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Arizona Republicans voted to censure Senator John McCain, refusing for now to endorse his reelection in 2016. The group cited his voting record, flip-flop on border security, and public attacks on conservatives.
Senator McCain's voting record has in the past been better than in the current term, during which he has compiled a 48% rating with FreedomWorks.
McCain famously said to "complete the danged fence" in reelection ads, but immediately softened his border security position once reelected.
The Arizona Senator called Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) "crazy" in an interview, after having undercut Cruz's plan for defunding Obamacare, repeatedly casting it as an attempt to shut down the government. McCain stood with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid against Cruz during the Texas Senator's overnight filibuster-like speech against Obamacare.
Video of the debate and the vote itself can be seen at Redstate.
The censure document reads:
Senator John McCain Censured by Arizona’s Republican Leadership
As leaders in the Republican Party, we are obligated to fully support our Party, platform, and candidates. Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both. For too long we have waited, hoping Senator McCain would return to our Party’s values on his own. That has not happened. So with sadness and humility we rise and declare:
Whereas Senator McCain has amassed a long and terrible record of drafting, co-sponsoring and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats, such as Amnesty, funding for ObamaCare, the debt ceiling, assaults on the Constitution and 2nd amendment, and has supported liberal nominees; and
Whereas this record has been disastrous and harmful to Arizona and the United States; and
Whereas Senator McCain has campaigned as a conservative, made promises during his re-election campaigns, such as the needed and welcomed promise to secure our borders and finish the border fence, only to quickly flip-flop on those promises; and
Whereas McCain has abandoned our values and has been eerily silent against Liberals, yet publicly reprimands Conservatives in his own Party, therefore
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Arizona Republican leadership censures Senator McCain for his continued disservice to our State and Nation, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that until he consistently champions our Party’s Platform and values, we, the Republican leadership in Arizona will no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. Senator.
The final paragraph is significant, as the Arizona conservatives have revitalized their party's ground game mechanism for getting out the vote.This process is a direct result of grassroots limited-government activists becoming voting members of their party as Precinct Committeemen. As one longtime Arizona activist put it at Redstate:
Again, this did not “just happen.” It happened because enough conservatives got inside the Arizona Republican Party by becoming elected precinct committeemen where they live in their own “political neighborhood” — their precinct. Then, they elected enough conservatives to become a voting majority of conservatives.