July 2nd, 2008
02:01 PM ET
10 years ago

Cafferty: How should McCain deal with Bush’s negatives?

Many Americans are worried that a John McCain presidency would be just like another term of George Bush.

Two thirds of Americans are concerned that McCain would pursue policies too similar to President Bush according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. 49 percent say they are "very concerned."

This creates a real dilemma for McCain. The conservative Republican base is less than thrilled with McCain as the GOP nominee. And that's where the few remaining people who think President Bush is doing a good job reside.

McCain can't separate himself too much from Mr. Bush or conservative Republicans will tell him to take a hike. But if he doesn't separate from Bush, he's going to have trouble attracting those voters who think President Bush is the worst thing to happen to this country in a good long while. And there are lots of those.

A new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll focuses on President Bush's disapproval rating and the unprecedented role it could play in the campaign. None of this is good news for McCain.

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Filed under: The Cafferty File
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Claim to have had a "senior moment" regarding the war, torture, the economy and all the other failed Bush policies he recently endorsed...or he could just say "The PUMAs made me do it!"

    July 2, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Earl

    That's an easy one..

    Keep doing what he's doing....have more photo-ops with George

    Take George on his new plain to help McWar campaign


    July 2, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. s

    He should run on it, since they are basically similar on almost ALL issues!

    Obama '08

    July 2, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Anthony


    How can you seperate twins, They are joined at the Hip........

    Let them both fade into History.

    July 2, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. McCain Supports Bush

    ....Just has he has for the last 8 years: put his full support behind Bush and keep writing blank checks. It's too late for McCain to change his record of complete, blind support of Bush ... the record is clear ... he has stood behind the "president" through every lie and incompetent maneuver since 2000. McCain is Bush ... very little difference except that now he needs to change his image if he wants to get elected. He's nothing more than a politician's politician.

    July 2, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. saga4obama

    how should McCain deal with Bush's negative numbers?
    well lets see...
    1) leave the country.
    2) stage a fake attack on US soil
    3) higher high paid lobbyist to run his campaign
    4) Scream about being a POW, but not release his Military records
    5) evade taxes
    6) contribute money to convicted criminals like Keating
    7) create a smoke screen to divert attention to the fact that you dont know what you are doing.
    8) ask Bush to fund raise for you
    9) vote against your own bill...then flip flop
    10) throw your campaign workers UNDER THE BUS

    July 2, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Cathy in MD

    McCain needs to give back the Christmas 2007 gift he received from Bush – the funny little boxer briefs with “I LOVE TO FIGHT WITH BIG GUNS!” emblazoned on the rear.

    July 2, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. ProundToBeDemocrat

    He can't he is president Bush. remember McCain = Bush = Lame Duck.

    July 2, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. America for OBAMA!

    How should he deal with it? Resign his efforts completely and let a far more competent person lead this country for a change.

    President Obama!

    July 2, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Doris,Memphis,TN

    McCain should go to another country and run for President!

    July 2, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Chris

    Jack – I think he should "stay the course" – it's what the GOP is good at

    July 2, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Trust or not trust

    Well lets start with the American trust on their leaders. We have untrustworthy, borderline criminal president running the country and we have an old political hack running for president. This man is not even trusted by his own wife and her family. After all 30 years of marriage, they still have prenuptial agreement intact. I am paying $3.99 for a gallon of gas and all he can show me is a new Boeing 737 to flay around. This guy is crazy and the voters will never separate his idea from Mr. Bush.

    July 2, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. David Goldman







    July 2, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Justmyopinion2008

    Sen. McCain should take more pictures hugging Pres. G.W. Bush! He should campaign more with him and Sen. McCain popularity as a war hero will help boost Pres. G. W. Bush's ratings. People love twins, and as unique unidentical political twins, people will love them like crazy!
    I propose that they do a farewell Latin American trip together too, after Sen. McCain is back from Columbia!

    July 2, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. NoMcSame


    July 2, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Loretta from California

    It's his only hope..........he needs to rid himself of Bush period. I don't see any other way.


    July 2, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Daniel Mayinja

    Here's my 2 cents view: Sen. McCain should rename himself Sen. McGoose because his goose is fried .... totally!
    Obama's in the house baby!

    July 2, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. bill pike

    continue to have mcbush for 4 more years: an illegal war, can't use the car, economy down the toilet, oh gee wonder why??? and mubush had control of congress???? boy, this is a hard one

    July 2, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Peter

    I dont think it will matter Jack, he's voted so much for Bush policy that even republicans think he is too much like Bush

    July 2, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Suzanne

    McBush McSame 100yr WAR McCain cannot separate himself from policies he willingly embraces. The differences between him and Bush are MINOR compared to the MAJOR similarities. He has flip flopped from his positions of 2004 and that is made him more of a Bush clone that this country cannot afford. We have all paid too dear a price at home and abroad we will not be "Bushwhacked again McSame McCain

    July 2, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. ANGIE

    well given the fact that mr mcbush himself has portrayed to be distant from the horrible president it has come to my att today one of the bush cronies along with a few others has joined his campaign so its quite simple you mr john mcbush is going to LOSE by a land slide!! and i cant wait
    obama 08

    July 2, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Barbara Gooch

    McCain is the winner if the American people have one ounce of brain left.

    July 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Tjaye in LA

    I would hope he'd deal with them more realistically than he is dealing with the issues and the economy. He seems to be blind to the reality of what is important to most Americans. He seems to ignore that the economy is a problem and that we want the troops home – PERIOD, don't care if they win or leave. If he overlooks this too, it could be the end and although he is a likeable enough man, I think its for the best. He just doesn't seem up for the gig.

    July 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Charlotte Rowe

    Well, Duh.

    Most of the voting public wish Bush gone – and the only reason he hasn't already been removed is because the next in line would be even worse (albeit smarter) – Cheney. McCain has spurned the "conservative" base and their dogmas/preferences for too long to woo them back in these final few months; his efforts now to realign himself to their liking will alienate the majority of Americans, who know that Bush has been by far the single worst thing to happen not only to our country, but to the world, since....oh since probably that big asteroid in the Cretaceous that wiped out most species. McCain has a real tough job. I am not an enthusiastic Obama supporter – I was a Hilary supporter until a few weeks ago when that became moot – but I would darn sure bet that nothing Obama will do during his presidency could possibly be worse than what McCain looks like doing if he follows through on his changes of tack. The only solution to cleaning up the bushmess is an instant about-face on almost every policy, and a slightly slower one on the rest.

    July 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Ben

    My mother used to say."the rich have money. The poor have children."

    July 2, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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