John McCain To Run For Sixth Term
Arizona Senator John McCain announced last night that he will run for a sixth term in the Senate:
Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) announced late Monday night that he will seek a sixth term in the U.S. Senate, acknowledging that he may face a primary challenge from the right but insisting he’s up to the task.
“I think I have the knowledge and the background to help this nation through very perilous times and I believe I can still contribute in many ways to the welfare and benefit of my state,” McCain told NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell in an interview released late Monday.
When asked about his age – McCain will be 80 years old on Election Day 2016 and would be 86 by the end of a sixth term – the longtime Arizona senator told O’Donnell that he still keeps a grueling schedule, and isn’t concerned.
“I’m happy to tell you my mother is 103 years old and she’s doing well,” McCain said. “Watch me. Take a look at my 18-hour days. Take a look at the hearings we have. Take a look at my legislative accomplishments. Listen, I’m just getting started.”
The onetime GOP presidential nominee acknowledged criticisms from members of his own party who have, at times, questioned his conservative bona fides. In 2014, the Arizona Republican Party formally censured himfor not being sufficiently conservative — which McCain readily dismissed during his NBC interview with a joke: “I was also censured by Vladimir Putin.”
As he did in 2010, McCain is likely to face a primary challenge from the right, although it’s unclear if the Tea Party groups that would seem to be most motivated in unseating him will be any luckier than they were the last time around. Back then, several prominent Republican Members of Congress who might have posed a difficult challenge to McCain declined to run and, in the end, he was left facing off against former Congressman J.D. Hayworth whose long record of bizarre statements, which continued through the campaign, combined with McCain’s ability to move to the right when he needed to, meant that the primary fight wasn’t much of a fight this time around. Candidate selection will be an issue this time as well, with Congressmen such as Matt Salmon and Trent Franks likely to be considered strong potential candidates on the Republican side. The question will be whether McCain has one more fight left in him or not.