Hartsuch says he was “snubbed” by McCain

David Hartsuch of Bettendorf, the GOP candidate in Iowa’s first congressional district, did nto get to speak at Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s rally in Davenport on Saturday.  Hartsuch issued a news release to complain about being "snubbed." Read the Hartsuch news release after the jump (he accuses McCain of having "gay pride") followed by the McCain campaign’s two-sentence response.

McCain ’08 Shows Gay Pride By Snubbing Hartsuch

The McCain ’08 campaign refused to allow Senator David Hartsuch to speak at the John McCain rally today. According to a representative of the McCain ’08 campaign, the national campaign office would not approve Senator Hartsuch to speak because of comments which he had made two years earlier in defense of traditional marriage. Senator Hartsuch has been a strong defender of traditional marriage in Iowa. He introduced legislation to prevent same-sex marriage and to protect the Boy Scouts of America. Senator David Hartsuch is the Republican candidate for Iowa’s 1st Congressional district. His opponent, Bruce Braley, regards restrictions against samesex marriage to be discriminatory. According to Sen. Hartsuch, “Marriage is not merely the State’s endorsement of a romantic relation, but rather the State’s endorsement of an institution intended to bring up the next generation of children as moral individuals.”

Senator McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have defined marriage as only between one man and one woman. At that time, Senator McCain called such prohibitions “Un-Republican”, and “inconsistent with the core values of the party.” In 2002, Senator McCainsupported Richter Elser, an openly gay GOP candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives by sending a fund-raising letter to Elser supporters. According to advocate.com, McCain wrote, "Our party’s strength, like
our country’s strength, comes from inclusion, not exclusion.” Today, social conservatives were excluded.
Customarily, House candidates are invited to address presidential campaign rallies.

On McCain’s last visit to Iowa in Cedar Rapids, Marionette Miller-Meeks, 2nd District Congressional Candidate, was offered a place at the podium along with other state and local candidates. Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Christopher Reed was present at that rally, but the McCain ’08 campaign refused to allow him to speak. Christopher Reed has expressed his support of traditional marriage, and has led the fight to defend life by de-funding Planned Parenthood. It is not known why the McCain ’08 campaign
would not allow Christopher Reed to speak.

Senator David Hartsuch continues to support of Senator McCain, and believes that he is the candidate who will best safeguard America, and promote integrity in Washington. Senator Hartsuch is committed to victory for McCain in ’08, but will also continue his fight for family values in Iowa.

Wendy Riemann, a spokeswoman for McCain’s Iowa campaign, issued a two-sentence statement saying McCain "believes in preserving marriage between one man and one woman."  In the other sentence, Riemann said McCain’s "excited about Iowa and the prospect for a victory here." Hartsuch was not mentioned in either sentence.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Stephen Perry says

    As a proud Democrat (who happens to be heterosexual, not that it matters), I am glad to see that Senator McCain has at least in this instance chosen to retain the honorable position he staked out years ago. Refusing to give the podium over to intolerant people is the only correct choice. We need inclusion now, more than ever. With regard to our great nation, there’s no “us vs. them.” It’s ALL us. If only he had run as the McCain of 2000, rather than the third term of President Bush, I might have been conflicted as to who to vote for. Still, this honorable position will not go unnoticed, even by partisan Democrats like me.

  2. Soldier's Mom says

    Got it.
    Hartsuch is against equal rights for gay Americans. Against EQUAL PROTECTION before the law.
    Regardless that we have hundreds of children in state institutions for lack of welcoming foster families. Regardless that many gay Iowan couples (or even singles) would go that extra mile to give a kid an emotional anchor in a sea of transience & trade-offs.
    Sorry, Dr. Hartsuch, You did more good in the emergency room than in the legislature. Go back to what you’re good at.