: Tea Party patriots favor the “core principles of free markets, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional government. They share a renewed interest in our heritage and particularly the meaning and intent of our constitution.”

When is the last time you heard McCain or Woods speak like that? Never. If McCain wants to get re-elected so bad, he ought to adopt the platform of the Party of Lincoln. He ought to adopt the Tea Party’s principles, join the club and give it a powerful voice in the restoration of an American government badly misshaped by socialists and weak-kneed Republicans who caved amidst the Leftist wrecking ball’s deconstruction.

And, Senator McCain, if that is too much to ask of you, then please step aside and allow Dr. Kelli Ward to gain the GOP nomination. She will provide a “new, positive, principled voice for Arizona in Washington.” She is already receiving strong encouragement to run in 2016.

McCain Running again and the People Groan

Multiple conservative groups rebelled right out of the gate to Senator John McCain’s announcement that he will indeed seek re-election in what is expected to be a historic 2016 election cycle.

Within hours of McCain’s announcement both Conservative Review and the Senate Conservatives Fund had emailed to rally supporters against McCain. The messages pointed out McCain’s record and weakened position. Senate Conservatives Fund called for a strong show of support to oust a weakened McCain and elect a fresh face to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Conservative Review grants McCain an “F” with a 48 percent rating, calling out McCain for an extensive 32-year entrenchment in Washington. CR Editor Gaston Mooney said, “McCain’s consistent support for gun control, cap and trade, amnesty, and tax increases have put him at odds with just about every coalition inside the Republican Party and recent straw polls have shown that he is vulnerable. McCain pandered to the right in 2008 and now he is at it again.”

“There are few Republicans who have betrayed our conservative principles more than John McCain,” read the Senate Conservatives Fund letter. “McCain lost his way a long time ago.”

Both messages criticize McCain for his part in the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform and his support for amnesty, his vote for the taxpayer funded “Wall Street” bailout, his vote to fund implementation of Obamacare and criticism of efforts to halt that funding, opposition to a $1.3 trillion tax cut, support for a $600 billion tax hike, repeated votes to raise the debt limit and voting against term limits.

Mincing no words, the Senate Conservatives letter refers to McCain as “one of the most anti-conservative RINOs in the Senate.”

Senate Conservatives Fund is asking those supportive of a McCain alternative to put their money where their mouth is with a financial contribution and signature on their “Replace John McCain” in 2016 petition.

The grass roots, urges the letter, “is asking for our help,” citing polling that says 98 percent want a conservative alternative to McCain.

“To replace John McCain, we need to get hundreds of thousands of patriots united and working together. The Republican establishment in Washington will pour millions of dollars into this race to save him.”

According to FEC records, the Friends of John McCain campaign committee held $2 million in cash on hand at the end of 2014. Almost $1.2 million of that came from 2008 presidential campaign committee funds transferred in 2013, in addition to $1.3 million in individual contributions. It comes as no surprise that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is supportive of McCain as the “Friends of John McCain” committeetransferred $265,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2014 and late 2013.

McCain Posturing for 2016 While His Cronies Flake and Graham Vote for Lynch for AG?

“I think it’s kind of funny—as we know, it only takes four of us [Republicans] to get her confirmed,” Ward said in an interview. “You would think as the senior senator he might have some influence over the guy he’s supporting for president and his colleague in the Senate from the state of Arizona. I hope he does, because I would like to see this nomination stopped—I would have liked to see it stopped in the committee process.”

It wasn’t stopped in committee because McCain’s ally Graham and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—another who has stated he’ll back Lynch on the floor, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)—voted for her there. Together, Graham, Flake, Hatch and Collins—along with all the Democrats—could be enough to get to 50 votes, and Vice President Joe Biden could come in and cast the tiebreaker, confirming Lynch as the next Attorney General. No other Republican has said they’ll back her at this time, and it’s increasingly unlikely any more will. While at this time the four Republicans who say they will vote for her haven’t shown any signs of budging, with McCain’s public opposition to Lynch, the pressure is heating up on Graham and Flake especially to reconsider their previous positions and oppose her nomination.

When asked if McCain would be personally responsible for Graham’s and Flake’s votes for Lynch, if they do vote for her, due to McCain’s demonstrable influence over those members, Ward said that “I would have to agree with that.”

