“For years, I’ve been an admirer of John McCain,” said Romney in a statement. “Then we became competitors. Today, I’m proud to call him my friend.”

Mitt Romney Washington Post

John McCain Unveils New Branding Initiative by OVO

OVO Launches New Branding for Former Presidential Candidate John McCain’s Senate Race.

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) February 23, 2010 — OVO, a leading branding consultancy, today announced the launch of the new John McCain brand identity and Web site.

Senator McCain’s new branding capitalizes on his widespread name recognition, which affords him, unlike many candidates, to speak less about himself and more about national and state-level issues relevant to Arizona residents. The Web site in particular provides a forum for such discourse.

“We crafted the entire brand to assist visually in developing a meaningful conversation between Senator McCain and the people of Arizona,” stated OVO principal partner, Ryan Durant. “During the presidential campaign, many didn’t feel as though the large-scale format emphasized the ‘town hall’ approach to politics for which McCain is so well known. The information architecture and design of the new Web site and brand identity provide for him a ‘virtual town hall’ so-to-speak.”

Included in the new Web site is a prominent blog where “both sides” of the conversation are heard, timely issues are discussed, and there is even a wall of supporter videos, where individuals may produce and send in their own videos for inclusion.

“Political campaign marketing has traditionally been done exclusively by political marketers…” remarked OVO partner, Kyle Hildebrant. “Bringing in a branding company like OVO with a distinctly non-political approach was key to the rebranding effort—and a brave move. Credit Internet director, Corey Vale and the entire McCain staff. Collectively, we managed to come to a solution that is appropriate, but well crafted and distinctive. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received thus far is ‘proof of concept.’”

Durant added, “The political world had better take note of what the business world has known for years: The presentation of a message is as critical to its reception and resonance as the content itself.”

About OVO
OVO is a branding consultancy specializing in naming, visual identity and integrated marketing for businesses seeking to launch, grow or reinvent themselves. Recognized for their deep knowledge of brand positioning and a true advisory approach to client service, OVO provides branding from concept to implementation for clients in a broad range of industries. The agency’s strategic branding expertise spans disciplines from brand management, to naming, visual identity, advertising, collateral and interactive design. OVO’s founding philosophy is centered on design as a functional, relevant, compelling and clear cornerstone of serious brands—and ultimately “where brands are born”.For more information visit: http://www.brandsbyovo.com

A closer look at McCain’s remarks on financial bailout

AZ Central – Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There’s a lot of buzz in Washington, D.C., over The Arizona Republic’s story on Monday reporting what U.S. Sen. John McCain said during a meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board. Just for the record, here is a transcription of McCain’s taped comments in response to a question about the bailout of the country’s financial system. Below the transcript are further comments from McCain in a brief telephone interview Wednesday morning; he sought to clarify what he had said at the meeting.

At the editorial board meeting:

Question: “Senator, was TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) a mistake, and in retrospect, would there have been a better way to deal with the financial conditions at the time?”

McCain: “Thanks for asking the question. The President of the United States called me up on the phone, I was on the campaign trail, and said, ‘Country and the world is on the verge of financial collapse. I need you to come back and help.’ And, I don’t know of any American, that when the president calls you and tells you something like that, that you don’t respond. And I came back and I tried to sit down and work with Republicans and say, ‘What can we do?’

“The financial bailout in itself, I think, was an idea that we had to employ if we were going to stop the financial collapse. But I was assured by (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke and (then-Treasury Secretary Henry) Paulson that the effort would be devoted to the cause of the fiscal crisis, which was the housing meltdown. That would be, the object would be, to stabilize home values. Obviously, that didn’t happen. They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors, and do things that — and GMAC, and Fanny and Freddie, of course, are still hemorrhaging money in incredible fashion.

“In my view, what they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street, then Main Street — I guess it was trickle-down economics — that therefore Main Street would be fine. Well, we know what happened. Wall Street was fine and used our money, and now they’re making bonuses and obscene profits, etc. Meanwhile, the commercial banks: Estimates are that 300 of them will go — they are the lenders, they are the ones that make home loans — that 300 of them are going to go under this year. Meanwhile, the commercial real estate shoe has not dropped.

“So, I believe we had to take action. I believe the wrong action was taken. And people sometimes confuse that with the stimulus package. We had an alternative stimulus package, Republicans. I proposed it. $400 billion. That’s not chicken feed anywhere. But it had to do with small businesses, tax credits, with aid to small businesses in America, and to stabilize the home ownership situation. So I think something had to be done because the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse. Any economist, liberal or conservative, would agree with that. The action they took, I don’t agree with.”

