The Annoyed, the Angry and the Furious
Over the past decade, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has clashed with some of the most powerful individuals and institutions in the Republican establishment. Some are grumbling. Others may be plotting their revenge.
The Annoyed: McCain's fight against issue advertising that targets candidates during campaigns put him on the wrong side of many groups, but his stands against abortion, federal spending and most gun control have tempered their ill will.
• National Right to Life Committee
• National Rifle Association
• Club for Growth
The Angry: Some of McCain's policy positions have created enemies not easily placated. Anti-illegal-immigration groups will not forgive his stand in favor of granting illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Some gun rights advocates have not forgotten his demand for background checks at gun shows. Some business groups remember that he was among the first Republicans to advocate legislation combating global warming.
• NumbersUSA (anti-immigration group)
• Gun Owners of America
• Competitive Enterprise Institute
The Furious: Even McCain advocates concede that some conservative power brokers will use every means at their disposal to foil the senator's nomination bid, especially those personally impugned by McCain's angry outbursts and his investigation of felonious lobbyist Jack Abramoff as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. That investigation tarnished some of the most powerful Republican insiders of the Bush era.
• Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, tied to Abramoff.
• Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, tied to Abramoff.
• David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, who backed George W. Bush in 2000 and says he has been snubbed by McCain numerous times since.