DENVER — In a speech to the Libertarian Party convention just now, Richard Viguerie lit into the Republican Party, Sen. John McCain and conservatives who have been content to become an “appendage” of the GOP:
Republican leaders have treated conservatives with utter disrespect … and, in turn, conservatives have lost all respect for Republican leaders. Millions of grassroots conservative activists and donors have left the Republican Party and taken with them their volunteer time, their checkbooks, and their votes.
John McCain has had the Republican presidential nomination sewn up for three-and-a-half months and has done nothing to convince conservatives to come off the sidelines and enthusiastically support him. . . .
Senator McCain is trying to get the conservative support on the cheap — that is, without having to give ironclad assurance that he will fill the government with people who believe in individual liberty, individual responsibility, and in freedom.
He hasn’t given conservatives any encouragement on what I believe is the most important question: Who will advise him? Who will run his administration? Who will he appoint? . . . The fact is, after more than 20 years surrounding himself with supporters of Big Government, he won’t change now. . . .
The lesser of two evils is evil, Senator McCain.
Viguerie dismisses the theories about him as “too many free spirits trying to find something to fight about. They flatter themselves if they think I’d take over the party.”
Key votes on the platform expected this evening. The candidates debate Saturday night. The nomination vote is Sunday. Much of the proceedings will be broadcast on C-SPAN.