Timely use of campaign funds to buy advertising could be the key to overcoming incumbent John McCain's 20-point lead in the race for the Republican nomination, rival Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth said Tuesday in Ahwatukee Foothills.
"Our ads are going up as his are coming down," Hayworth said following an appearance at an Ahwatukee Republican Women's club meeting at the Grace Inn, just south of Elliot Road on 51st Street.
A Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday indicated McCain was leading Hayworth by a margin of 54-34. Hayworth attracted a crowd of about 80 people to the Tuesday evening event.
Hayworth said McCain had compromised his conservative principles in the name of Washington deal-making.
"I have no doubt that John went to change Washington. But Washington changed him," Hayworth said. "John deserves an honored place in our history. We thank him for his service. It's time to say to our old friend, ‘Welcome home, John. It's time for new representation in the U.S. Senate.'"
He said that, if elected, he would introduce three bills on his first day after being sworn into office. The first, which he dubbed the Congressional Responsibility Act, would require that every regulation proposed by a federal bureaucracy be sent to both houses of Congress for approval.
"The legislative branch has surrendered law making authority to executive agencies filled with unaccountable bureaucrats who are, in essence, making law," Hayworth said, citing the Federal Communications Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as examples.
The second proposed bill he called the Constitutional Citation Act.
"For every piece of legislation, the original sponsor must stipulate the exact passage in the Constitution that gives Congress the power to legislate in that area," Hayworth said.
He said his third proposal, called the Enforcement First Act, would require the federal government to secure the nation's southern border.
The U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona's anti-illegal immigration bill, SB 1070, is politically motivated and an attempt by the Obama administration to rally its dispirited supporters, he said.
"Arizona wants to enforce federal immigration laws. Obama wants to ignore them," Hayworth said. "The administration views the border as a political problem to be managed. It's really a national security threat, an economic security threat, and an invasion that must be stopped."
He accused McCain of favoring amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the country.
"I will say no to amnesty," he said. "It is unsustainable. It is unwise."
Hayworth found a sympathetic audience in Ahwatukee. James White, 19, said Hayworth seemed more "in touch" than McCain.
"I sort of had decided before that I would vote for Hayworth," he said. "I'm not a fan of McCain's policies."
Ahwatukee resident Brenda Roberts expressed similar sentiments.
"I was leaning towards him anyway," she said. "I'm not happy with McCain."
But resident Debbie Taylor said that, so far, she remained unconvinced by either candidate.
"I really just came because I wanted to find out more about what he represents," she said. "He contrasted himself with McCain fairly well."