During last month's State of the Union speech, Obama mirrored a line that McCain often used during the 2008 campaign: that even climate skeptics can support a cap on emissions because it promotes U.S. competitiveness and incentivizes clean energy.
McCain's allies said he has tried to lay low on the climate issue in recent months with the hopes of not riling up Arizona's conservative base and Hayworth's prospective candidacy.
"You probably have to wait until after the primary," said Norm Ornstein, a congressional expert at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute. "Senator McCain has veered away from previous positions on a number of issues for now. But that's not necessarily going to last forever."
"The political climate has changed, and that's why you see this campaign-year conversion in John McCain," said J.D. Hayworth, who represented the Phoenix suburbs for 12 years, in an interview yesterday.
"I believe his famous quote is, 'I don't see how you can be a conservative and not support cap and trade.'" Hayworth said, referring to a line McCain often used during the presidential campaign. "Well, I sure can. And most Arizonans can."