J.D. Hayworth, the ultra-conservative Rep. turned talk radio host from Arizona, has emerged as a possible challenger to John McCain in the 2010 Senate primary. And according to a recent Rasmussen poll, he only trails the former presidential candidate by two points. Hayworth's candidacy would be awful for the GOP because he is likely too conservative for a general election battle and could weaken the already fragile McCain. Five reasons Dems should hope J.D. Hayworth enters the race:
- Hayworth has been investigated by the US Justice Department for accepting cash and gifts from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies. This shady connection contributed to the loss of his House seat in 2006.
- Hayworth has been accused of antisemitism. In his 2006 anti-immigration manifesto, Hayworth praised Henry Ford's "Americanization" vision. Ford used this term to describe "the Jew" who "inveighs against Americanism" for refusing to assimilate. In February, Hayworth appeared on Hardball claiming that Sen. Chuck Schumer and George Soros—"the guy in the background…manipulating all of the currency," a reference which Steve Benen says is highly problematic—should be blamed for the financial crisis instead of the Bush administration. He also has ties to Neo-Nazis.
- His connection to "Birthers" and love for Orly Taitz. He once hosted Taitz on his radio show, calling her "Doctor" and treating her like a legal expert, instead of the supposed perjurer she is.
- His close relationships with Arizona's most notorious anti-immigrant crusaders. Next month, Maricopa County’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio will host a fundraiser for Hayworth's "Freedom In Truth Trust." In another recent Rasmussen poll, Arpaio polled 15 points ahead of the likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate, state AG Terry Goddard, and said on Twitter this week that "if ever there was a time to consider a run, now may be the time."
- And finally, look what happened to Dede Scozzafava and Doug Hoffman in NY 23.