Today, Rep. Connie Mack IV announced his "Social Conservatives for Mack Coalition" in a bid to shore up some far-right-wing support for his troubled Senate campaign. In the press release, his campaign declares that Mack "is one of the most conservative and hard-working members in the United States Congress."
Well, that's a damn lie.
By one respected measure, Mack is only the 179th most conservative member of Congress and is the least conservative Republican representative in all of Florida except for Rep. Bill Young and two members from the Miami area.
Mack's press release boasts a number of impressive (if you find such things impressive, anyway) ratings from various conservative special interest groups. That tells only part of the story.
The National Journal's yearly ideological rankings of members of Congress is by far the most often cited and respected of such rankings. Probably because the weekly publication read by D.C. insiders doesn't have an ideological slant of its own.
Mack received a liberal score of 38.2 and a conservative score of 61.8. In fact, he was featured in the "members in the middle" section. The numbers conclude the dude is a moderate. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Florida's 25-member House delegation includes 18 Republicans. Only three others are less conservative than Mack: Rep. Bill Young and Miami's Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. (Note to Miami political watchers: Diaz-Balart barely beat out Ros-Lehtinen for the title of Florida's most moderate member on either side of the aisle.)
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By contrast, during his short time in the Senate, George LeMieux, Mack's Republican primary rival, received a far stronger conservative rating of 76.7 in 2010.
"We have been disappointed to learn that George LeMieux is currently spending so much time tearing down Connie Mack and trying to re-make himself with conservative rhetoric that is not consistent with his record," reads Mack's release. Which is kind of ridiculous considering LeMieux actually has the more conservative voting record of the two.