Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Chairman of McCain Movement Sees Gilchrist as Little Threat

Charlie Szrom, Chairman of the Draft McCain Movement, answered these five questions for The Consevative President 2008.

1. Why should John McCain be the Republican candidate for President?

John McCain best stands up for the values that mean the most toRepublicans: small government, strong defense, and socialconservatism. Senator McCain has consistently opposed pork-barrelspending that uses American taxpayer money to serve elitist interests,he - more than anyone else - has stood strongly for efforts to defeatthe Islamofascists in Iraq and elsewhere, and he has a long record ofvoting pro-life in the Senate (not to mention helping get the recentnominations of Alito and Roberts through the confirmation process). Ipersonally can't think of three values other than fiscal conservatism,national security strength, and family values that better define theRepublican coalition. John McCain is simply the strongest on allthree.

2. Do you think that McCain can win the Republican nomination, and if so could he win the general election?

I believe he can win both. See above for my answers on why he'sappropriate for the Republican party. At this point, I do not see achallenger emerging who better represents Republican interests. Justbecause the mainstream media often portrays Sen. McCain as bucking theGOP establishment doesn't mean he isn't a Republican - it just meanshe sometimes has different approaches to problems and thinks hissolutions through independently. The end result is the same: justlook at the record and you'll see one of America's strongestconservatives, a man whose political ideology was most influenced byRonald Reagan and a Senator who succeeded Barry Goldwater - not justphysically by filling his seat, but also ideologically. I believethat most Republicans recognize this and will nominate him in 2008.Hillary Clinton will present a problem for the countryin 2008, but Ibelieve John McCain, beyond other potential nominees, can best facedown the threat. Since conservative values are heartland Americanvalues, John McCain should not have a problem winning the generalelection, especially given the widespread support he has from hisservice in Vietnam and reputation of frank honesty.

3. Isn't McCain too lenient on illegal immigration?

Senator McCain supports enforcement just as much as the next guy - herepresents a border state in the Senate, after all. But stopping theflow of illegals into our country can only be a part of the solution;it simply isn't feasible to deport millions upon millions of illegalimmigrants. As columnist George Will said, if such a solution wasenacted, the line of buses would stretch from San Diego to Alaska.John McCain's not lenient on illegal immigration, he's just lookingfor a solution that will actually work when it comes to fixing ourimmigration system.

4. Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, Inc., said that if McCain is nominated as the Republican candidate that he would run as a third party candidate, do you think that a possible third party candidacy of Gilchrist would hurt McCain's chances at winning the general election?

Jim Gilchrist has established himself as a leader on reforming thebroken immigration system of this country. While this is one of themost important issues facing our country today, I believe that thereare other issues that voters will weigh when making their choice onwho they would choose for president in 2008. We have to fix theimmigration system, but we cannot ignore the important issues ofstemming the violence in Iraq, and, perhaps most importantly, gettingCongress to stop spending like "drunken sailors," to quote Sen.McCain. John McCain stands out as a leader with pragmatic solutionsto both of these issues. To sum up my answer to the question, I thinkthe broader tent of John McCain's stances on issues would limit thedamage a third party Gilchrist candidacy would do to Sen. McCain'schances in 2008

5. If McCain loses the Republican nomination, would you like him to run as an independent?

I believe the Republican Party is the best fit for John McCain - ifthe party chooses not to nominate him in 2008, so be it. I cannotanswer for the Senator, but I do not believe an independent run wouldbe successful (given that it would split the votes between Republicanvoters) nor appropriate with McCain's conservative values.


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