Mike Gallagher

Sen. John McCain’s victory in the Florida primary has led to a rough week in the world of talk radio.

Some of my colleagues have turned on each other with a vengeance. One host accused another one of acting like a liberal (which, in our business, is a low blow). Another responded by referring to the original host as a “talk show host wanna-be” (another deep cut).

And it all has to do with whether or not John McCain is the most conservative of the GOP bunch.

Seeing fellow Republicans devour other Republicans is a highly unpleasant experience. I don’t like seeing like-minded folks hit each other over the head repeatedly with a sledge hammer. And after watching Wednesday night’s GOP debate, I’m not going to participate in this mud fest any longer.

I couldn’t help but consider the irony of Gov. Romney and Sen. McCain taking potshots at each other over who is the more conservative of the two while sitting at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. In case you’ve forgotten, President Reagan was the man many of us consider to be one of the greatest presidents who ever lived. And he had a simple rule about attacking fellow Republicans: never. He would always say, with that wink and smile, that he would never, ever attack a fellow Republican.

I guess we’ve forgotten that valuable lesson. Reagan didn’t say that because of some quaint, empty desire to be polite. He was a competitor. He loved his country. And he knew the value of keeping Democrats out of office.

If there was ever a time to prevent a Democrat from taking the White House, it is now.

On my radio show and during some of my appearances on Fox News Channel, I’ve been guilty of this game of “gotcha” with fellow Republicans. I, too, have engaged in this fairly fruitless effort to try and find the textbook Republican candidate with all the perfect conservative credentials.

But to do so simply damages the GOP and hurts our chances to win in November. I can promise you that loyal Democrats are positively delighted at all of this bickering between Republicans over whether or not John McCain is truly a conservative or not. Libs love every heated word that conservative radio hosts are using towards each other. Heck, I just saw one radio host as a guest on Fox News promise to NEVER vote for John McCain. I guess he relishes the idea of handing the White House to Clinton or Obama on a silver platter.

It’s enough already.

As I watched these four men – John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul – I kept hearing Ronald Reagan’s words: Never criticize a fellow Republican.

And from this point on, I’m going to listen to the Gipper.

I will no longer engage in bashing any of the Republican candidates for president. Any of the four remaining would be infinitely better for our country than President Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama.

This isn’t some kind of game show or reality TV program. We have the future of our country at stake. We’re fighting a war with terrorists who would love to blow the United States off the map if they had the chance. We have illegal immigrants streaming into our country so they can siphon our health care, job opportunities, and social services.

We need to keep our eye on the ball. Let’s consider “big picture” stuff for a minute. If John McCain gets the party nomination, do you really think he’d appoint more liberal judges than the two remaining Democrats? Do you honestly think that he’d be worse on national security issues than Clinton or Obama, either of whom would have us wave the white flag of surrender in Iraq? And now that McCain has finally heard the American people on the subject of illegal immigration and has repeatedly vowed to seal the border and go after employers who hire illegals, can you honestly believe that Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama would be better than McCain on illegal immigration?

Listen, there’s plenty of reason to feel uncomfortable with a John McCain candidacy. I didn’t like his Gang of 14 any more than the next guy. But let’s at least remember the outcome: unlike Clinton or Obama, Sen. McCain voted for John Roberts.

Republicans are going to put Romney, McCain, Huckabee or Paul up against one of two radical, liberal Democrats. I’ll vote for any of these four men. And Republican voters will go to the polls and decide which one has the best of beating Hillary or Barack. All four of them are good and decent individuals, each with strengths and weaknesses that keep us from finding the “perfect conservative.” But a Ronald Reagan comes along about once in a few lifetimes.

I won’t be bashing any of the Republican candidates because when it comes right down to it, how can I justify beating any of them up now, only to be expected to support them in November?

There’s nothing wrong with a fair and honest decision-making process. But let’s put away the sledgehammers, ok?


Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is a nationally syndicated radio host, Fox News Channel contributor and guest host and author of 50 Things Liberals Love to Hate.



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