February 25th, 2010
02:24 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain agrees to debate Hayworth

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/art.mccain.9.18.2.jpg caption="McCain agrees to debate Hayworth."]

Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain's Republican primary opponent, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, took a page right out of the underdog playbook on Thursday by challenging McCain to ten debates, the same demand McCain made of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential race.

Hayworth made the request at a photo-op in front of McCain's campaign headquarters in Phoenix – but his tactic was quickly undermined after McCain's team quickly agreed debate his challenger. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers, however, said his candidate is not committing to all ten debates.

"Former Congressman Hayworth's desperate publicity stunt today re-emphasizes what this race is all about: Who will be most effective for Arizonans in the U.S. Senate," Rogers said. "While Senator McCain is today leading the fight on behalf of Arizonans to stop the government takeover of our health care system, Mr. Hayworth held a press conference in our campaign parking lot."

He added: "Senator McCain is of course willing to debate all certified candidates."

Hayworth said the debates should begin in March.

"Senator McCain has always demonstrated himself to be willing to face off with his opponents in political campaigns," he said in a statement released before McCain agreed to the forums. "I look forward to a vigorous and respectful series of joint appearances where we can discuss how we view the future of the Republican Party and our country."

NOTE: The original version of this story said McCain agreed to all 10 debates, which is not the case.

Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • J.D. Hayworth • John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    McCain is senile and has no judgment.... think PALIN

    February 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. oter

    Anybody is better than that old crook McCain. Send this crook home. Are the people in Arizona still want McCain to represent them?

    February 25, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. ~~ JULY ~~

    McCain agrees to debate Hayworth -- I can just hear him now ' My friend'

    February 25, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    John McCain needs to retire and spend some time with his wife and other family. This would be possible if he was not so totally addicted to the power!

    February 25, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. shooter

    McCain: Keating thought you could make it to the White House, too.
    He poured $112,000 into your political campaigns. He became your friend. He threw fund raisers in your honor. He even made a sweet shopping-center investment deal for your wife, Cindy. Your father-in-law, Jim Hensley, was cut in on the deal, too.
    Nothing was too good for you. Why not? Keating saw you as a prime investment that would pay off in the future.

    February 25, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Watch out Mr.Hayworth – Cindy's money is being spread around already to keep her husband in DC so she doesn't have to put up with him at home.

    February 25, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Thank God he didn't agree to an airplane flying contest. Have a nice day!

    February 25, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. LouAz

    "I will fight for you more than he will".
    "I am more of an American than he is".
    Blah, Blah, Blah. Fight ? Is that all a Sports Report er and a USN fighter pilot know ? Both of you can only think in terms of some hockey game or killing the enemies of the USA.
    The business of a US Senator is to improve the lives of the Citizens of the USA. We have a huge Dept of Defense to do the fighting. Bin Laden is the enemy, not other Senators and the POTUS, nor any Citizen that is not of your Flat Earth or TP Party.
    This Citizen has had enough of your 'good old days' thinking. You represent only past emotions and your history of effective legislation in the House and the Senate is dismal.

    February 25, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. RCasson

    McCain is going to kick this loon's butt. I'm not McCain fan, but he's sure as hell better than this far right wacko.

    February 25, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Antifederalist

    McLame is TOAST!!!! J.D. is going to slaughter McLame in the debates. I'm so excited about this! I hope I can attend all 10 of the debates!

    February 25, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.
    John McCain this goes for you as well, you have had your time to restore our liberty and failed.

    February 25, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    McCain has taken a turn for the worse, and does not deserve to be reelected.

    February 25, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Fooled Again

    I hope hayworth asks about the Keating 5.

    February 25, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. BeverlyNC

    They probably should tape it so it can be edited. McCain has a nasty temper and uses the "F" word in every sentence when he is challenged or loses control (which happens a lot). His staff turnover rate is very high because no one can stand to work with such an abusive person. He verbally abuses his own family and his wife, Cindy, has nothing to do with him anymore. She did not support his run for President and only showed up when it could not be avoided, then immediately left and flew home. Notice that only 1 of his children is ever seen with him? The others have nothing to do with McCain.

    I don't like Hayworth but I despise the dishonorable McCain.

    February 25, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. AZ

    It's about time to set the term limit for all US Senators to agree with US president term limit.

    February 25, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Michael, Phoenix AZ

    That's nice. Two idiots arguing instead of one.

    February 25, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. historian

    This will be very interesting

    February 25, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. I Am Rush Limbaugh and I Say . . .

    McCain is toast. and . . . "Get Off My Lawn"

    February 25, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Educated = Non Republican

    Got schooled by Obama at the Healthcare Summit. Now you'll get schooled by your fellow Republican. Time to hang it up Mr. Thank Me For Bringing Upon This World Wasilla's Village Idiot.

    February 25, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It's past time for John McCain to go. He's destructive, obstructive, old and confused. He is an embarrassment to himself as well as the state of Arizona.

    February 25, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    McCain feels the heat directed at all the incumbents today. Crist is
    doing poorly as well in Florida. So is Nelson in Nebraska and
    Reid in Nevada. Arlen Specter may not survive, either. They can run,
    but they can't hide.

    February 25, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Ed Tallahassee

    I think this race will hinge on who can get their voting blocks to come out and vote, the Crazies or the Fogies.

    February 25, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |