Dan Nowicki, the man who has crafted a career of being the resident McCain sycophant at the Arizona Republic, came up mighty short on facts in his recent column. Comparing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to Barry Goldwater he concluded that Cruz falls short, though they “both emerged from the party’s conservative wing, and faced accusations of extremism from political enemies.”
Let’s be clear. When Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater carried the Republican banner to defeat in 1964, it was a different Republican Party and a different electorate. Conservatism was not exactly a word rolling off people’s lips. It wasn’t until Ronald Reagan’s luminous speech —- “A Time for Choosing” —- promoting Goldwater that voters had any idea what the concept entailed.
Reagan was a conservative. Goldwater was not.
Try to conceive of either Ted Cruz or Ronald Reagan endorsing a radical leftist over a conservative congressional candidate. The idea is preposterous. Yet that’s exactly what Barry Goldwater did in 1992. He endorsed Berkeley-born and raised liberal, pro-abortion Democrat Karan English for a seat in what was then Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. With the power of his endorsement, she defeated conservative Doug Wead by a whopping 53 to 41 percent. Wead was a minister who had served as a special assistant to President George H. W. Bush. Goldwater declared Wead unacceptable, saying he “wore his religion on his sleeve.”
As it turns out, Arizona’s Republican icon, “Mr. Conservative” wasn’t a conservative at all, a fact omitted by reporter Nowicki.
After Goldwater’s endorsement spirited English to victory, anti-Barry ire was so intense, there was a movement to remove his name from AZ GOP headquarters. The story was big enough to gain coverage in the Chicago Tribune.
Abortion played a major role in this debacle. In addition to favoring term-limits and vouchers, Doug Wead was adamantly pro-life. The Goldwater’s were not. Barry and his wife Peggy were fans of the notorious eugenics proponent Margaret Sanger, (video) whose desire to limit those she considered “human weeds” and “genetically inferior races,” were key to Planned Parenthood’s abortion mission.
Goldwater even appeared in commercials in opposition of Proposition 110, The Preborn Child Protection Amendment, the intent of which was to limit abortions to saving the life of the mother or in cases of reported rape or incest.
The Peggy Goldwater Award, named in honor of Barry’s wife of 51 years — the founder of Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona — remains one of the group’s most prestigious awards.
Goldwater was vocal in his distrust of Doug Wead’s “connection to the religious right.” He hypocritically threw in the fact that Wead was a two-year resident of the state, calling him a “political carpetbagger” —- a charge he never leveled at carpetbagger John McCain, who succeeded him in the U.S. Senate.
Cruz launched his 2016 presidential campaign at Liberty University, a Christian school founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell. Akin to his predecessor, McCain was so hostile to the minister he urged “good Christians” to “kick Falwell right in the ass.”
Conservatives can be confident that Ted Cruz is no Goldwater.