January 23rd, 2010
12:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Hayworth says he will challenge McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/23/art.hayworth.gi.jpg caption="Hayworth says he will challenge McCain."](CNN) - Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona says he's planning to challenge fellow Republican John McCain for his senate seat.

The former six-term congressman stepped down Friday as host of his conservative talk radio program on a radio station in Phoenix.

"We will formally announce at a later time, but we're moving forward to challenge John McCain," Hayworth told the Associated Press. "I think we all respect John. I think his place in history is secure. But after close to a quarter-century in Washington, it's time for him to come home."

Shiree Verdone, McCain's campaign manager, said in a statement, "Senator McCain has always taken every challenge seriously, and is confident with the help and support from the people of Arizona that he will be re-elected to the United States Senate."

Hayworth would not have been able to continue hosting a radio program and also legally run for federal office. Hayworth was ousted from Congress in the 2006 election and has hosted the radio show for the past few years.

"It has been a joy to spend weekday afternoons on KFYI. Now, another chapter begins. The call to public service remains, and again it may very well lead to pursuit of public office," Hayworth said in a statement posted on the radio station's website.

Hayworth told AP that a recent "outpouring of support" from people in Arizona asking him to run changed his mind about challenging McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee and four-term senator who's up for re-election this year.

McCain's already facing a primary challenge from Chris Simcox, a co-founder of the Minuteman movement.  Simcox announced his candidacy last April and then resigned from the volunteer organization, which tries to prevent illegal crossings of the U.S. border. McCain's past support of immigration reform legislation in Congress nearly derailed his presidential bid two years ago.

Wednesday McCain's running mate in 2008, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, announced she would travel to Arizona to campaign with McCain in March. Palin is very popular with many voters on the right, and her teaming up with McCain could help him with some Republican voters who question his commitment to conservative values and goals.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and David DeSola contributed to this report.

Filed under: J.D. Hayworth • John McCain
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. joel palmer

    Even if Mccain can prevail over Hayworth; he will be seriously damaged goods for a serious democratic challenge.

    It's time for him to go

    January 23, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    You go J.D. I to like McCain but it's time to put him out to pasture. And while we're at it, let's retire Pelosi, Reid and all the other far left whack jobs that have the gall to call themselves democrats. Let's just get rid of any an all incumbents.

    January 23, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. cm

    May God have mercy on each one of us !

    January 23, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Adalbert

    Good news. McCain should retire. He is too old. Hayworth, on other hand, is a typical conservative gold digger, an excellent choice for congress.

    January 23, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. all the news that's fit to omit

    Excellent, I respect McCain and a a fellow vet I always will, BUT like the rest of the "lifelong" ofice holders it is TIME FOR SOME NEW IDEAS AND NEW PEOPLE.

    See Republicans from Mass just "aint" ticked of and sick and tired of you liberals, we across the board want NEW PEOPLE and McCain's time in Arizona should be up.

    Thank you for your service John, JD Hayworth is a good man and a fellow Vet and I HOPE HE WINS.

    January 23, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. Mike, FL

    Sounds like another right wing teabager!

    January 23, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Craig

    GO HAYWORTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Seattle Sue

    I don't like Hayworth at all, but I dislike McCain more. Hayworth failed as a Congressman so maybe the Arizona voters will fail him again. McCain should just go back home to one of his mansions and enjoy his wife's money.

    January 23, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. hobart

    Of course the loathsomely dishonest Haworth is challenging Senator McCain. The 20% authoritarian lunatic fringe, whose MO is closer to the Nazis than to the Party of Lincoln (just read some of Hitler's early writings and compare those to the daily tripe put forth by the leaders of the Republican Party (Rush, Glenn, Ann, Sean, JD himself, etc., and if you didn't know the authors in advance, you would not be able to tell Hitler from them), for them McCain in just not conservative enough, Nazi enough to their liking. Sure he was a convenient stepping stone to their ultimate control of creating a Nazi-esque, right wing, lunatic theocracy, but now they're happy to throw him under the bus, like they did with Sandra Day O'Conner.

    Why do these Republicans hate America?

    And more importantly, why does American let them take over? Have we learned nothing from world history that political movements based on hate, based on so demonizing the them in their loathsome us/them mentality that dishonesty, character assassination and violence are acceptable are disastrous?

    January 23, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Mark

    I live in Arizona and I'm not a fan of McCain and the other one Kyl is worse, but these two seem normal compared to a border vigilante, the sportscaster JD Hayseed, the Rush/Beck wannabe, and the most popular politcian in AZ the crazy brown skin hating Sheriff Joe. I think the people of AZ will continue to embarass themselves by continually electing insane power hungry morons. For everyone who complains about Chicago politics, you need a lesson in AZ politics.

