In a possible preview of a 2016 re-election bid, U.S. Sen. John McCain last week defended his credentials as a “Reagan Republican” amid continuing criticism from “tea party” conservatives on his right.
McCain, R-Ariz., was responding to a question from a woman in the audience at a Tuesday constituent meeting in Phoenix. The woman complained about his “tearing down” of tea-party-style colleagues such as U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Rand Paul, R-Ky., who she said “stand up and stand on their principles and do the right thing, even if it means being criticized to the hilt.”
She asked McCain to explain what he personally believes in. Coincidentally, McCain earlier in the day had revealed he was seriously thinking about running for a sixth U.S. Senate term.
“What do I stand for? I would compare my voting record as a Reagan Republican with anybody you want to name, including the people that you admire,” McCain shot back. “So I am for lower taxes, less regulation, freedom of enterprise, the less government the better, give the authority to the states, charter schools — I can name you a long list of conservative principles and views that I have voted for and stand for.”