Interview on Wednesday:
The senator said his comments at the editorial board meeting gave the wrong impression that President Bush had asked him to return to Washington during the 2008 campaign to help address the financial crisis.

“It appears I gave that impression. I apologize for doing so,” he said.

“All I can say is, I have consistently said I came back because the president told me we were in a fiscal meltdown. It was my own decision. I apologize for my mischaracterization of it at the ed board. It was just a mistake.”

In addition, McCain said a blog has been posted to his “McCain 2010” Web site that supports his statements about being misled about the financial bailout. The post is entitled, “Senator John McCain & TARP: The Whole Story.”

McCain Team Hits Hayworth’s “Birther” Comments

Hotline On Call: By Reid Wilson

Ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) stayed atop the conservative mind with a radio show on the biggest conservative talk station in Phoenix. But the show is proving a treasure trove of oppo research for his rival, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

McCain’s camp is taking a new angle on Hayworth, accusing him of being a birther for comments Hayworth made during his radio career. In a new clip, from July ’09, Hayworth says “questions continue” about Obama’s birth certificate.

“Equal justice under law: Doesn’t that include this president and his birth certificate?” Hayworth asked on the July 15 show, according to a recording the McCain campaign is sending to reporters.

“Mr. Hayworth can run from his record, but he can’t hide,” McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers said of the clip. “We welcome Mr. Hayworth attempting to shift positions on this issue, but he can’t obscure his real record as he backtracks. Facts are stubborn things, JD.”

McCain has been running radio ads critical of Hayworth’s record on spending, an indication, Hayworth told Hotline OnCall, that McCain is in “panic” mode. McCain has also distributed talking points on Hayworth’s record to friendly GOPers in AZ, another sign he’s taking Hayworth’s challenge seriously.

Hayworth’s team dismisses the controversy over his birther comments, attributing them to a need to stir up controversy on the radio.

“As a talk show host, it was J.D.’s job to provoke discussion, including on this issue since people were calling in about it,” said Jason Rose, Hayworth’s senior advisor. “Questions were asked when that topic was in the news. Those questions have been answered to the satisfaction of jd and most of america. The issue is closed.”

Rose also pointed to comments attributed to McCain in “Game Change,” a best-seller about the ’08 campaign in which the GOP nominee lambasts his fellow GOPers. “Frankly, I think Senator McCain’s birthing of profane and outrageous comments about Republicans in ‘Game Change’ are far more interesting,” Rose said.

The battle between McCain and Hayworth is shaping up to be a contest between the GOP establishment and grassroots conservatives. Hayworth has spent the early part of his campaign attending Tea Party rallies, while McCain has collected endorsements from influential conservatives and GOPers like Grover Norquist, Sarah Palin and Bill Bennett.

McCain also won backing from ex-rival/ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R), who called McCain essential to the Senate in a press release today.

“It’s hard to imagine the United States Senate without John McCain, especially in the critical times we find ourselves in, with double-digit unemployment, a mountain of debt imperiling future generations and a global terrorist threat from jihadists bent on destroying our very way of life,” Romney said in a press release today. “It is times like these that we look to leaders of character.”

RUSH:  Well, a lot of people are not gonna understand the point.  A lot of people are going to think I’m copping out here and so forth, which I’m not doing.  Look, I know everybody talks about me and how I do it. There’s a reason for that, and I have to be mindful of the position I occupy here, and I start commenting on other people that do this… You people have listened for a long time know I don’t do it.  They all comment about me but I don’t want to get distracted by those kinds of things.  But I will tell you something.  This day, when I got up and saw some things that happened and said, “Okay, yesterday, Obama committing suicide with his health care proposal,” this is suicide Tuesday.  I do not understand what Mitt Romney is doing, endorsing McCain.  The era of McCain is over!  And Scott Brown s voting for the jobs bill, this meager little $15 billion jobs bill? (sigh)

