Teabaggers Staying Neutral in John McCain-J.D. Hayworth Showdown

The endorsement war is waging in the epic GOP showdown between Senator John McCain and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, but there is one conservative movement that's staying off the battlefield -- for now anyways.

Arizona's four largest Tea Party groups announced today that they will not endorse either candidate in the GOP primary yet (if at all), a move the McCain campaign is spinning to suggest that "J.D. Hayworth isn't the Tea Party favorite that he so often claims to be."

Hayworth is hoping to appeal to the ultra-conservative members of the Republican Party -- members who aren't particularly fond of McCain's centrist leanings.

With the Teabaggers as the cream of the conservative crop and not throwing their full support behind Hayworth, the McCain campaign appears to be right.

 "It is not appropriate to make an endorsement in this race at the drop of a hat, as some other groups are doing," says Kelly Townsend, organizer of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party. "The movement must stand for ideas and do everything possible to provide information to people so that they can make the best personal decisions."

In a race similar to the one here in Arizona, Teabaggers are rallying behind Marco Rubio in his Florida U.S. Senate campaign against Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

In Florida's case, Rubio is the more conservative candidate in the race, and the Teabaggers, like South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim Demint, are lining up to support him.

In Arizona's race, Demint has pledged to stay neutral and not show J.D. the kind of Teabag love he's showing Rubio.

Maybe J.D. could use this to his advantage in his bid to come across as the most conservative kook in Arizona. "J.D. Hayworth: Too Conservative for Teabaggers" has a nice ring to it.

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James King
Contact: James King