On CNBC this morning, House Majority Leader and FreedomWorks Chair Dick Armey ripped former Congressman Hayworth.
CNBC’S JOHN HARWOOD: Mr. Leader, let me ask you for your evaluation, having served a long time with J.D. Hayworth, that a) he’s one of the dumbest members of Congress, b) John McCain’s criticism of him is somebody who took too much money from Jack Abramoff and is somehow tied into the influence scandal. And thirdly, his criticism for free trade and of business on immigration.
DICK ARMEY: First off, remember, I’m a free market economist that begins with Adam Smith. So obviously free trade is a position I’m going to draw a sharp distinction between myself and the position taken by J.D. It was my job for eight years to manage the Republican majority. I’ve made this point in Arizona. J.D. had a fairly undistinguished career. I don’t remember a single legislative initiative that he took nor do I recall him actively working on a legislative manner. J.D. was quite an orator. He would take the well and give fairly good orations. But –
HARWOOD: He noted that yesterday he was the first Republican to serve from Arizona to serve on Ways and Means. And he’s saying in his ads and in the town meetings that he helped write the Bush tax cuts.
ARMEY: Well, is that right?
ARMEY: See, I was there at the time, but I must have been busy with something else because I missed that
The House Majority Leader says he “missed” JD having anything to do with the Bush tax cuts. He also can’t remember JD being of much use in the House but does remember that he could sure talk a lot and well. Hmmm…maybe that is where he gets the “consistent” label!
So, what do people who deal in reality think?
Armey commented on that, too. Armey predicted a decisive McCain victory on Tuesday, saying
The fact of the matter is that we consistently hear from our ears on the ground, our real activists who are involved is that John McCain cannot be beaten in the Republican primary in Arizona. I think the polling data that the experts from afar garner from it validates the observations of our activists. So I would predict John McCain to win this thing and win it decisively based on the polling data which is the second better source from our people on the ground.”
UPDATE…You may see the entire interview here. The excerpted dialogue calling the election for McCain can be seen at about 2:52 into the over 5 minute long video. The section of the interview where Mr. Harwood asks Mr. Armey questions begins at 3:45 and continues as Mr. Armey says he must have “missed” JD having anything to do with writing the Bush tax cuts.