June 7th, 2007
04:14 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain backer quits over immigration bill

A McCain backer in South Carolina resigned Thursday over the presidential hopeful's immigration stance.

ATLANTA (CNN) – A county chairman for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in South Carolina has quit over the Arizona Republican's support of the immigration bill.

“There is a very wide gulf between what I believe as a conservative South Carolina Republican and what Senator McCain is pushing for with this bill. It is an extremely weighty matter,” David Nix, McCain’s Aiken County chairman, told CNN

In a brief resignation letter to the campaign, Nix said McCain “can’t read the pulse of the American citizens” on immigration.

Nix also told CNN he joined the McCain campaign because of a long friendship with State Attorney General Henry McMaster, McCain’s state co-chairman.

"I was hopeful Senator McCain might bring some leadership to the race early on, I hope he would be able to keep his nose clean, but I’m afraid he’s not been able to do that," Nix said.

He said the immigration issue was behind his final decision to drop his support, but added McCain had “a couple of bumps since I got on board....when the spotlight gets on him, he just starts to lose his focus. He loses his cool and composure.”

Nix said he has not yet decided who to back in the primary, but noted that he is “waiting to see what Fred Thompson does. I like him on the surface.”

For now, Nix said, he is going to “step back” before making any decisions.

McCain's campaign responded to the resignation by releasing a statement from McMaster in support of the Arizona Republican.

“Most people understand it's never possible to agree with any leader on every single issue," McMaster said. "John McCain has 80 county chairs and co-chairs in South Carolina - plus hundreds of other endorsements from Republican elected officials and party activists all across South Carolina, more than any other presidential candidate.

“Those of us on John McCain's team admire him for his courage, his honesty and his willingness to take a stand," he added. "He is clearly the best prepared to lead our nation in the war against global terror."

- CNN's Steve Brusk

Filed under: Immigration • John McCain
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Gilbert Davis, Erewhon Florida

    I applaud the county chairman for taking a stand and resigning for the McCain campaign. McCain has taken a dangerous Bush like mental turn in supporting Illegal Immigration and Amnesty in the face of overwhelming opposition from Republicans and other people who believe Border Security is the most important issue to be addressed first. McCain's total disregard for the opinions of people he is asking to vote for him is indicative of how he would govern – without the consent of the people as Bush does. He once had a chance to get my vote but not any longer.

    June 7, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. G Halpin, Castle Rock, CO

    I always find it humorous regarding how 'unscientific' the online polls are (despite many sites only allowing 1 vote per IP address vs. the 'scientific' ones conducted by the media. Funny because I am allowed to vote in any online poll, but I have never been polled, nor do I know anyone who has been polled in one of these so-called 'reliable' polls. I've asked about 25 friends and none of them have ever been polled, and also don't know anyone who has been polled. It makes me question who is running these polls and how accurate they truly are.

    June 7, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. shankar, newark, de

    You made a right decision at right time. John McCain is one of the worst candidate for president.
    If you are still interested in campaining and campaining with good heart then try to join Ron paul campain. You may not be paid as much as with others but at the end you will be satisfied for the decision that you make.

    June 7, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Darcy Claxton GA

    McCains a sell out. Selling Americans jobs away by rewarding criminals in this country...putting them in front of people who come here legally and do the right thing. What a joke....Ron Paul is the only canidate with any common since about foreign policy and immagration and firm beleiver in the constitution.

    June 7, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Jhoffa_, Cincinnati Ohio

    Well, he's right about that. McCain is completely oblivious to much of what middle thinks and believes.

    IMVHO, he's a media creation and I have yet to meet one, single person, in real life who supports him.

    If there's a "Conspiracy" on the part of anyone's supporters to garner more media time and attention than their candidate rightfully deserves, based on his own words, actions and voting record.. I'd say you've got that in the McCain camp.

    June 7, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Katie

    Uhhh...helloooo....Must I say it again?
    Americans DONOT want ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.( For McCain and his campaign camp) It is funny now that I think of it, I've never met a potential mccain voter either...You just may have something here Jhoffa.

    June 7, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. Ron Stiles, Williamsburg VA

    McCain and Gulliani are the only Republican candidates willing to say what they believe is right rather than to court what it is believed the polls are saying. It's not true that the middle wants to throw out all illegals. The middle wants common sense, we want secure borders, we want illegals who are criminals (aside from being illegal) deported, we don't want to support them with welfare, we are fed up with illegals who drive drunk and without licenses and forge false paperwork. Our lack of immigration reform amplifies the problem, forcing illegals to use forged paperwork to survive. But, the middle is just fine with hard working illegals who are here to try and make a better life and not just suck us dry. We also know that many of the sons and daughters of illegals are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, showing their appreciation of what America has done for their families. If you took the sons and daughters of illegals out of the US military, it would create a very noticeable hole. McCain knows that it is not logical to support the deportation of all illegals, he knows that we need to stop the flow of illegals across our border, he is standing up in the face of the opposition of his own party for what he sees as right. We as Americans allowed this problem over many years and now we need to get down to the hard work of fixing it the right way and discard rhetoric. Those that think it can be fixed by breaking apart families and deporting 12 million people do not understand the scope of that task nor its impact on our economy. If McCain or Gulliani are on the ticket in 2008, the y have my vote. If its another republican just trying to please the polls, my vote is up for grabs.

    June 8, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  8. Eric Florack

    Thompson isn’t a major threat to McCain. McCain is a major threat to McCain… the single biggest threat, in fact. Thompson is simply being Conservative, which will invariably beat someone like McCain.

    Wanna know why Bush won the Republican primary in 2000, and not John McCain? It’s rather simple; Bush, Liberal has he can be, was by far the preferable choice to conservatives, as compared to John McCain.

    This is further confirmed, currently, by Rudy Giuliani, who happens to be leading McCain in the polls by a significant margin at the moment. Once again, Giuliani as liberal as he is, and has a history of being, is to the right of John McCain. He is therefore more popular among voters…. And in the race between Thompson and Giuliani, Thompson wins for the same reason.

    The lesson here is that, as I have said in these spaces many times previously, there is a genuine hunger for someone in the White House, and in Congress, who actually operates in the realm known as “right of center”. To the degree that Thompson qualifies, is precisely the degree to which he has gathered a following in this presidential race. Time, I think, has run out for Republicans in name only.
    This is not a situation where, as John Dowd suggests in the Mosk article, the central issue is whether are not McCain’s campaign is being run well. The American people in general, and the Republican rank and file in particular, are not that stupid, so as to follow the best run campaign, IF the best run campaign doesn’t have any conservative substance to it. They have apparently decided (correctly, I think ) that McCain’s campaign does not in fact of the conservative substance to it. Indeed, it can be said that the reason McCain’s campaign is failing, is because it reflects the candidate too well. The McCain campaign doesn’t reflect any conservative substance, because McCain doesn’t have any himself.


    June 8, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. evan,columbiana,ohio

    Mr.David Nix thanks for standing up for the true Americans.At one time I was all for the mccain band wagon but it seems he has chosen to side with largest number of buffons in washington.thanks for reading this pulse.

    June 10, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |