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.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here

Filed under: The Cafferty File
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. Izora

    Why is CNN being so careful NOT to offend the McCain folks? For example, CNN has not even mentioned the flap about the McCains' failure to pay their property taxes on a condo that they own in California. They owed 4 years of property taxes, until the other day, anyway. Is this an elitist attitude or what?
    As for General Clark's comments, I agree with him.
    Now, the new shuffle within the McCain ranks is just another effort to dodge talking about IMPORTANT issues.
    The McCain campaign does not possess any of the understanding required to know what it is like to be unemployed, financially fragile, and fearful for your day-to-day ability to survive.

    I. Cohl
    West Bloomfield, MI

    July 2, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. John

    Its not hate were ridiculing him, because we can, and because it lets them know that we are changing things because we are sick of THEM. And cause we can.

    July 2, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Don, Milton, Ontario

    McCain must continue to distance himself from Bush and come up with a plan to turn the economy around. Perhaps even a fixed gas tax amount per gallon (reduced from what it is now) no matter what the price of gas goes to.

    Everything that happens to your economy affect us in Canada too.

    We are watching this election with great anticipation.

    July 2, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. TXBad1

    Ok after Hillary Lost I was going to vote for McCain BUT, McCain Keeps speaking and worries me more than Obama, so at this Point if and I say If, Obama has Hillary as VP, I will Vote for him and even start Campaigning for him in Rural Texas.

    July 2, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Sandy

    Stop kissing his rear and stand on your own two feet. If you did not get the memo Bush is one of the worst Presidents in Americas history...why would anyone want to tied to such a loser.

    July 2, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. RealVoter

    Even after all this, if we still elect McCain then we will prove to the world that we are one PATHETIC country and civilization on the face of the earth and in the history.

    July 2, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Sharon

    Senator McCain should put his resume up against Senator Obama's and let the people decide who is the most qualified to be President. Senator McCain is by far the more qualified and has the right judgment and character to be our President. If CNN was not in the tank for Obama than the reporting would be fair and balanced instead of biased and shallow. I sometimes tune in to CNN to see if they have finally seen the light and are reporting the news and not swooning over Obama. Too bad today CNN and Mr. Cafferty are still in the tank for Barrack Obama and the viewers are not likely to hear anything positive about Senator John McCain. CNN's political news consist of bashing President Bush and saying that Senator McCain has no chance of winning. Well we will see in Nov who the American people trust to keep them safe in this troubled time.

    July 2, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Pat Metheny

    This is not America, Shah, la, la, la,la.................

    July 2, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Tony

    @I Hate Obama....
    "NEWS FLASH…..Democrats have been in control of both houses of comgress for a couple of years, yet we curently have a weak economy and record high gas prices! So for all of you who think change is coming if a democrat gets elected, please get your facts straight!"

    Mr. Hate. I can't believe you even went there. The republicans had an entire 5 years to royaly screw things up. The Democrats narrowly won the House and Senate and every decision that is imperative to this country has been an automatic uphill battle thanks to the Republicans that managed to stick around. What's sad is they put up a fight over things that are total no brainers to republicans and democrats alike. At times it seems they resist just because. And for everything that does make it out of the House and Senate, there is Dumbo the clown with a veto pen. So please save it. Get *your* facts straight. Its idiots like you with selective and short memories that will probably put McCain in office. Instead of drinking the kool aide this time make an informed choice based on your own research for a change instead of running around spouting a bunch of crap someone has spoon fed to you because you are to lazy to pick up a news paper or find out what is really going on in the world. No I'm not a huge Obama fan, but given the choices, I think a pack of spider monkeys could do a better job than McCain.

    July 2, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Terry, Butte, Mt

    He needs to do and say things different than Bush,

    like tell the American People that he is environmentally freindly while pushing for more off shore drilling,

    and like going to Michigan and Ohio and telling them their jobs are not coming back, then going to Mexico and Columbia and tell them how he will create them jobs.

    I guess the answer is – Add negatives of his own.

    I hope two negatives don't make a positive.

