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Dick Armey whitewashes John McCain’s fiscal irresponsibility record; Update: Armey walks it back

By Michelle Malkin  •  February 10, 2010 01:35 PM

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You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.

I mean, really. Come on:

As former Rep. J.D. Hayworth prepares to officially enter the Republican primary race against incumbent Sen. John McCain, he probably had better not count on any support from FreedomWorks, the national conservative group closely associated with the Tea Party movement.

In a telephone interview with The Arizona Republic, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, FreedomWorks’ chairman, delivered a surprisingly harsh assessment of Hayworth, with whom he served on Capitol Hill…

…Armey, who was House majority leader from 1995 to 2003, clearly came down on McCain’s side. “There’s nobody who can match McCain’s record on fiscal responsibility,” he said.

Over the last year, John McCain supported everything that the grass-roots Tea Party movement has stood against:

*The $700 billion all-purpose, earmark-stuffed TARP bailout;

*The $25 billion auto bailout;

*The $300 billion mortgage entitlement bailout; and

*The first $85 billion AIG bailout.

When push came to shove, McCain and his economic advisers (including his hand-picked California GOP Senate candidate, Carly Fiorina) caved to the Chicken Little chaos in Washington every time and joined hands with Barack Obama.

Reasonable people may disagree on whether J.D. Hayworth or John McCain deserves Arizona’s Senate seat.

Reasonable people may not assert that John McCain is an unsurpassed paragon of “fiscal responsibility.”


A reminder from Neil Cavuto last fall:

CAVUTO: “For the life of me, Senator Straight Talk, I see no such straight talk with yours…You rail against big government, yet continue to push cockamamie spending plans that make a mockery of it. That’s why you’re losing right now, Senator McCain. Not because you don’t have the courage of your convictions. But because on economic matters, you have no convictions, period.”


Reminder Number Two – Conservatives: Beware of McCain Regression Syndrome.


Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio — enemy number one in the Justice Department/DHS for his staunch enforcement of immigration laws — has endorsed Hayworth. He writes in a support letter:

“I just wish Senator McCain had run as hard against Barack Obama as he is against a conservative like J.D. That could have prevented the harmful, liberal agenda we are all now suffering through.”


FreedomWorks says that a New York Times article reporting that Armey has officially endorsed McCain is false. Well, how about correcting Armey’s all-but-official endorsement of McCain’s lousy fiscal record now?


Update 2/11. Armey walks it back…

A number of our members have asked about my recent interview regarding John McCain and the Arizona Senate race where I said: “There’s nobody who can match McCain’s record on fiscal responsibility.”

I was referring to his unparalleled record of fighting politically motivated earmarks. Very few of his colleagues can stand on that ground, but I should have been more clear. John McCain and many other Republicans did vote for TARP. They broke my heart by doing so.

Armey could have been even clearer. It’s not just that McCain voted for TARP. He crumbled. He rushed to embrace every other panicked bailout of failing companies. And these fiscal transgressions are just the tip of his progressive, big-government iceberg.