A localized grass-roots effort to recall Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is gaining momentum, according to its supporters, but there is little interest among the GOP establishment in Washington, D.C. to replace him – even though he has opposed much of President Bush’s agenda.

“John McCain has become increasingly obsessed with advancing his own personal agenda contrary to President Bush, party leaders and rank and file Republicans,” says one “talking point,” which is posted at the “Recall McCain” activist website.

“In his insatiable desire for massive national media attention, he has all but forgotten the people of Arizona who elected him. The last straw was his vote against final passage of President Bush’s tax cut plan, the very centerpiece of [Bush’s] successful presidential campaign,” said information posted on the site.

A spokesman for the Republican National Committee said the RNC did not support the McCain recall effort but had no further comment. Also, McCain’s Washington, D.C., office did not return phone calls seeking comment about the specific charges made by recall activists.

Eric Cartridge, a volunteer for the group, told WorldNetDaily that being unable to get much comment from official Republican Party sources sounded familiar.

“They won’t talk to any of our voters about this either,” he said. “I get a lot of calls here in the office who say they’ve called Republican Party headquarters here in the state, but they get nowhere. They say the attitude is basically, ‘As long as McCain’s a Republican, he’s our guy and we’re not gonna say or do anything.'”

Nevertheless, Cartridge said the “effort is going fairly well.”

“We’ve got approximately 10,000 petitions circulating around the state in a very grass-roots way. Each one holds 15 signatures, so your guess is as good as mine as to how many we’ve gotten,” he said. “It’s kind of too soon to say how many have been collected.”

He said the group is sponsoring a number of public relations events, including two this weekend – one in Wickenburg, which is about 60 miles northwest of Phoenix on Saturday, and one in Flagstaff on Sunday.

“And last week we had two – one in New River and one in Prescott,” Cartridge said. “We’ve got a real active group down in Yuma that is doing one every week or every other week.”

Asked if he was bothered by the reluctance of officials in the GOP to publicly take a side against McCain, Cartridge said, “Yes, a little.”

“I felt that, given that McCain votes like [Sen.] Ted Kennedy [D-Mass.], that the Republicans would be anxious to discredit him and get rid of him,” Cartridge said. “But apparently that’s not the case. Apparently, it’s more important [to the national leadership] to take a ‘hands off’ approach with him. The Republican Party doesn’t seem to care that he’s not even representing Arizona.”

He added: “The calls we’re getting mostly are from people who think that McCain’s gone insane, basically. He’s not only voting for stuff but he’s sponsoring bills with Kennedy and [Sen. Joseph] Lieberman [D-Conn.], that are pushing us toward national socialist health insurance and the ‘National Incumbent Protection Bill,’ which would basically silence everyone except the mostly liberal media.”

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