“If Sen. McCain votes to allow it to go to the floor for a vote, it’s basically the same as allowing her nomination to go through, because we don’t have a filibuster-proof majority,” Ward said. “They can get around that for a little bit by allowing that to come to a vote but then voting no when it comes up for a vote.”

McCain would be responsible for the actions Lynch takes as Attorney General—including the upholding of Obama’s executive amnesty—if he isn’t willing or able to flip Flake’s or Graham’s planned votes for Lynch. Ward said:

I think he [McCain] will have had a hand in it [whatever Lynch does if she does get confirmed with a Flake or Graham vote]. You see him on the Sunday shows defending the president, defending the president’s views and telling us that we just need to move on, move on, move away from executive amnesty, move on from immigration. Well, the people of Arizona don’t want to move on from immigration. They want us to uphold our immigration laws. They want us to secure our border. It’s bad when our senior senator thinks we should just move on to some other issue but it’s important to Arizonans and important to Americans.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers wouldn’t answer any questions about the senator’s thoughts about Graham’s or Flake’s planned votes for Lynch. He wouldn’t answer whether McCain plans to withdraw his planned endorsement of Graham’s potential presidential campaign or if he would continue to work closely with either member if they vote for Lynch—or if there are planned consequences or repercussions from McCain against those two if they do end up voting for Lynch.

“Senator McCain has said for weeks that he will vote against Loretta Lynch because of her stated approval of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which Senator McCain believes are clearly unconstitutional,” Rogers said in an email on Friday when asked to respond to Ward’s latest interview with Breitbart News about McCain’s responsibility for the votes of Graham and Flake.

Rogers also noted that McCain has been vocal about his opposition to Lynch.

“In an interview on 550 KFYI Phoenix this morning, Senator McCain said that voting for Lynch would be ‘a very serious mistake,’” Rogers said.

Graham’s office refused to comment further than providing yet again his statement in committee that he plans to vote for Lynch, and Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop wouldn’t answer questions about why Graham would vote for Lynch when it could endanger McCain’s political future. Flake’s office didn’t even respond to any questions.

Ward said the reason that all Republicans should oppose Lynch is primarily because of Lynch’s support for Obama’s executive amnesty. Ward said:

She testified that she would support that executive amnesty and I don’t think that would uphold our Constitution or our rule of law. The attorney general should not be operating from a political point of view, she shouldn’t be operating from a political perspective or a philosophical perspective. Basically, she should be operating from the perspective of someone who upholds the law and this executive amnesty does not exist in the Constitution and it’s really offensive to a majority of Arizonans and the majority of Americans.

Ward wonders, too, if McCain’s newfound public opposition to Lynch is similar to his build “the danged fence” ad from his 2010 primary, where he spent more than $20 million winning back the GOP nomination against challenger former Rep. J.D. Hayworth. McCain made the infamous ad to make himself appear to be a conservative when the chips were down, and he may have been about to lose. It worked last time, but it may not work again in 2016. Ward said:

We see some conservatism coming from him about six months every six years. It is something that people need to think about because you want somebody who is conservative all the time, not just during election time. Did it take this long for him to decide? That kind of seems strange why it would take him this long. I think he is feeling some pressure not just from me but from other people who are considering running and throwing their hats in the ring. It seems to me that that’s how this is coming about. Some of his advisers are out there people out there who are seriously considering a run and he wants to have that ‘build the danged fence’ moment so people will start to believe his conservatism is back.

Ward ended the interview on Friday by noting that “things are moving right along” in her decision-making process as to whether she’s going to launch a bid to oust McCain in a 2016 primary.

“We’re still getting lots and lots of support from all over the place, from inside Arizona and out,” Ward said. “I think support is actually growing since the last time [we talked].”

She also laughed at McCain ally Sean Noble—the former chief of staff to former Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), who now runs political consulting firm DC London—who said in a previous interview with Breitbart News while touting McCain that Ward was not ready for primetime. Specifically, Noble said that Ward is “not a viable candidate.”

“She won’t be able to raise the money, and you just can’t go from being a rural state senator and go up against a very popular United States Senator who chairs the Armed Services Committee and leading the charge against the administration on national security issues on a daily basis,” Noble said. “This is going from little league to the big leagues without any stop at triple A on the way or even single A or high school ball on the way.”

