J.D. Hayworth’s Drudge ad irks John McCain

A banner on the Drudge Report mocks McCain -- and provokes an outcry from his campaign

Topics: J.D. Hayworth, War Room, 2010 Elections, John McCain, R-Ariz.,

J.D. Hayworth's Drudge ad irks John McCain

It’s pretty early into the Republican primary campaign between Sen. John McCain and former Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth. But two things are already clear: McCain and his staff don’t like Hayworth much — and Hayworth may well spend the rest of the campaign trying to poke McCain in the eye politically, just to provoke a reaction.

On Thursday afternoon, McCain aides blasted out a press release that at first seemed a little cryptic. The text:

PHOENIX, AZ — U.S. Senator John McCain’s re-election campaign today released the following statement by Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl calling on ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth to immediately apologize and take down his new online ad insulting Senator McCain running on the Drudge Report:

“Ads like this have no place in the Republican primary, and J.D. Hayworth should immediately take it down and apologize.” — Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl

Helpfully, McCain’s campaign included a link to the ad, which had, indeed, been running on the top of the Drudge Report for about an hour. It features McCain, painted to look like a Navi’i warrior, from the movie “Avatar.” (Get it? Because the Oscars are coming up, and McCain is up for “best conservative actor” in the ad?) If they hadn’t done that, of course, it’s not clear anyone would have ever seen the image that got Kyl so worked up; I hadn’t, until I got the press release in my e-mail, and within about 10 minutes, it had been replaced on Drudge with a Netflix promo.

Not long afterwards, McCain aides sent out another statement, from campaign manager Shiree Verdone. “Ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth should immediately apologize and and take down his latest online ad, which is an outrageous offense to John McCain’s lifetime of honorable service to our state and nation, and insulting to Native Americans here in Arizona and across America,” Verdone said. “Mr. Hayworth is welcome to debate the challenges facing our state and nation, but this kind of character assassination has no place in the Republican Party, and Mr. Hayworth should ashamed of his campaign for running it.”



To be fair, Hayworth’s camp says there were two versions of the ad — one, in which McCain’s face was tinted blue, made it a little more clear that he was supposed to be an “Avatar” character, while the one the McCain campaign linked to just looked like he had paint on his face. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers brushed off a question about the movie reference. “Whatever it is, it’s insulting!” he e-mailed.

Here’s the original version (the all-blue version is at the top of the story):

At any rate, the volume of the response showed how eager McCain’s team is to crush Hayworth. The two men didn’t like each other much when Hayworth served in the House (and constantly needled McCain over immigration, back when McCain supported reforming the nation’s immigration laws), and they don’t seem to like each other much in the campaign (in which Hayworth is… constantly needling McCain over immigration). Considering Hayworth trailed by more than 20 points in a poll in January, McCain may be sending him more attention than he needs to at the moment by highlighting the ad.

Meanwhile, Hayworth advisor Jason Rose said the ad was “moving the needle” on fundraising. But in the first hour it was up on Drudge, Rose tells Salon, it brought in about $3,000. Sure, that’s only an hour, and McCain may well have helped promote the ad. But at that kind of fundraising pace, Hayworth should be competitive financially with McCain by 2015 — maybe 2014 if he really steps it up.

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 7
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    AP/Jae C. Hong

    Your summer in extreme weather

    California drought

    Since May, California has faced a historic drought, resulting in the loss of 63 trillion gallons of water. 95.4 percent of the state is now experiencing "severe" drought conditions, which is only a marginal improvement from 97.5 percent last week.

    A recent study published in the journal Science found that the Earth has actually risen about 0.16 inches in the past 18 months because of the extreme loss of groundwater. The drought is particularly devastating for California's enormous agriculture industry and will cost the state $2.2 billion this year, cutting over 17,000 jobs in the process.

       

    Meteorologists blame the drought on a large zone (almost 4 miles high and 2,000 miles long) of high pressure in the atmosphere off the West Coast which blocks Pacific winter storms from reaching land. High pressure zones come and go, but this one has been stationary since December 2012.

    Darin Epperly

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Great Plains tornadoes

    From June 16-18 this year, the Midwest was slammed by a series of four tornadoes, all ranking as category EF4--meaning the winds reached up to 200 miles per hour. An unlucky town called Pilger in Nebraska was hit especially hard, suffering through twin tornadoes, an extreme event that may only occur every few decades. The two that swept through the town killed two people, injured 16 and demolished as many as 50 homes.   

    "It was terribly wide," local resident Marianne Pesotta said to CNN affiliate KETV-TV. "I drove east [to escape]. I could see how bad it was. I had to get out of there."   

    But atmospheric scientist Jeff Weber cautions against connecting these events with climate change. "This is not a climate signal," he said in an interview with NBC News. "This is a meteorological signal."

    AP/Detroit News, David Coates

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Michigan flooding

    On Aug. 11, Detroit's wettest day in 89 years -- with rainfall at 4.57 inches -- resulted in the flooding of at least five major freeways, leading to three deaths, more than 1,000 cars being abandoned on the road and thousands of ruined basements. Gov. Rick Snyder declared it a disaster. It took officials two full days to clear the roads. Weeks later, FEMA is finally set to begin assessing damage.   

    Heavy rainfall events are becoming more and more common, and some scientists have attributed the trend to climate change, since the atmosphere can hold more moisture at higher temperatures. Mashable's Andrew Freedman wrote on the increasing incidence of this type of weather: "This means that storms, from localized thunderstorms to massive hurricanes, have more energy to work with, and are able to wring out greater amounts of rain or snow in heavy bursts. In general, more precipitation is now coming in shorter, heavier bursts compared to a few decades ago, and this is putting strain on urban infrastructure such as sewer systems that are unable to handle such sudden influxes of water."

    AP/The Fresno Bee, Eric Paul Zamora

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Yosemite wildfires

    An extreme wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park forced authorities to evacuate 13,000 nearby residents, while the Madera County sheriff declared a local emergency. The summer has been marked by several wildfires due to California's extreme drought, which causes vegetation to become perfect kindling.   

    Surprisingly, however, firefighters have done an admirable job containing the blazes. According to the L.A. Times, firefighters with the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have fought over 4,000 fires so far in 2014 -- an increase of over 500 fires from the same time in 2013.

    Reuters/Eugene Tanner

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Hawaii hurricanes

    Hurricane Iselle was set to be the first hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii in 22 years. It was downgraded to a tropical storm and didn't end up being nearly as disastrous as it could have been, but it still managed to essentially shut down the entire state for a day, as businesses and residents hunkered down in preparation, with many boarding up their windows to guard against strong gusts. The storm resulted in downed trees, 21,000 people out of power and a number of damaged homes.

    Debbie Arita, a local from the Big Island described her experience: "We could hear the wind howling through the doors. The light poles in the parking lot were bobbing up and down with all the wind and rain."

    Reuters/NASA

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Florida red tide

    A major red tide bloom can reach more than 100 miles along the coast and around 30 miles offshore. Although you can't really see it in the above photo, the effects are devastating for wildlife. This summer, Florida was hit by an enormous, lingering red tide, also known as a harmful algae bloom (HAB), which occurs when algae grow out of control. HABs are toxic to fish, crabs, octopuses and other sea creatures, and this one resulted in the death of thousands of fish. When the HAB gets close enough to shore, it can also have an effect on air quality, making it harder for people to breathe.   

    The HAB is currently closest to land near Pinellas County in the Gulf of Mexico, where it is 5-10 miles offshore.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>