Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has reportedly selected former Republican Senator Jon Kyl to take over John McCain’s vacant Senate seat.
Jon Kyl had previously served as a United States Senator from Arizona alongside Senator McCain from 1995 to 2013. Kyl had served as the minority whip starting in 2007 until his last term ended in 2013. Kyl announced his retirement from the Senate in 2012, and had stated that he would not run for office again unless he was offered the Vice Presidency of the United States.
While Jon Kyl had previously defended President Trump from criticism during the 2016 campaign, he also has admitted he is not a fan of Trump’s style. In February 2018 Kyl noted that Trump was “boorish,” and “his own worst enemy.” Jon Kyl also called Trump a “phenomenon that has to be dealt with:”
In an interview with KJZZ, he also had some choice words for President Trump and his behavior.
“I don’t like his style. I think it is boorish. I think he’s own worst enemy. He could be much more effective if he were more politique, more diplomatic — of course that’s one of the things that people like about him — the fact that he isn’t that way. But I think there’s a happy medium,” Kyl said.
Kyl, who left office in 2013, calls a Trump a “phenomenon that has to be dealt with.” But he assures those alarmed by his presidency that the U.S. has a strong system of checks and balances and three co-equal branches of government.
Interestingly, President Trump had tapped former Senator Kyl to lead his current SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh, through the Senate’s labyrinthine confirmation process. President Trump had appointed Kyl “chief sherpa” back in July. It would seem that Kyl’s vast experience navigating the back alleys of the Senate outweighed his misgivings about the country’s current head of state.
Jon Kyl will serve in John McCain’s Senate seat until 2020 when a special election will be held to determine who will serve the remainder of McCain’s term.
I’ve been doing some research into Jon Kyl since Gov. Ducey made his announcement. In particular I’ve been looking into his positions on immigration to see how they differ from President Trump and the majority of GOP voters. What I’ve been able to find is interesting to say the least.
In 2005 then-Senator Jon Kyl voted against a guest-worker program that was authored by Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. The bill would have also provided a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. However, in 2007 Kyl worked with Kennedy on a bipartisan immigration reform effort.
During his time in the Senate it would seem that Kyl’s views on immigration were midway between Senator McCain and President Trump. Kyl voted against funding for sanctuary cities. He also voted no on establishing a guest worker program, establishing a path to citizenship for guest workers, and allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. Senator Kyl also voted in favor of building a fence along the southern border with Mexico, as well as making English the official language.
On the flip side, however, Kyl voted in favor of allowing more foreign farm workers into the US. He also voted in favor of expanding the visa program for skilled workers. The US Border Control, a non-profit citizen’s lobby, had given Senator Kyl a 75% rating, indicating that he favored a sealed-border stance.
This, coupled with the fact that Kyl is willing to work with President Trump on helping Kavanaugh through the confirmation process leads me to believe that Kyl is the best choice we could have hoped for to replace Senator McCain.
Just be glad we didn’t end up with yet another Senator McCain…