Ward said she welcomes the fight that lay on the road ahead should she decide to run.

“I was interested in your last article [where a McCain ally said] I’m in the little league,” she said. “The thing that came to mind to me is I hope to be the Lebron James of politics. He went straight from high school to superstardom. I think that attack and attempt to belittle my viability as a candidate shows that there might be some fear on the other side.”

Sen. McCain Booed at State GOP Convention

Senator John McCain got kicked around pretty good at Saturday’s Arizona Republican convention. He has been censured by several different Republican districts in recent years for his liberalism. McCain also droned on about his sidekick, Senator Jeff Flake, handpicked successor to former Senator Jon Kyl for ease in controlling. Flake and McCain have long pushed for amnesty at the expense of the rule of law, as well as backing the homosexual agenda Employment Non-discrimination Act. They walk hand in hand with Democrats on these issues. McCain and Flake were unexpected, last-minute drop-ins at the state convention, where Robert Graham was re-elected state GOP chairman. C.T. Wrght introduced McCain and implored precinct committeemen to show respect to McCain because of his military record.

McCain Posed with Questionable Company

By Matthew Boyle, Breitbart

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his aides swear the Syrian “rebels” he was pictured last year with weren’t ISIS members or supporters, and the mainstream media is by and large buying the 2008 GOP presidential nominee’s story.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has endured brutal criticism—media fact checkers, reporters, and political figures have shredded him—for questioning just who McCain posed with.

But a closer look at the situation tells perhaps a different story than McCain’s office or the mainstream media have pushed.

The criticism of McCain centers around how the Arizona senator met with Syrian rebel leaders in May 2013 when he visited the country. McCain posed for photographs with those people, and since then rumors have sprouted up across the Internet that he met with ISIS or some other terrorist kidnappers or nefarious forces.

“The people in the pictures with Senator McCain in Syria included General Salim Idris, then-Chief of Staff of the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Mouaz Moustafa, the Executive Director of the DC-based Syrian Emergency Task Force (which supports the moderate opposition and helped arrange some of the trip), and fighters and commanders from the Northern Storm Brigade, a FSA-aligned group,” McCain’s spokesman Brian Rogers told Breitbart News.

Rogers said that the senator and his team aren’t naming the “fighters and commanders from the Northern Storm Brigade, a FSA-aligned group,” because “ISIS actually threatened to kill them all, and we don’t want to put their lives at risk.” Rogers provided Breitbart News with a link to the ISIS threat to those fighters.

“ISIS targeted the Northern Storm because ISIS considers them apostates and because Northern Storm met with Sen. McCain,” Rogers said. “ISIS actually wrote out a statement that accused Northern Storm of treachery for reasons including: ‘Meeting with U.S. Senator John McCain in the hangar and making a contract with him against the Islamists.’ The statement goes on to demand that Northern Storm surrender and repent to ISIS or be killed.”

“ISIS actually killed many Northern Storm members, and we’re not going to put them at any further risk by naming them,” Rogers added.

But there’s just one problem with McCain’s office’s story. Now, McCain’s team says the senator didn’t meet with any bad figures but declines to name them, for what seems to be a legitimate reason—although those who are publicly leading combat against ISIS and against Bashar Al-Assad’s regime are probably publicly known figures there.

Just last year, however, McCain’s office had no clue who the senator met. When allegations surfaced that the senator may have met with terrorists who kidnapped someone, Rogers—McCain’s communications director—went on the record to multiple media outlets to say he didn’t know who he was meeting with, and if he did meet with kidnapper terrorists, that would be regrettable.

“None of the individuals the senator planned to meet with was named Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim,” Rogers told CNN in late May 2013, right after the trip. “A number of other Syrian commanders joined the meeting, but none of them identified himself as Mohamad Nour or Abu Ibrahim.”

Rogers added later in his statement to CNN that he and the senator did not know who he was meeting with.

“A number of the Syrians who greeted Senator McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and, as always, the senator complied,” Rogers said. “If the individual photographed with Senator McCain is in fact Mohamed Nour, that is regrettable. But it would be ludicrous to suggest that the Senator in any way condones the kidnapping of Lebanese Shia pilgrims or has any communication with those responsible. Senator McCain condemns such heinous actions in the strongest possible terms.”

