Michigan GOP Committeeman Touts McCain's Conservative Credentials

Republican National Committeeman Chuck Yob of Michigan says Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) should get more credit from movement conservatives for his views on fiscal and social issues, but Yob isn’t yet prepared to endorse the maverick GOP senator for a presidential run in 2008.

Yob responded on Saturday to a HUMAN EVENTS article about conservatives’ displeasure following his endorsement last week of liberal Rep. Joe Schwarz (R.-Mich.), which followed Yob’s favorable tone toward McCain.

In his written statement (click here to read the complete text), Yob said:

“On the issue of Senator McCain, I do believe he is more conservative than some movement conservatives give him credit for. He is pro-life and is co-chairman of the anti-gay marriage amendment in Arizona this year. He is very strong on national defense — arguing the pre-emptive doctrine against rouge states as far back as his 2000 Presidential campaign. He is also the biggest deficit hawk in the United States Senate.”

McCain’s fate in Michigan’s 2008 GOP primary could be key to his chances at securing the Republican nomination. McCain has made no decision whether to run, but many pundits believe he could launch a bid in spite of conservative misgivings.

Yob was recently quoted by the Washington Post in reference to McCain’s efforts to court supporters of President Bush. Here is an excerpt from that article:

Michigan is another prime target. McCain won the state in 2000, but Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) could be a threat there because of his family roots. Romney’s father, the late George Romney, was governor in the 1960s.

"I’ll be sitting having a cup of coffee and the phone will ring and it will be McCain," said Charles "Chuck" Yob, Michigan’s GOP national committeeman. He described the senator as "a lot more conservative than a lot of conservatives give him credit for."

McCain has helped raise money for the Michigan GOP, and Yob returned the favor at last month’s Republican National Committee meeting in Washington by helping to organize a private lunch for McCain with about 20 state party officials from around the country.

The relationship between Yob and McCain — coupled with Yob’s endorsement of Schwarz — prompted conservative Gary Glenn of the Campaign for Michigan Families to send the following message to his supporters last week:

“In addition to promoting John McCain, one of only six Republican U.S. senators who voted against a Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Michigan’s supposedly ‘conservative’ GOP National Committeeman Chuck Yob disappoints us again by endorsing liberal Congressman Joe Schwarz in a contested Republican primary against proven pro-life, pro-family conservative former state Rep. Tim Walberg.”