Conservative stalwart National Review endorses John McCain in the Arizona Republican Primary versus J.D. Hayworth. Surprising? Somewhat, but then again, they do lay out a fairly convincing argument for the former Presidential candidate. It’s an interesting debate, one I think our readers here will have varying opinions on. Should an influential conservative group like National Review stick with a proven winner like McCain despite his, shall we say flaws; or should they have proven themselves loyal to the new conservative movement by backing grassroots favorite Hayworth?

John McCain official portrait 2009

Currently in the Arizona Republican primary, McCain leads Hayworth by double digits. This surely didn’t go unnoticed by the editors of National Review. Although I hardly think that National Review endorsed John McCain just to pick a winner.

In their editorial, the editors lay out a few reasons for their pick of McCain. First they say that McCain has usually been on the conservative side of “national controversies.” He’s never voted for a broad based tax increase, he’s got a strong pro-life record and he’s voted for all conservative nominees to the SCOTUS.

Secondly, they say that when McCain’s right he can have a terrific impact. Like him or not, you can’t argue with this fact. John McCain carries tremendous weight in the US Senate. His foreign policy expertise is sorely needed and lacking in that body. McCain took a lot of credit for the Iraq War surge that has brought great success, and that’s debatable (not that it succeeded, but that he should get credit).

The third reason National Review endorsed John McCain is that he (in their opinion) is more of a statesman than J.D. Hayworth. They also say that Hayworth’s federal spending credentials have been hurt due to an infomercial he appeared in imploring folks to get their “free money” from the government. Yikes!

What say you? Tell us in the comments what you think about National Review endorsing John McCain. Have they lost credibility with conservatives? Is J.D. Hayworth really that great of an alternative to McCain? The full version and edited version of Hayworth’s infomercial can be seen below.