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Conservative Blogger Takes on McCain

Posted February 19, 2008
Updated February 21, 2008

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— Armed with a pair of laptop computers, a Raleigh man is trying to shake up the Republican Party from his back porch.

Although Arizona Sen. John McCain appears poised to claim the GOP nomination for president, conservatives in the party continue to criticize him as being too liberal on many social and fiscal issues.

A local husband, father and businessman who writes under the pseudonym "C. Edmund Wright" has joined in the chorus with his blog site, BeatJohnMcCain.com, which hammers the candidate on issues from taxes to terrorism.

"I'm not going to vote for a Democrat named John McCain simply because he has an 'R' next to his name on a voter registration card," Wright said.

His low-budget, tongue-in-cheek commentary reflects a rift in the GOP: conservatives who feel abandoned by party leaders in Washington, D.C.

"What's hurting the Republican Party is they're running a moderate," he said. "That's why we don't vote in large numbers because they're not connecting with us."

Wright, who favored former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and actor and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson before they dropped from the race, said he would vote conservative on state and local races. But he said he might skip the presidential race in November.

"When you don't vote for your Republican candidate, you fail to wash out a vote for a Democrat," North Carolina Republican Party Chairwoman Linda Daves said.

GOP activist Kieran Shanahan said McCain will have to work hard in the coming months to win over people like Wright, but he predicted that the party turmoil would fade eventually.

"There are more people in the middle these days than there are on the far ends of either party," Shanahan said.

McCain already is trying to woo visitors to BeatJohnMcCain.com, advertising on the site to lure visitors to his official campaign Web site.

"It's like making sausage," Shanahan said. "It's not pretty, but I do think at the end of the day, Republicans will get behind John McCain."

Wright said he believes McCain will get the nomination, but he predicted Republicans would face "a painful cleansing" in November to restore the power of the party's conservative base.

"I think we'll lose and it be necessary that we learn why we lost," he said.

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  • tmedlin Feb 20, 2008

    The order of primaries and the rules are what put McCain as the nominee. Democrats and Independants gave him both the early victories, which catapulted him to victory on Super Tuesday... the RNC needs to take a long hard look at the order and rules of their primaries, if they don't want outsiders picking their nominee for them...

  • Through a glass darkly Feb 20, 2008

    "I also will not be voting for Hilliary and her oval-office womanizing husband." Bill Clinton is on the ballot? Wow, I didn't know that. I guess I should pay more attention.

  • Sandollar Feb 20, 2008

    I won't vote for McCain I've seen that Mad-man in action during the last election. When I saw his actions I knew I did not want him representing the US. I also will not be voting for Hilliary and her oval-office womanizing husband.

  • Ken D. Feb 20, 2008

    "What's hurting the Republican Party is they're running a moderate,"

    "There are more people in the middle these days than there are on the far ends of either party," Shanahan said.

    What is hurting America today is that too many people think that being moderate is a bad thing. If we are ever going to come together as a nation, it will not be at the extreme ends of either party.

  • thewayitis Feb 20, 2008

    It's a little late to be complaining about the candidates out there. All of these Republicans who are complaining about John McCain should have worked their duffs off to find an ELECTABLE candidate who meets their criteria. There were none out there. Now that McCain is going to be the nominee, there is not a whole lot that can be done about it, so the best thing would be to rally behind the candidate and work for change. It's not going to do anybody a lick of good if Hillary or Obama are elected. Cain may be a liberal Republican, but he's still a bit more conservative than those two...I've heard too many Republicans say they're just not going to vote this year. Give me a break. Yeah, go ahead and take your dolly and go home. That's the spirit.

  • Through a glass darkly Feb 20, 2008

    "Why doesn't Wright support him?" Possibly because he has zero chance to win the nomination. The last poll I saw had his support pegged at 6%, up from 4%. Is that the Republican 'true' conservative core?

  • vbuchanan1969 Feb 20, 2008

    As a "True Conservative" I agree completely with Mr. Wright. I feel as though my party has let me down this year, but, will learn a valuable lesson. I just hope the socialist left wing doesn't prosper too much from this mistake...

  • Through a glass darkly Feb 20, 2008

    It is always interesting when a political party tears itself apart over ideology. The Democrats did it in the 1970s-1980s, and it looks like the Republicans are doing now.

    Maybe it is good that any one party goes crazy every so often -- it helps keep our democracy fresh!

  • ifcdirector Feb 20, 2008

    It's amazing to me that Ron Paul is the only candidate in this race from start to finish with a 100% Conservative rating on all of his votes and the only candidate who returns a portion of his own Congressional office's budget to the treasury each year and the only one not taking part in the lucrative pension plan that Hillary and Obama are certainly dipping into and yet the best we can get for an option is a mad man like John McCain?

  • ifcdirector Feb 20, 2008

    We lost our party to Neo-Con's who worship at the altar of spreading democracy by the point of a gun and who never saw a government spending increase or intervention into any aspect of American life they didn't like. I don't know what they put in the water but apparently my PUR water filter is keeping me from ingesting whatever it is that makes people deslusional enough to imagine that George W. Bush or John McCain are anything near approaching the shadow of conservative values or Replublican values for that matter.

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