Folks, I hate to tell you this, but if you’ll go back and if you will review the tapes, the transcripts of this program, you will see. You will not find me being a giant, big-time, pedal-to-the-metal supporter of Scott Brown.  We’re talking about a Massachusetts Republican.  Now, I know he’s opposed health care, and we gotta continue to support him on that, and he’s opposed to cap and trade, and he hasn’t changed his mind. In fact there’s a story: “Scott Brown Fumes Over the New Health Care Plan.”  He wants no part of it.  But he did go along with this jobs bill, and he did say, “I hope my vote today is a strong step towards restoring bipartisanship in Washington.”  I must tell you, I’m not surprised by this.  It’s going to be a waste of energy if you get all bent out of shape and angry about it. Feel free to do it if you want to, but this is not that big a surprise.  Especially when you look. There are five other Republicans that join this thing, the usual suspects. You had Susan Collins voting for it and you had Olympia Snowe, because it says “jobs” on it.  It’s not a jobs bill on it but it says “jobs” on it and everybody wants jobs.  There’s not enough “laser-like focus” on jobs.  The problem is, this isn’t going to create any jobs but it’s gonna give all kinds of politicians the cover to say they support efforts to create jobs.  The only thing I would ask Scott Brown is: How do you say this, that he said at CPAC?

BROWN: My name is Scott Brown, and I’m the newly elected Republican senator from Massachusetts! (cheers and applause) Let me just say that one more time: I am the Republican Senator from Massachusetts. (cheers and applause)

BROWN: One Democrat said that, and I quote, there was “no way in hell a Republican was going to get elected to the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.” Well, here I am.

BROWN: For the big-government spenders I’m sure my election does not make them feel good at all, but for those who are interested in restoring the real checks and balances in Washington and bringing accountability and transparency back to our government, it feels wonderful.

RUSH: Now, he said that last Thursday. Yesterday he votes for the jobs bill and starts talking about wanting to restore “bipartisanship” in Washington. That’s not what got him elected. And he’s going to sit there and say at CPAC, “All the big government spenders, I’m sure my election doesn’t make ’em feel good.” I think they’re feeling pretty good right now on the jobs bill vote that he made. But again, I’m not spruced by it. He’s from Massachusetts. Folks, he is not a down-the-line conservative, and nobody ever said that he was. He’s a far sight better than Ted Kennedy. He’s a far sight better than having a Democrat in there. And he’s still makes a point here, this Boston Herald story: “Scott Brown Fumes Over Health Plan. … ‘If the Democrats try to ram their health-care bill through Congress using reconciliation, they are sending a dangerous signal to the American people that they will stop at nothing to raise our taxes, increase premiums and slash Medicare,’ said Brown spokesman Colin Reed in a statement.

“‘Using the nuclear option damages the concept of representative leadership and represents more of the politics-as-usual that voters have repeatedly rejected.’ While Brown’s office didn’t specifically reject Obama’s latest bill, there was no doubt Brown views the proposal as similar to earlier health-care plans backed by Democrats,” and then you have Mitt Romney endorsing McCain. Now, my little take here from little old me, is I think that Mitt Romney made a grave, grave error endorsing McCain. That’s not the future. I don’t know why he did it. (sigh) You know, after all, it was McCain joining forces with Huckabee that screwed Mitt in West Virginia and then later on down in Florida with Charlie Crist. So I think that was not wise. It was an error. I think Scott Brown made a mistake voting for the jobs bill. But, it is what it is. And this is why, folks, I don’t get close to these people. That’s why I don’t want ’em. They’re going to come and go, and I’m going to be here, so are all of us long after they come and go.


RUSH: All right, Mike, let’s head back here to the top of the audio sound bites. As I say, get my roster in order here. There we go.

All right, now, Scott Brown, folks, look, I predicted that this was going to happen, I predicted as much. I had a little hope that it was gonna take a little longer for Scott Brown to succumb to Potomac fever and all this bipartisan talk and so forth, but I tell you, I like Mitt Romney, but I think he’s risking his career over a guy, endorsing McCain, who is so out of step with what’s going on right now. McCain’s always conservative when he’s running for reelection in Arizona. The tea parties have produced a wave of conservatism that have swept Republicans-in-name-only aside. I understand Palin endorsing McCain. She’s got no choice. Loyalty, plus if she doesn’t the media will cream her, “Oh, he’s good enough to be president but you won’t endorse him to be Senator?” And it’s understandable Romney would endorse Brown, but I don’t understand Romney endorsing McCain. I just don’t think it’s going to fly. These endorsements are unnecessary. What is there to gain by this? Look, it’s unfortunate, but people are weeding themselves out of the process all the while engaging in this kind of behavior. So in one sense it has a cleansing aspect to it.

Bob in Hollywood, great to have you on the program, sir. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh show.

CALLER: Yeah, hey, Rush. I’m a little upset. This Romney thing is news to me but the thing I was going to call about before, you know, this cloture vote, it’s a reminder that we cannot get too excited about the seats simply changes letters from D’s to R’s in November. You know, the GOP succumbing to any degree of what I would call McCainsian Regressive Syndrome is just poisoning to a conservative renaissance. Now, Scott Brown’s election may have driven this runaway truck into the gravel for the time being, but, buddy, we’ve gotta do an 18-point turn here, and it’s a long road back.

