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Arizona GOP censures McCain

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At its January 25 executive committee meeting, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure John McCain, its state’s senior U.S. senator.

With signatures from a 20-percent minimum of the approximately 1,300 members who gathered at Tempe’s Grace Community Church, the resolution was introduced and approved by voice vote, the Arizona Republic reports.

Citing the senator’s work on immigration reform and McCain’s criticism of other Republicans’ attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act, the resolution reads:

Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both. For too long we have waited, hoping Sen. McCain would return to our Party’s values on his own. That has not happened.

The censure doesn’t issues penalties or fines, but could indicate no state party support for any re-election bid in 2016.

(We) will no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. Senator.

The senator’s office has not issued any reply.

While no primary opponent has yet declared for his 2016 re-election race, Republican opposition seems evident, media have reported since last year. McCain also faced a primary opponent in 2010.

The call for censure arose from the Maricopa County GOP, which two weeks earlier voted overwhelmingly to censure McCain based on complaints of him working with “liberal Democrats.”

Last year, McCain criticized other Republicans, saying it was “not rational” for them to attempt defunding Obamacare. He also criticized a polarization caused by Tea Party Republicans, calling them “dysfunctional” while telling CBS News:

We are dividing the Republican Party rather than attacking Democrats.

Tea Party Express announced last year that it intends to oppose incumbent Democrats and Republicans alike in 25 House races and seven-to-10 Senate seats in the 2014 election cycle.

Such efforts unseated other incumbent Republicans, such as Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) in 2010, but are also credited with helping underdog Democrats win races due to poor voter regard for the Tea Party.

Polls from October 2013 show public opinion of the movement at an all-time low; only 30 percent of Americans have favorable view of the Tea Party, Pew Research Center reports, with disapproval hitting 49 percent, almost twice its unfavorable rating from 2010 polls.

McCain is known to work across the aisle, and ranks in the top 25 percent of senators cosponsoring bipartisan bills by Civic Impulse’s GovTrack.us.

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