Earlier this week, the anti-immigrant group, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), endorsed senatorial candidate and former U.S. representative, J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ). While Hayworth proudly touts ALIPAC’s endorsement on his website, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign claims that it’s nothing to be proud of. James King of the Phoenix News Times reports:
“J.D. Hayworth’s lavish praise for the social theories of noted anti-Semite and xenophobe Henry Ford sparked a major controversy during his losing 2006 campaign, causing many Arizonans to question Mr. Hayworth’s judgment. It is astounding that Mr. Hayworth would today accept the endorsement of a group that the Anti-Defamation League reports is backed by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. Mr. Hayworth should immediately disavow this group’s support,” says Brian Rogers, the McCain campaign’s Communications Director…
Rogers claims some of the country’s most notorious hate-mongers support the group, including members of the National Socialist Movement and David Duke, a former “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan and one-time presidential candidate from Louisiana.
ALIPAC was quick to jump on Rogers and dismiss his comments as “offensive false information.” However, Rogers was simply citing public facts. The Center for New Community has extensively documented ALIPAC’s nativist ties, describing the group as being “characterized by hysterical fear-mongering and xenophobic, anti-Latino conspiracy theories.” The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that ALIPAC “is supported by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, recently designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, and allied with various Minuteman factions.” ADL accuses ALIPAC of promoting “virulent anti- Hispanic and anti-immigrant rhetoric” and “adopting the tactics and rhetoric of racist groups and moving it into the mainstream.” Members of Hayworth’s own Party have pointed out that his anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy platform cost him his House seat in 2006.
While the McCain campaign is wise to highlight Hayworth’s nativist ties, McCain has allowed himself to be intimidated by Hayworth’s hard line immigration views and has moved his own platform further to the right.