WASHINGTON—Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., told a national cable television morning show on Wednesday that he would not want President Bush to campaign for him in Arizona “at this time.”
“In a word, no. Not at this time,” said Hayworth.
News of Hayworth’s comment to Don Imus, during the Imus in the Morning show on MSNBC, quickly spread as show even highlighted the quote on its Web site.
According to a transcript of the show, Hayworth and Imus were talking about Tuesday’s elections results, including the victory in Virginia by Democrat Tim Kaine over Republican Jerry Kilgore, for whom Bush had done an 11th-hour stump appearance in Viriginia.
“Would you welcome President Bush to come to Arizona to campaign for you?” Imus asked Hayworth pointedly.
Hayworth, speaking by phone, initially sidestepped answering Imus’ question.
“I would welcome President Bush to Arizona to come with me along the border and see the problems that the ranchers and the law-abiding american citizens are having there,” Hayworth said.
“I would welcome President Bush to get tough on illegal immigration and understand that what happens on the border of the United States and Mexico is just as important as what’s happening on the border of Syria and Iraq,” the Arizona congressman said.
“So I would welcome President Bush to come and get serious with an enforcement first policy toward illegal immigration rather than a campaign. I think let’s govern first and then let the voters decide about a campaign.”