RUSH: That’s an excellent point, and I want to remind people of something. There is a conservative ascendancy out there and it is happening within the Republican Party, and that’s where it ought to remain, and that’s where the ascendancy should continue to grow. I want people to remember it took Ronald Reagan three times to get the Republican nomination. It took him three times, and over eight years to do it. Now, these kinds of things do not happen overnight, and they don’t happen just because there is a fervent, strong desire for it to happen. It has to happen because a bunch of people with the same principles and objectives aligning within the structure of, say, this Republican Party and taking it over, and if that doesn’t happen, all the rest of it is academic.

McCain vs. Hayworth: No Contest for Conservatives

Pajamas Media – By Andy Wickersham

In his Pajamas Media piece “Please, No More ‘Half-as-Much’ Republicans,” J. Robert Smith states that swapping out John McCain for J.D. Hayworth in the upcoming GOP senatorial primary in Arizona is a “nice bargain from a conservative’s viewpoint.”

It would certainly be that, and an analysis of the voting records of these two men from the Grand Canyon State via vote ratings from the American Conservative Union (ACU), National Journal, and the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) highlights just how good a bargain it would be.

Looking first at the ACU numbers, we see that Hayworth’s ACU lifetime rating of 98 is significantly higher than John McCain’s lifetime ACU average of 81. In fact, in John McCain’s 22 years in the Senate prior to last year, he was only able to equal or surpass Hayworth’s low-water mark of 88 (in ’03) three times (’94, ’95, and ‘96). What’s more, with the exception of 2003,  Hayworth voted with the ACU position at least 96 percent of the time every year he was in Congress — a feat that John McCain has only achieved once.

With respect to National Journal’s ratings, Hayworth’s average score for the 12 years he served in the House was 22 points higher than John McCain’s average rating over this same period (National Journal ratings are only available for McCain for this 12 year period, as he did not vote enough in ’07 or ’08 to receive a rating and scores are not available prior to ’95). To put this in perspective, this gap is greater than the 21-point margin in 2008 between Senators Sam Brownback and Arlen Specter. Additionally, just as it was with the ACU data, Hayworth’s least conservative year fairs very well against McCain’s average year. In fact, Hayworth’s least conservative score (78) is higher than any score John McCain has received from National Journal since 1995.

As for the ADA ratings, they too show that Hayworth is clearly the most conservative choice to represent Arizonans alongside Jon Kyl in the U.S. Senate. According to ADA statistics, McCain and Hayworth have voted against the liberal ADA position 85 and 96 percent of the time, respectively, over the course of their congressional careers.

However, as clear as this data shows the difference between these two men to be, the ideological gap between them is actually even greater, as the above analysis does not take into account that there are really two John McCains — the McCain of the late 80s and most of the 90s, and the oft-yielding maverick Republican that we have known since.

From 1987 when John McCain first entered the Senate through 1997 his average ACU rating was a respectably conservative 88, but from 1998 through 2008 his average score fell to a less than stellar 73. To put this in perspective, only four current Republican senators have a lifetime rating that is less conservative than McCain’s average rating over this latter period (Snowe – ME, Collins – ME, Voinovich – OH, and Murkowski – AK). And the clear distinction between these two periods is such that McCain’s least conservative result prior to 1998 of 80 has only been surpassed once since (an 81 in 2000)…

Arizona – -(AmmoLand.com)- John McCain has gone out of his way to earn the ire of conservatives and gun owners in his 20-plus years as a U.S. Senator from Arizona.

Perhaps his crowning legislative achievement was so-called campaign finance reform, or the McCain-Feingold law. This law put the muzzle on organizations such as GOA, prohibiting any broadcast advertisements within 30 days of a primary election and 60 days of a general election that even mention the name of a candidate for federal office.

Not surprisingly, there is frequently a flurry of activity in Congress in the months right before an election, as politicians try to ram bills through at the end of a session. Forbidding criticism of sitting legislators during these crucial times (although media corporations were exempt) made McCain’s bill the perfect “Incumbent Protection” act.

McCain’s bill prohibited the most important form of speech the Founding Fathers meant to protect with the First Amendment — political speech — so it was welcome news when the Supreme Court recently repudiated much of the McCain bill as an assault on liberty.

But it should not come as a surprise that McCain does not want voters hear about what he’s up to in Washington, because the same person who holds the First Amendment in contempt would also like to run the Second Amendment through a shredder.