Of course it’s ludicrous to suggest that McCain would condone the act of kidnapping, and nobody serious is suggesting that. The point many critics of McCain’s policies—including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—are making is that Americans have no way of knowing which team any one of these figures is on.

“Here’s the problem,” Paul said in an interview with The Daily Beast this week. “He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you—I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.”

Paul has been roundly criticized for the remarks, starting with the publication he made them to. The Daily Beast’s Olivia Nuzzi wrote that Paul’s statement means he “repeated a thoroughly debunked rumor.” The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler gave Paul “Four Pinocchios,” its highest rating of dishonesty, for the statement. Kessler wrote that this story is one where he regrets “we are limited to just Four Pinocchios,” because there is “zero evidence that any of the men that McCain met with in Syria are linked to the Islamic State.”

Despite this pile-on by the media and political establishment, Paul has a serious point here, though. McCain really didn’t know who he was meeting with, and even if they were the supposedly “moderate” Free Syrian Army, who’s to know that they aren’t elements of the Free Syrian Army working alongside ISIS?

Patrick Poole, an esteemed national security reporter and expert on radical Islam for PJ Media, has reported that the Free Syrian Army’s commanders have admitted in public to working alongside ISIS. “As President Obama laid out his ‘strategy’ last night for dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and as bipartisan leadership in Congress pushes to approve as much as $4 billion to arm Syrian ‘rebels,’ it should be noted that the keystone to his anti-Assad policy — the ‘vetted moderate’ Free Syrian Army (FSA) — is now admitting that they, too, are working with the Islamic State,” Poole wrote on Sept. 10.

Poole cites the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star, which quotes a Free Syrian Army brigade commander as saying he is working with the “Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate — both U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.”

Specifically, the quotes Poole pulls are:

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in… Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.

“We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice,” confirmed Abu Khaled, another FSA commander who lives in Arsal.

“Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values,” he added.

In a lengthy floor speech on Thursday, Paul ripped the foreign policy establishment in Washington for assuming that FSA and ISIS are really distinct entities.

“According to a New York Times report, over a year ago, the CIA began training Syrian rebels in nearby Jordan, thousands of them, along with delivering arms and ammunition,” Paul said, according to a transcript of the speech provided to Breitbart News by his office. “New York Times reports also detailed the huge arms and financial transfers from Quatar to the Syrian rebels, beginning as early as 2011. No one really knows where that all ended up: Jane’s Terrorism Center noted, the transfer of Quatari arms to targeted groups has the same practical effect as shipping them to Al Nusra, a violent jihadist force. The New York Times further detailed that Sudan has provided anti-tank missiles and other arms.”

Shortly after those comments, Paul said that America can’t be sure—since supposedly “vetted moderates” are working alongside ISIS—who any of them are. He added that even if some might be loyal now, they could change their allegiances in a heartbeat—saying that some officials estimate that more than half of FSA forces have defected to ISIS.

“So the idea that these rebels haven’t been armed before is ludicrous on it’s face. It is also ludicrous to believe that we know where all of the money, arms and ammunition will end up, or who will end up benefiting from these shipments. Why? Because we don’t know for sure who the groups all are,” Paul said. “Even when we think we do, loyalties shift and groups become amorphous, with alleged moderates lining up with jihadists. And finally, moderate groups have often sold their weapons or had them seized by the jihadist elements led by ISIS.”

McCain’s office, however, fiercely defends the notion that FSA is not working alongside ISIS.

“Also, these reports of some kind of ‘truce’ between the FSA and ISIS have also been debunked,” Rogers, McCain’s spokesman, told Breitbart News—citing a piece from the Daily Beast to back up his claims. “While there have been brief cease-fires between the groups to collect bodies of those killed during fighting, as this Josh Rogin article makes clear, there’s no ‘truce’ between FSA and ISIS.”

And maybe there is no formal “truce” between FSA and ISIS, but the reports of mass defections and quotes from FSA leaders and brigade commanders on record saying they are working with ISIS makes this much more complicated than the clear cut-and-dry issue the mainstream media have made it so as to rip Paul. When McCain’s office won’t name who exactly he met with, who exactly he’s photographed with—after last year admitting in public they didn’t know who he greeted in Syria—are we supposed to just take his word for it that some of those FSA leaders aren’t now working with ISIS—or maybe have outright joined ISIS, like that other FSA commander Poole and the Daily Star quote?