PHOENIX (AP) — On Saturday, Arizona Republican Party formally censured Sen. John McCain, citing a voting record they say is insufficiently conservative.
Per the Arizona GOP resolution, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee has campaigned as a conservative but has lent his support to issues “associated with liberal Democrats,” including immigration reform and funding ObamaCare.
Senator John McCain, along with Senate Republican leadership, were openly critical of Senator Ted Cruz and others who supported the “Don’t Fund It” effort, or the effort to defund ObamaCare that led to the government shutdown.
The resolution to censure McCain was adopted by a voice-vote during a meeting of state committee members in Tempe, state party spokesman Tim Sifert said. It required signatures from at least 20 percent of state committee members in order to consider the resolution on the floor for debate.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers declined to comment on the censure, but Tim Sifert said that they were considering no further action.
McCain isn’t up for re-election until 2016, when the long-serving senator will turn 80. Senator McCain was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and won his Senate seat in 1986.
He announced in October that he was considering running for a sixth term.
Several Republican county committees recently censured McCain. Timothy Schwartz, the Legislative District 30 Republican chairman who co-wrote the resolution, said the censure showed that McCain was losing support from his own party, a party who once nominated him for the 2008 presidential election.
“We would gladly embrace Sen. McCain if he stood behind us and represented us,” Schwartz said.
Fred DuVal, the Democrat who plans to run for Arizona governor, responded to the news of John McCain censured an “outrageous response to the good work Sen. McCain did crafting a reasonable solution to fix our broken immigration system.”
McCain has been dogged by conservatives objecting to his views on immigration and campaign finance, which he worked on with former Democrat Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, as well as other issues. The criticism of McCain’s record goes way back, starting since he first ran for Congress in 1982.
But conservative Republican activists were really concerned with his moderate-liberal positions during his failed bid for the 2000 presidential nomination.