May 25th, 2010
07:05 PM ET
8 years ago

McCain camp: Hayworth among the 'dumbest'

A McCain campaign Web video refers to his primary opponent J.D. Hayworth one of the 'dumbest' people previously in Congress.

A McCain campaign Web video refers to his primary opponent J.D. Hayworth one of the 'dumbest' people previously in Congress.

Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign is out with a scathing new ad against the senator's Republican primary opponent, calling J.D. Hayworth among the "dumbest" people previously in Congress. Now Hayworth's campaign is firing back, suggesting the ad is shameless. Hayworth's campaign also claims that McCain – a celebrated war veteran – is using America's World War II heroes "as a political tool."

The Web ad from the McCain campaign, titled "Hayworth History Lesson," was released Tuesday and is presented in a style reminiscent of an old, black-and-white newsreel.

It opens with a clip – dated May 20 - of Hayworth saying: "The war that Dwight Eisenhower led in Europe against the Third Reich was never declared by the United States Congress. Germany declared war on us two days later. We never formally declared war on Hitler's Germany."

As the ad continues, a man's voice is heard apparently trying to correct Hayworth. "I think we did," the voice says.

Hayworth then is heard saying, "Yeah, I think we should check it."

In fact, the U.S. declared war against Germany in December of 1941.

At the end of the ad an announcer says, "J.D. Hayworth. Is it any wonder he was voted among the dumbest members of Congress?"

The ad cites a 2006 Radar Online list that slams Hayworth as being among "America's 10 Dumbest Members of Congress."

Hayworth served in Congress for for six terms until his 2006 defeat.

In a statement, McCain communications Director Brian Rogers said, "Congressman Hayworth's failure to understand the basic details of such a major event betrays his tenuous grasp on American history."

Now Hayworth's campaign is firing back. In a biting statement to CNN, spokesman Mark Sanders acknowledged that Hayworth spoke in error.

But Sanders called it "a mistake that the McCain camp is trying to shamelessly use to distract voters from the real issues." "…it is politics at its worst, which is what we have come to expect from John McCain."

Sanders also accused McCain of using World War II veterans for political gain. "As we approach Memorial Day, we honor the men and women of the Greatest Generation for their service. McCain uses them as a political tool," he said.

"The real question is not who misspoke about an event nearly seventy years ago, but who has the faulty memory about events happening today," Sanders added.

Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • J.D. Hayworth • John McCcain
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. nowaybro

    Coming from the guy who can't remember how many houses he owns.

    May 25, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Randi

    Dumbest. Takes one to know one, Senator.

    May 25, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. No Incumbents 2010

    McCain just lost the election by making an ad hominem personal attack instead of focusing on policy issues. McCain was Bush's number one cheerleader in the invasion of Iraq to rid the world of Hussein's non-existent WMD. McCain did nothing to prevent the 2008-09 recession and cooperated with Bush in exploding the national debt. during 2000-2006 Republican Rule.

    May 25, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. Jack Ziegler

    Let's face it one of these guys is an old fool and the other is just a fool!

    May 25, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Karl in Charleston,SC

    A mistake is saying you served in Viet Nam. No,wait, that's mis-speak.

    May 25, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom (the real one)

    Funny watching McCain v. Hayworth! Guess what dude, you are both pretty dumb!

    May 25, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    "The Web ad from the McCain campaign, titled "Hayworth History Lesson," was released Tuesday and is presented in a style reminiscent of an old, black-and-white newsreel."

    Old man McCain probably thinks old newsreels are cutting edge and hip. Just don't let him near one of those new-fangled aeroplanes or you'll be sorry. Have a nice day!

    May 25, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    How about the shameless use of 9/11 by the GOP? I've never seen so many people benefit from a tragedy as W, McCain, Hayworth and the whole GOP. Let's be honest, shall we?

    On the subject of McCain/Hayworth: its a battle of wits between unarmed opponants.

    May 25, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Girl Friday

    "Dumbest"? REALLY? Not that I know a thing about Hayworth's intellectual capacity or the measurement thereof. I DO know that the term "dumbest" is just really not quantifiable, nor adult-sounding, nor fact-based sounding. In fact, it sounds downright junior high school-ish. Hayworth's retort in his ad however, "shameless" is an apt description of McCain's behavior in this instance (and probably quite a few other instances).

    May 25, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Doug

    Give it up Hayworth. You don't stand a chance against McCain.

    May 25, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. Dennis

    And this coming from "John, the economy is fundamentally strong McCain"?

    May 25, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  12. Vic of New York

    This hot-head punk, got himself shot down in Vietnam through stupidity and likes to pawn himself off as a "hero" with military creds.

    Of course, he can't tell the difference between Shiites and Sunni in Iraq! Now he wants to pawn himself as a Conservative snake.

    Good Luck McCain. Like the man said, "Somewhere along the road, the wheels came off the Straight-Talk Express!"

    May 25, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. elizabeth, sacramento

    Education can cure "dumb." Nothing can help McCain's obvious senility.

    May 25, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    This si the "New McCain" from the 2008 race in its closing days.
    The names his camp called Obama then didn't work and neither will these.
    Too bad this once honored stateman has lowered himself to this in the past 2 years.
    Enjoy retirement Senator.

    May 25, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. CanadaOne

    GOP Biggest Terrorist Threat to North America

    Just by their sheer stupidity!

    If they cross the border into Canada, we will strip search them!!!

    Just in case they try to smuggle a tea bagger up there….a


    May 25, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Erik

    McCain's no mental giant by any mean, i.e., 894th out of 899th at West Point. Granted it's West Point, but he was assured legacy entrance because of his father and grandfather, each of whom were high-ranking Coast Guarders.

    May 25, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. Robert in GA

    This is getting good. I'm suprised Hayworth hasn't brought up the fact that McCain crashed five planes before finally getting captured. Everytime JM opens his mouth he sounds more and more desperate.

    May 25, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  18. Linda

    can't believe tthat McCain is so concerned about Hayworth being dumb. Look who he chose as his VP nominee.

    May 25, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. key

    We really don't need any non intelligent people in the Senate for God sakes. these people make laws for the US we need that govern for the people not their party or person agendas.

    May 25, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. icedcoffee

    Wow! The audacity to call someone dumb after picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. She is dumber than dumb.

    May 25, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  21. America can do better

    Finally something I can agree with McCain on 🙂

    May 25, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Josi

    Let the fun begin – McCan't remember what he used to stand for is in for it – not that Hayworth is any better – just love that McCan't get it up is gonna have to fight to keep the status quo Washington insider spot he's got. - Goodbye McCain – if you had been an upstanding person this might be sad – but as your flippin and floppin has shown – you're total trash

    May 25, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Sounds like the Toddlers from Arizona both need a time-out ...

    May 25, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    With apologies to third-graders around the world: Sounds like the little boys from Arizona both need a time-out ...

    May 25, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. Get A Grip

    Wonder if McCain will still feel that way about Hayworth when Hayworth cleans McCain's clock at the voting polls.

    May 25, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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