April 21st, 2009
02:43 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain gets conservative primary challenger

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/21/art.simcox.gi.jpg caption="Simcox will challenge John McCain in a Senate primary."](CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain - whose support of illegal immigration reform nearly derailed his presidential bid two years ago - will face a Senate primary challenge next year from Minuteman founder Chris Simcox.

Simcox, who has resigned from the volunteer organization with the mission of preventing illegal crossings of the U.S. border, will formally announce his Senate bid on Wednesday.

"John McCain has failed miserably in his duty to secure this nation's borders and protect the people of Arizona from the escalating violence and lawlessness," Simcox said in a statement. "He has fought real efforts over the years at every turn, opting to hold our nation's border security hostage to his amnesty schemes."

"Coupled with his votes for reckless bailout spending and big government solutions to our nation's problems, John McCain is out of touch with everyday Arizonans. Enough is enough," he added.

McCain's presidential hopes were nearly dashed after teaming up with Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, a measure that provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.

McCain later backtracked from calling for a path to citizenship and, at a CNN debate in January 2008, said he would not have voted for the legislation if it reached the Senate floor.

"No, I would not, because we know what the situation is today," he said of voting for the bill he sponsored. "The people want the borders secured first."

A week before Monday's Homeland Security field hearing on border security in Phoenix, Arizona, McCain criticized the Obama administration's plan for immigration reform.

He said he could not support the plan, which he said "does not adequately address either securing the border or a legal temporary worker program."

"We need to act on the pressing issue of border security now, and then seek comprehensive immigration legislation that includes a temporary worker program," McCain said in a statement April 14. "Any legislation that does not address these two key components is not real reform."

McCain did not face a primary challenger in 2004 and won reelection with over 75 percent of the vote.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. judesuper

    Good. McCain doesn't own that senate seat.

    April 21, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Dee

    McCain might as well be running against David Duke. Simcox has an extremely Troubled Past as reported by the SPLC:


    April 21, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Shirley In California

    Go Simcox! McCain's military service will always be appreciated and he has been rewarded for that. It is now time to give someone else a chance and what he failed miserably in doing.

    April 21, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Texan

    Simcox is a whack job that should not even be allowed to visit a public office yet alone run for one. I do believe, being a Texan, that border security is an issue that should be addressed sensibly. Immigration reform needs to addressed sensibly, and compassionaetly with regards to families and the economy. Let's be realistic Chris Simcox's white a$$ is not going to become a landscapper, or drywaller, or do any other job that is currently performed by Latinos and Mexicans. Let's continue to dance with devil that we know being Sen. John McCain, because every now and again he accidentally makes sense.

    April 21, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. maf

    Here's your chance Arizona! The opportunity to retire John McCain.

    April 21, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GO SIMCOX! Let's make McCain part of our ancient history, along with Bush and his henchmen.

    April 21, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. S In ME

    Hope you win dude, John McCain needs to retire.

    April 21, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Jackie in Dallas

    Senator McCain faces more opposition than just from conservatives. The people of Arizona probably would like someone who is willing to work WITH the President and other members of Congress, rather than just being a "maverick"!

    April 21, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Irma in North Carolina

    I hope he beats Mccain by a landslide. That will be one less republican we have to listen to making nasty remarks and along with his buddys going against every thing the president is trying to do. I think he should listen to his daughter she as twice as many brains as John has.

    April 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Da Professor

    i cannot wait until Mr. Simcox voices his ideas as to how to seal our border with Mexico. The bloody thing is over 2,000 miles long and there is a large body of water on either end. Want to make that 700 mile fence a couple miles longer Mr. Simcox? Want to build a fence across the entire southern border Mr. Simcox? Lets hear those brilliant ideas Mr. Simcox.

    April 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    OH what a suprise...he has a crazed look in his eyes.

    April 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Independent-Gurnee, IL

    Someone needs to get this old coot out of office, may as well be this guy.

    April 21, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. gl, Pittsburgh

    Best new I heard all day. Go we need some young blood in the Senate so the USA can move forward for the older senator that can not move forward.

    April 21, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Please vote for Simcox !!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Ennis, LA

    A senator who does not know what he's voting for doesn't deserve another six years in office. It's time he retires. We don't need someone his age not understanding what he's sponsoring and
    voting for that affects all of us.

    April 21, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Deb

    I hope simcox wins. Where can I make a donation

    April 21, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Jaywood

    Another clown that has the answers to Immigration Reform.

    April 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Richard Larson

    Go ahead, run the best race you can and beat each other up to the point that a democrat can win that seat and help lead this country out of the abyss the GOP ran it into.

    April 21, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    I HOPE McCain looses.. its time to put him out to pasture! Learn to use the internet John, that should keep you busy for a few years..

    April 21, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. LA

    jOHN McCain lost the election mainly because of Palin. Everytime she spoke people gave more to the democrats. If he had picked a rujning mate who had any intelligence at all, it may have been another outcome.

    Sure Palin got the religious right, the racists, the neo-nazis and the skinheads, but thtat drove independents and some sane Republicans away!

    April 21, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Common Sense 09

    Now maybe he just might go ahead and retire...because he really is out of touch with everything possible from the computer to the economy to the country to his political stands, which change with every debate!

    April 21, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Husman

    Simcoxx fixation with the one side issue of immigration is a distraction and an insult to the sensibilities of Arizonians .In the mind of him and his ardent close the boarder followers, immigration into America will be a one sided approach favoring people that looks like the simcoxx to the rude disrespect to those they see as different.

    April 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Sharon Kitchen

    well there ya go..............John......now you have a task.....you have a new challenger.

    April 21, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. ch

    John McCain deserves to be defeated based on the poor judgement he used in selecting his VP running mate.

    But demonizing undocumented immigrants to win an election is just wrong and irresponsible.

    Hopefully there wil be a strong challanger from the Democratic side so we can paint AZ blue!

    April 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. kefa


    April 21, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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