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. Kris

    MCcain has a weak campain and right now with so many wanting change. Barack brings that. What MCcain needs is a strong VP that has the respect of the poeple. That is how his numbers will change. Barack has got a good thing going but feel he needs that VP to push him to win the general. Good fight coming. Lets all rally for Obama. Obama 2008!

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

    He has to do what he has done so far, relatively successfully. He needs to outline all of his policies and put a special emphasis on the ones that are different from those of the current President.

    July 2, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. No seperation

    I am paying $3.99 for a gallon of gas and all he can show me is a new Boeing 737 to fly around. This guy is crazy and the voters will never separate his idea from Mr. Bush. we can't separate McCain from Bush. He is officially inducted into Bushes clan.

    July 2, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Jo in Calif

    Unfortunately, in McCain's case, the apple doesn't fall very far from the Bush.... um, I mean ' tree'.

    July 2, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. mayahh

    He should ENDORSE Senator OBAMA, for PRESIDENT .

    July 2, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. ollins

    You are talking of a man[Mccain] who is in a marriage contract with President Bush.Have you not heard that his[ Mccain]current tripe to Colombia is to seal the trade deal his bed fellow started.Mccain/Bush fooled us twice.Jack,tell them[Mccain/Bush] that their time is up.

    July 2, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Flat-earther, Georgia

    Stay the course. Don't waver. If you stay moving long enough in on direction, you fall off the end of the Earth.

    July 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Peter of Oregon

    I'm happy with John Keating 5 McCain's "staying the course" vision. It provides us Americans a clear choice come November.

    Some advice: perhaps he should hire Rove in an official capacity, and ask Bush/Cheney to campaign for him. Their administration has obviously bought him.

    Also... the name "Straight Talk Express" is outdated, and doesn't reflect his current campaign. He should change this slogan to something more reflective of his message.

    July 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Nia - Phoenix, AZ

    Well....given that he has aligned himself with the positions of Bush, I think he should get use to them. What is intresting however is people would still vote for given that he looks no different the what we already have.

    July 2, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. bernadette

    from Rove to a Bush-Cheney advisor – McCain is more and more of '4 more years of Bush-Cheney'. I hope America wakes up and sees that there is no longer any 'straight-talking express'. It died in 2000.

    July 2, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Can we just be American?


    He needs to embrace Bush ... that is his idol. Bush and McCain is the same.... Johnny Boy can not fool us we American's know that his and Bush policies are identical ... I am okay with that. American people also know that we can not sustain another few months let along another four years on the Bush policy and therefore, we will not be voting for McCain. There is no hope for him... he can distant himself from Bush, shake up his campaign and it will pan out the same.... Obama 08!

    Change that we can not sustain without!

    July 2, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Grandpa in chief?

    There is no tactical solution for McCain in this election because he is fundamentally wrong on all the issues.

    Obama 08 & 12

    July 2, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Willow, from Iowa

    My big wish (that will never happen) is that all people campaigning for office would quit saying what they think we want to hear and start dealing with the issues and what they can do for our country. Be honest and straightforward and say what you can do. They need to quit misinterpreting everything everyone says and just "really" straight talk express. McCain will never do that. Obama barely does that, because politics today are different than they used to be. State what you can do, and run on an honest policy. That's all any of them could do to help the situation

    July 2, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |


    Two words: Drop Out.

    That is what McCain should do and save us all from Disaster and WW III

    July 2, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. judy

    McCain has already bucked President Bush in more ways than one during his career as a senator by working across the aisle with Democrats to get through legislation opposed by Republicans. There's an article about it today on Fox. McCain is not afraid to blaze new trails even if it means causing him to be criticized by his own party. Some of us vote for the person, not the party. Obama has a do nothing record in the Senate.

    July 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Blueray98

    You’re not asking the right questions. The bigger issue is that millions of voters – many of them Clinton supporters – feel more comfortable voting for McCain than Obama. And THAT is not good news for Barack!

    July 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. tg

    mmm. Let's see. Not hire any more Bush people for his campaign. Oh and how's this, step aside and just give up. Obama's gonna crush him.

    July 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Bishop

    Stop following him...

    July 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    So long as McCain insists he's going to keep on waging what I hope history records as George Bush's War, he's going to be perceived as just another George Bush. If he had the guts to say something along the lines of,

    "Personally, I think we need to keep fighting until we achieve something we could call victory, but the American people think otherwise and I'm honour-bound to accept that decision. If I'm elected, I will end the war as soon as it is logistically and strategically possible to do so, but no later than within ninety days after I take office."

    Anything else, and he hasn't a chance.

    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Kansas for Obama


    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Proud American

    No brainer McCain=Bush!! We dont need any more of that.

    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Richard, FL

    Maybe McCain should reconsider his enthusiastic support of Cheney too.

    In a 2006 interview, he said this about Cheney being in his administration:

    "I don’t know if I would want him as Vice President. He and I have the same strengths. But to serve in other capacities? Hell, yeah."

    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Those who think Bush has been doing a good job must be quite wealthy and not know anyone in the Military.

    It's just sad that anyone honestly thinks Bush is doing a good job.

    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. KMAN

    The ONLY man more unfit for for the presidency than John Blowhard McCain is George Bush. McCain is simply a LOSER in a race between more of the same BS which he represents and a chance for a brighter future with Obama!

    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Jack Walden

    Take comfort from the fact that he cant be as bad as George Bush as there is very little he can do. This is payback time for all these Republicans who supported Bush. And yes, Lieberman including...

    July 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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