Sen. John McCain didn’t quite receive a warm welcome when he spoke before a Arizona Republican Party committee meeting Saturday, with several GOP delegates booing and turning their backs on him during his speech.
According to the Arizona Daily Independent, the only members of the audience who showed any appreciation for McCain were a “mostly silver-haired faction” and outside supporters reportedly brought in to cheer him on.
However, some attendees claimed to The Arizona Republic that only a few booed the senator and nearly everyone there seemed to love him. But video and images of the event show a sizable portion of the audience jeering McCain and turning their backs on him.
One delegate even yelled “war monger” at Arizona’s senior senator. Activists also say that the ones who were cheering for him seemed oddly “choreographed.”
A former county chairman, Rob Haney, took it upon himself to pass out stickers bearing McCain’s face and the slogan, “Deport 2 Manchuria.” According to The Republic, the stickers reference the Cold War thriller “The Manchurian Candidate,” which depicts a Communist-brainwashed politician running for office. Haney believes that McCain is “destroying the country and the Republican Party.”
“I’ve been against him since I knew about him,” Haney told The Republic. “There’s not a thing worthwhile that he has done. He’s anti-Constitution. You can’t believe a word that he says.”
Last year, McCain wasn’t even allowed to speak at the event after being censured for his views on immigration and foreign policy.
The dissatisfaction with McCain among many Arizona conservatives has only grown since then after the senator backed a purge of the state party that removed tea partiers from top positions. The purge is believed to have been instigated to make it easier for McCain to run for re-election in 2016.
The Vietnam veteran turns 80 that year.