By James Kelley in the Tucson Citizen. Some excerpts:
The interesting rebuttal from McCain regarding the period of time from 1994-2006 about out of control spending being the reason Hayworth was rejected from Congress was interesting. I could swear John McCain was there too at the time. The remark was a bit of smoke and mirrors considering Mr. McCain’s own involvement with some of the lobbying that was done and the loopholes he carved out of the McCain –Feingold bill for the Indian Casinos.
Jim Deakin followed with something that made people ponder, “We need to have a conversation about the difference between immigration which is covered by the laws of immigration and naturalization and migration.” What? He is starting to sound like Raul Grijalva. Does Jim Deakin want to give the right of migration to Mexicans? “There are a lot of people that come here that don’t want to be naturalized citizens; they do come here to just to make their lives better.” What kind of mixed up policies is he talking about? He says no amnesty but he wants to give Mexicans the right to migrate for work. This is the kind of off messaging that has hindered Mr. Deakins campaign. Perhaps it may also be the reason that he has such little support in the GOP in general in Arizona and only very small splinter groups of TEA party organizations. This is precisely the kind of thing that will sink the Deakin campaign.
JD Hayworth was very smart and quick to pick up on Deakins comment about migration. Hayworth went into his strength on this issue. “The long term cost for Medicare and Social Security that you want to give illegals is 2.6 trillion dollars.” This was one of a couple of homeruns that Hayworth hit tonight and gave him the win in this debate.
The next five minutes was spent with McCain and Hayworth bantering back and forth over the attacks that McCain’s campaign has inundated the press with for the last month, Hayworth’s gaffe with the infomercial. JD did what John McCain has never done. He apologized for making a mistake. He also pointed out that the very people Hayworth did an infomercial for had given $11,000 to McCain’s campaign. Sounds like we now know the truth of how Brian Rogers “found” the infomercial.
On the economy, Hayworth said quite simply cut spending and cut taxes. McCain used his time to list his endorsements and tell us how bad it is.
Deakin again went off message and employed a libertarian answer calling into question the use of force as a tool and the War Powers Act of Congress. He wants to use trade and anti trade policies to enforce good behavior from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. His lack of education regarding matters of Southwest Asia and the Middle East was very apparent in his answer. This is a man that would be voting with the Democrats in the prosecution of force against terrorism. He wants to stop using the military as a police force with a country that has nuclear weapons and allow them to police themselves. His naiveté in these matters alone makes Mr. Deakin completely unqualified as a Senator. He would be voting with Obama on this and letting Pakistan threaten her neighbors with nuclear holocaust as has happened in the past in their conflicts with India. “Afghanistan is a sovereign nation and should be treated as such.” He said.
With regards to healthcare, Jim Deakin repeated the tea party line. The government needs to get out of healthcare decision making. Hayworth has strength in this due to his co-sponsoring of legislation for Health Savings Accounts. McCain repeated what he always said; quality is great cost is high. He said he wants to preserve quality and bring down costs. That sounds good but it has an assumption that government controls quality and cost. Hayworth’s free market approach is what works, not government driven regulation. McCain still has a foot in socialism when it comes to healthcare.
Bill Buckmaster did something that was very generous to all the candidates he gave them each a minute to “set the record straight, what is it that the others have said that really bugs you?” Hayworth hit it on the head when he said “it’s the millions of dollars in attack ads that John McCain has run against me.” JD reminded the Senator that given the choice of losing or lying, he chose lying. McCain responded “one should never get in a wrestling match with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it.” (I heard gasps in the audience watching the debate with me.)