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. Lynn

    Jack – John McCain is his own man. He needs to break all ties with Bush. He needs to get out there and state his policies and talk to America about his visions of the future.

    July 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. curmudgeon

    Sen. John McAncient should ask Pres. Bush to do something positive for a change, LOL.

    July 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Herman in LA


    That's an easy one..

    Impeach him....

    July 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Anthony

    The individuals who speak "Obama is fresh and he will bring something new to the White House", can they please tell the country what is this "something new" that Obama will bring?
    I have not heard any thing new and concrete from the Obama camp that the Democrats have not thrown out to the voters over the elections past.

    And all this talk that the Republicans raise taxes, well ,the people who beleive this evidently did not do well in economic history.

    July 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. 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!

    July 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. James

    He can not distance himself. He is a lilly white just like Bush.

    July 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Catty

    Obviously he made it this far without needing to worry about it... maybe he should just keep doing what he's doing and spreading his message and not worry about being anyone else.

    July 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. JOYCE

    don't matter anyway mcsain has already lost
    donate your money to little american children that is starving and need medical help. unlike cyndy she rather help ever one overseas instead of her on country *(that she so calls loves so well)
    also mcsain rather help the other countries to

    we do not need him

    July 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Trust or not trust

    Call me creazy, but anybody who voted and drag this country to war is a war criminal. McCain specially, several times try to remind us his service to his country, its funny why he does not remember those mothers and children’s that he killed with carpet-bombing.

    July 2, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. djools from amsterdam

    McCain has to answer the question what he is. A conservative leader or a maverick reformer. He is between a rock and a hard place. He can be both at the same time but people aint gonna appriciate that. That is a beer without alcohol.

    July 2, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Ariana

    Well if he had a brain, he'll stay away from him. But that's not the case is it...

    July 2, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. bill from pa

    Isn't Iraq looking for a president?

    July 2, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    He Could Retire!

    July 2, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Bob

    The Republicans knew / know that their party is doomed this election cycle. That's why they offered up McCain in the first place. This guy is so old and out of touch that the party will keep their "esteemed" players for the 2012 election on the hopes that the Dems will foul up and make the GOP attractive again. Good luck at my house Republicans!

    July 2, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Jamaal

    Old MCshame should move to Saudi Arabia with the rest of there Friends because no on in this Country wants him or Bush here

    July 2, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz




    July 2, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Accept that Obama is going to beat him.

    July 2, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Travis(in the real world)

    I see on the news a bomb scare in LA airport

    It's all coming true now....McWar and Lieberman have the plan in motion to use scare tactics to get elected.

    Geez maybe it was Lieberman at LA....stay tuned.

    July 2, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Kelby from Houston, TX

    At this point, McCain cannot separate himself from Bush, his policies or his negative numbers.
    McCain has made it quite clear that he supports several failed Bush policies (policies that he has denounced in the past) and he will work to continue those policies if he becomes president.
    He wants to make tax cuts permanent. He doesn't know much about the economy. He supports the Iraq was that was started under false pretenses. He voted against the GI bill....I could go on and on.
    The entire GOP is bad for America. They use fear to get people to follow them. They are for big business and not the American people.
    That's why the bail out Behr Stearns and not the American homeowner.

    If you are voting republican at this point...YOU'VE BEEN SUCKERED.
    you drank the Kool-aid.
    You believe their hype. GOD HELP US ALL

    July 2, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Jim

    With more photo ops and big hugs. I love it. McCain = 3rd Bush Term = Disaster. Wake up America. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 2, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. dennis

    Well, wait a minute. If "two thirds of Americans are concerned that McCain would pursue policies too similar to President Bush," why is McCain in a virtual tie with Obama in the polls? Sounds to me like a lot of those "concerned," are actually HAPPY that McCain would pursue policies similar to Bush's.

    July 2, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Anna

    McCain should take heart that President Bush's ratings are 50% higher than the lowest ever approval ratings of Congress. Meanwhile, while the American public is struggling with $4 gas prices, plummeting stock prices, and a floundering housing market, our Congress is back to adding PORK to their legislation again.
    It's time to review the list of US Representatives and Senators up for re-election this November!!!

    July 2, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Chris, Denver CO

    He should admit that the Bush numbers mean that America has rejected the policies of Bush and the neocons and, since he has nothing new to offer, fold up his tent and admit defeat! But I won't hold my breath.

    July 2, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. John in Ohio

    I've seen a number of McCain ads so far, here in Ohio. Big surprise, I know, but I do wonder where he's getting the money. Anyway, you can see pretty clearly from those ads that McCain is trying to run as a Democrat. He talks about standing up to Bush, he talks about being for green power and independence from foreign oil, he talks about being for better health care for everyone, he tries to talk like a Democrat. That's about his only chance, but it won't work because the Democrats have a candidate and it will simply alienate the Republicans. It was McCain's bad luck to finally have this year be his year to be the Republican nominee. If McCain had been up against Kerry in 2004 he would have won handily. If McCain had been up against Gore he would have won by much more of the skin of his teeth like Bush did. But this year? McCain is just going to lose.

    I'd feel bad for him, but he should have left the Republicans years ago, and instead he sold out. Screw him.

    July 2, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. Chris

    Just give up. Period. Full Stop.

    July 2, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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