John McCain may have begun as a pro-gun legislator, but when he decided to become a gun control “maverick,” he went all out.

Since his conversion to a gun control advocate over the last ten years, McCain has favored a ban on small and inexpensive handguns and considered a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms (so-called assault weapons).

In what was his boldest move against American gun owners, however, McCain authored a bill to that could only have been designed to close down gun shows. In addition to regulating all private sales at gun shows, his bill would have placed onerous licensing requirements on gun show promoters and would essentially have registered the millions of people who attend gun shows. Under the burdens of the McCain bill, no promoter in the country would put on a gun show and, if they did, gun owners would likely not attend.

Thanks to McCain, the inaccurate and misleading phrase “gun show loophole” became a part of the anti-Second Amendment crowd’s lexicon.

The truth is, there is no gun show loophole; firearms transactions are conducted the same inside a gun show as they are anyplace else.

In 2000, McCain became a spokesman for a gun control organization (now defunct) called Americans for Gun Safety, a group that advocated licensing and registering all gun owners. The group ran radio and TV ads with McCain supporting ballot initiatives in Colorado and Oregon that would impose McCain’s favorite restrictions on gun shows.

These ads were a way for McCain to “stick it” to gun owners, after a gun show bill stalled in the Congress.

“I think that if the Congress won’t act, the least I can do is support the initiative in states where it’s on the ballot,” McCain said in an interview.

In 2001, the group ran advertisements in movie theaters featuring McCain urging people to keep their guns locked up “for the sake of the children.” In the ads, he greatly exaggerated the risks of children gaining access to firearms in the home, and at the same time completely ignored the danger of having guns locked away if they are needed to thwart a criminal attack.

After the 2001 terror attacks, when Gun Owners of America and tens of thousands of commercial airline pilots were pushing legislation to arm pilots as a defense against terrorism, McCain prepared an amendment that would have replaced “firearms” with “stun guns.” GOA pointed out at the time how stun guns would not be effective against the type of attacks that could occur in a cockpit.

John McCain may pretend to be pro-gun (especially in election years) but he has plunged his dagger deep into the backs of gun rights supporters. He may fancy himself as a “maverick” in shining armor, riding to rescue the American people, but all the while he has trampled the Bill of Rights underfoot.

Thankfully, this year gun owners have a choice. Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who was “A” rated by Gun Owners of America in his twelve years in the House of Representatives, is challenging McCain in the 2010 Republican primary.

J.D. respects the Constitution and understands that the Second Amendment was put there by the Founding Fathers to always ensure that the people would have the means to preserve their liberty.

During his time in the Congress, J.D. Hayworth did not vote one way in election years and another way when in nonelection years. J.D. consistently supported the Second Amendment, and that is just the type of leadership gun owners in Arizona will vote for in November.

Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund is proud to endorse J.D. Hayworth for U.S. Senate and urges gun owners and sportsmen from across America to help defeat anti-gunner McCain.

Please visit J.D. on the web at http://www.jdforsenate.com to make the most generous contribution possible. Working together, we can win this fight and gain a Second Amendment ally in the U.S. Senate.


Tim Macy
Vice Chairman

Gun Owners of America

Related Links:

Hayworth Endorsed by Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

Pawlenty Backs McCain in Senate Re-Election Campaign

Obama rebuffs McCain attack at summit: ‘The election is over.’

PR Web: National Tea Party Group Endorses J.D. Hayworth Against John McCain for Senate

WA Today: McCain’s wife in pro-gay movement

ALIPAC: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC Endorses JD Hayworth for U.S. Senate

News Blaze: 77% of Tea Party Supporters Back Hayworth Over McCain

Hot Air: Limbaugh: Romney’s endorsement of McCain is suicidal

Real Clear Politics (GRETA VAN SUSTEREN): Interview with Senator John McCain

Real Clear Politics (The Situation Room): Interview with J.D. Hayworth

HotAir: New McCain ad: J.D. Hayworth, Birther

Politico: McCain, Hayworth release dueling polls

Politico: J.D. Hayworth camp: John McCain in ‘desperation’

LA Times: Running against GOP establishment, Rubio, Hayworth find allies among conservative activists

NYT: Press in Tow, McCain’s Challenger Demands Debates

Associated Content: To John McCain Re: The Dietary Supplement Safety Act DSSA of 2010. S 3002 Leave Us Alone!

AZ Daily Star: State GOP looking to close its primary to independents

Yuma Sun: Sen. McCain campaigns in Yuma