    January 23, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Steve, NY

    I think Simcox and Hayworth both have a chance to beat McCain, unless he gets rid of Palin. Politicaslly, Palin is not popular like he thinks she is. This may be a Waterloo for McCain. Also, McCain is not a true Republican any more. His stand on illegal immigration is out of touch with the Republican voting majority.
    His selecting Palin as a running mate questions his judgement.
    It must be the old age that does it.
    Anyway, Good Luck to the people of Arizona.

    January 23, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Dee, 1 Vote

    Sen McCain, the clock is ringing!!! President Obama is the "Youth of 2000!! It's not RNC or DNC, Its not Mom and Dad its US!!

    January 23, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. mario ca

    Watch the cash$$$$$$$$$

    January 23, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Jasper

    Agreed. It's time for John Mccain to retire.

    January 23, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. John in Arizona

    Arizona needs a fresh voice in the US Senate, but it isn't J.D. Hayworth. He isn't any better than MCain who has grown completely out of touch with reality, if he was ever in touch. Hayworth would be even worse than McCain. Arizona surely has someone better than either of those two to represent it in the US Senate.

    January 23, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    Anything to get McCain out of office would be a good thing. All he has to run on is his past service which includes a captured and crashing four planes. He was captured because he was a bad pilot and his senate record is nothing spectacular. Having Palin help will make him easy to beat

    January 23, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Too Middle of the Road

    The problem with McCain is that you can't tell him from the Democratic opposition? His too middle of the road agenda has separated him from the base. Everyone appreciates what he has done in the Senate but too many times he has supported effort such as Immigration Reform and the TARRP spending. He is not a fiscally conservative leader and his campaign for president, specifically his failure to properly vet Palin was a severe blow to his image.

    January 23, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. pat c.

    i don't know this man but he has to be better than john mccain! macains time has come an gone. the government needs fresh blood on both sides to ever gain my respect again. i pray that all the old white stuffy men are voted out both dems an republicans. the NO gang needs to be replaced with young thinkers that can actually work with our president with both sides watching out for the good of our country instead of themselves for a change.

    January 23, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    J.D. Hayworth will beat McCain. The only people that support McCain are the old retired people in Sun City, AZ who have lots of money. McCain has done nothing for Arizonians, they don't respect him and they want him gone. J.D. Hayworth is a good man and he will win.

    January 23, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Phuq Ewe

    Great, that's what America needs – another closed minded, middle-class hater, destroyer of the environment, health care access opponent, caterer to the rich dip stick. What we need is 5 new Supreme Court appointees who will reverse the dumb ass decision made to give corporations carte blanche control of our govrnment through unlimited financial contribution. Because of these 5 mofo Gestapo Overpowering Pricks (GOP), corporations, banks, and stock holders are now able to hold democracy hostage to their evil greedy desires to turn America into a giant Temple of Consumerism and unstoppable greed at the expense of the rights of the people. The Supreme Court just took the Constitution and wiped their asses with it. Corporations now have more rights than individuals. These 5 Supreme Court justices deserve to live a life infected with AIDS, and then be crucified upside down and pissed on in the face by everyone whose rights they just flushed down the toilet. Hopefully they will all be killed in a terrible car accident or catch H1N1 and die leaving nothing of themselves to remember but the fact that they died in pain and excrutiating agony with boils and sores all over their scummy infested bodies after being abandoned in an alley where rabid dogs and rats chew their flesh and munch on their brains.

    January 23, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. james P.

    This article called "McCain gets Big Challenge" on the Main CNN page

    But here, it is "Hayworth says he will challenge McCain" and nothing is
    said about a "Big Challenge"

    This sensational and misleading procedure is becoming a pattern at CNN and a symbol of its progressive decay. I am really sorry for the minority ofgood people remaining in this organization, so great in the past!

    January 23, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Terry Fartzberg

    McCain is a joke, but Heywood is a cancer on humanity.

    January 23, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. bart

    It may be time for McClain to retire, but Haywood is a right wing nut and not what Arizona needs to represent them effectively.

    January 23, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. katiec

    When I think of talk show hosts, my mind naturally goes to radicals like Limbaugh, Beck etc. Do not know if this guy fits into that category but imagine he comes close.
    It is past time for McCain to retire. And to have Palin campaign for him shows he still just does not get it.
    But, a politician who will truly serve the people, not just party alone,
    is desperately needed.

    January 23, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Bubba likes it right

    Watch this type of primary race to know for yourself that the TEA Party is REAL.

    January 23, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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