    July 2, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. DJ, LA, CA

    It's still the economy stupid...this time the recession is even worse than '92

    July 2, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. jimmy velman

    Senator McCain can just be himself. Trute to his values and
    be the American hero and patriot that he is.. Obama coes not have a lock on the Presidential election despite the polls which have been proven wrong many times in the past. e.g. DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN newspaper headline in that election which was a collosal

    July 2, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Bob

    Jack, McCain needs to do something dramatic to separate himself from President Bush – perhaps take on a statement such as Eisenhower made in 1952 – promise to end the war in Iraq and bring our boys home. We don't need to be in Iraq another 100, 25, or even 5 years. Also, dramatically state he will now instigate a war against Iran unless we are Israel are directly attacked. Finally, focus on going after the perpetrators of 9/11 like Bush originally promised but never followed through with and then tackle all of the problems here at home.

    July 2, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Simon

    Perhaps things are proceeding better in Iraq owing to the fact that the government there is beginning to realize the responsibility to deal with their political issues is theirs and not the US Military nor US politicians such as GW Bush and John McCain. The American people consistantly view it that way by their votes as Obama has stated. Again McCain follows in the tracks of Bush.

    July 2, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. kel

    Mc Cain is just like PrESIDENT Bush and Mcsame
    Obama for President

    July 2, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. CLINTON 08 VP


    OBAMA (P) & CLINTON (VP) 2008-2014


    July 2, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Jack, this should sound crazy, but it would help separate Mccain from Bush. The more people learn about McCain's temper and behavior it might help him separate himself from Bush. McCain should called senator Cochran R – Miss who told the Boston Globe’s Michael Kranish, that McCain is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me. maybe when people learn about his temper it might separate him from Bush policies and behavior easily.

    July 2, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Bill from Oklahoma

    Mccain is like bush on tax cuts, wmds, economy, healthcare, torture, Iraq, Iran, Korea, Nafta, cuba, bank bailout, nuclear power, supreme court, judge selection, Osama bin laden, drill now, columbia trade, surge, hamas(sometimes), child health care, borrowing from china, and some others, but other than that they are not the same.

    July 2, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. mendoza

    hey all my Obama people what in the world is little lulu talking about? sounds like it is personal! lol

    July 2, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Anita from Arizona

    Well Wolf,

    McCain could start by not flip flopping to Bush policies or hiring Bushs advisors to his campaign or turning a blind eye to smear campaigning or fear mongering his supporters and advisors are doing. Just a suggestion.... If you stop sleeping with the dogs, you won't get flees on you.

    July 2, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. women in california for Hillary

    Why would John McCain be his money and interchangeable co-ordinated signs for every political occasion, including the new Presidential Seal I am AMAZED that Obama is not way out in front BUT even with all that help, including having the superdelegates help him limp over the finish line, Obama is still struggling to leave our McWayne in the dust

    Go John!
    Go Hillary!

    July 2, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Rob in Sacramento

    he should ask his wifes permission to choke down a few of her pills. that & keep planning a bogus terror attack on cindy's botox & silicon supply lines. he could also try campaigning in the country he says he loves so much. if hes not too busy sell us out abroad.

    July 2, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. women in california for Hillary

    why would JohnMcCain be worried? With Obama's money and interchangeable signs for every political occasion, including the new Presidential Seal, I am AMAZED that Obama is not way out in front BUT even with all that help, including having the supers help him limp over the primary finish line, Obama is still struggling to leave our McWayne in the dust

    Go John!
    Go Hillary!

    July 2, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Where is the coverage

    Jack: Last time I checked, not paying your Taxes (Federal or State) was illegal. They put Wesley Snipes in Jail, what's going on with the McCriminals. If it where the Obama's or someone close to them we'd have 24hr coverage for 5 days, about what a criminal he is or how he's not Patriotic, or should lose his seat, etc, but no one's talking about how someone who wants to be President or for that matter is an elected Senator and his house-hold is not paying their Taxes, like every other Patriotic American!

    July 2, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Edward

    The only way out of this is for McCain to call the gas crisis and act of Terrorism on America... These gas prices are a blatant act of TERRORISM. There is price gouging and price fixing going on and both are criminal. This crime is forcing America into an economic meltdown and they are doing it without even using a gun…. Bush and Cheney have turned a blind eye to it all and that is going to bite McCain in the butt....

    Congress must investigate this and send the perpetrators of this crime to hard labor prison camp for life and make examples out of them so every other white collar criminal sees what happens when you get caught robbing Americans.... ITS TERRORISM and the handful who are behind it are getting wealthy… Use the word terrorism to describe the gas price crisis and see if America agrees with you....

    July 2, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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