Skip to comments.Minuteman founder officially launches bid vs. McCain [Simcox's political positions]
Posted on 04/23/2009 2:06:01 AM PDT by rabscuttle385
PHOENIX It was supposed to be a surprise.
But by the time Chris Simcox arrived at the state Capitol Wednesday morning trading his standard jeans for a suit and tie his intention of challenging U.S. Sen. John McCain had made national news.
"The calls have been flooding in from across the country," Simcox said before dozens of television cameras and reporters. "We have the ability to run a national campaign as well as a state campaign. There are millions of supporters around the country who have been waiting for some leadership in Washington to take on this border-security issue."
A founder of the immigration enforcement group now known as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Simcox began his rise to statewide and eventually national recognition seven years ago in Southern Arizona.
As the editor of the Tombstone Tumbleweed, Simcox made waves by calling for citizens to bear arms and patrol the border rather than wait for the government to crack down on illegal immigration.
Now, having become the figurehead of a movement, Simcox, 48, plans to take on the man he blames for much of Arizona's immigration problem: McCain.
"He is fully responsible for the deaths along our borders, the raging violence in Mexico and the violence that we have in the streets of U.S. cities from border to border, coast to coast," said Simcox, now a Phoenix resident.
Simcox, who said he already has received donations on the Web site he launched Tuesday, presents an interesting challenge to the state's senior senator.
McCain serving Arizona in Congress since 1983 will be seeking his fifth term in the Senate and has long had a thorny relationship with conservatives in his party.
On Wednesday, the senator was mostly silent on the announcement. A spokeswoman said he is confident "he'll prevail in next year's election."
In a statement of his own later in the day, McCain said, "I always anticipate spirited races and don't take anything for granted."
Accompanied by his wife and four children, Simcox who has resigned as president of the Minuteman group promised he would not run a "one-issue" campaign.
"We're working-class, middle-class working Joes," Simcox said with supporters behind him.
Simcox pointed to his time as a teacher in California. But he often came back to immigration, even when he seemed to be trying to get away from it.
He said his main goal was to "get government out of our lives and getting them to do what they're supposed to do in the first place, and that starts at the border."
"I want the United States government securing our border and our coastal boundaries," he said.
While McCain has never been the darling of Arizona's conservative immigration activists, who feel burned by his alliances with Democrats on border issues, it's hard to determine the real contrast between the two Republicans.
Both McCain and Simcox have changed their positions on immigration over the years, and what positions they carve out between now and the Republican primary in August 2010 will be telling.
On issues other than immigration, Simcox's views are largely unknown. But he gave some hints Wednesday.
Like McCain, Simcox said he would not request federal earmarks for Arizona.
Like McCain, Simcox said he would not have supported the economic-stimulus package.
Like McCain, Simcox said he believes marriage is a state issue and would oppose a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. And Simcox said he opposes abortion but does not think Congress should get involved in abortion issues.
"We have no business voting on social issues on a federal level. That's the state's job," he said.
Simcox also said he opposed the Iraq war but now thinks it has turned out to be successful.
"It looks like some of us were wrong about Iraq," Simcox said.
As for his vote for president last November, Simcox said he did vote for McCain.
"I had no choice," he said. "Let's say Sarah Palin was acceptable, and that's who I voted for."
i like him already. Social issue should indeed be a state issue, not a federal one. Its where some Republicans got it wrong
I will give Mr. Simcox my full support. It is time for McCain to retire.
I was hoping for a more permanent role in the dirt for McLame.
the enemy of my enemy is my FRIEND ;-)
Good luck to him. Arizona gave us not only MeMeMeMeCain, but Butch Napolitano and MeMeMeMeMega(n) MeCain.
Well, of course it's hard to determine the "real contrast between the two." One wants to limit government to its proper function, the other has been diligently working with the Dims to systematically trash the Constitution. Ummm...I've forgotten which is which...
It's all well and good to run against a 4 term Senator who recently ran for President, but like a story about a beauty queen, this story is useless without polls.
A large splash here on FR and a few novelty stories in the Media won't get anyone elected.
Didn’t find Simcox’s position on what he’d do about illegals already here? Anybody know if he’s for or against ANY kind of amnesty?