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. TonyNJHC

    Smell the coffee Mr. McCain. You got to dance to your own tune or you lose and America, as we know it today, will be lost too.

    July 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Kelby from Houston, TX

    He cannot. He will loose

    July 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Donna

    He can't seperate himself from Bush...no matter how much he claims to be his own man...after all he is still stacking his campaign staff with former BUSH advisors, etc...there is nothing new or refreshing about McCain...he is an extension of Bush and short of just dropping out of the race, he can't do much of anything....he should have started seperating himself from Bush years ago..it's too late now to try!!!

    July 2, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Kevan

    How can he distance himself from Bush when he supported 95% of what he has done?

    Get Superman to spin the earth backwards, go back in time and don't support him.

    July 2, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Cathy

    To all the "Clinton or McCain Voters":

    First off, I can't say "Clinton or McCain SUPPORTERS" because if you were truly a Clinton supporter based on the real issues there is no way in hell you can be a McCain supporter. Clinton and McCain are complete opposite on the issues. Obama and Clinton are practically the same on all important issues.

    For those Clinton VOTERS who are seriously going to vote for McCain...it's just messed up. I personally think you aren't voting for McCain because you agree on the important issues. Instead, you are voting for McCain because you are being spiteful that you think Clinton should have won the primary.

    I honestly believe that those few Clinton voters who are going to vote for McCain are doing so...in case they have the chance to say "I told you so" if Obama doesn't win. If this is the case, which i believe it to be, I find it VERY disturbing that you, as an adult, think this way. You will jeopardize the future of your children and family and our great nation to try to prove your point that you think Clinton should have won the primary. This is very very childless.

    Personally, I think Obama will win without the Clinton/McCain voters. I think true and honest Clinton supporters will throw their support to Obama because they know what is at stake in this next election.


    July 2, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Realistic

    McCain needs to run for President of some other country to have a chance of winning, after the chimp's terrible record of royally screwing up our country and leaving it hugely in debt.

    July 2, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Ian

    I don't know, but having Bush supporters join his campaign team is probably not a good start.

    July 2, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    He can't seperate himself from Bush. He is just stuck.
    Too bad, so sad, we are mighty glad.

    Go get UM! Obama

    July 2, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Jose'

    How is Uhhhbama going to separate himself from the WORST POLITICAL PARTY IN HISTORY????

    July 2, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |

    CNN a word of advise from an Everyday American that eat a P & J sandwich every now and again:


    Please do your research before posting anything that came from Yahoo because trying to do DAMAGE CONTROL LATER AFTER DEGRADING SOMEONE'S CHARACTER IS JUST FOULLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

    July 2, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Has anybody noticed Bush is doing everything in his power to make sure McCain does NOT win???????
    The Surge in Iraq producing results, detente with North Korea, no more Fidel and cell phones in Cuba, and TODAY talks with Iran after European talks deal with issues.
    You would think a GOP 'buddy' would manufacture a terrorist crisis for hi 'pal'.!? no?
    (No taking advantage of Americans ludicrous conclusion that the 'no beef' and 'tainted beef' McCain would be a great CiC!?)
    I know, Bush is considering the safety of his grandchildren, which will be in better hands with Obama!!

    July 2, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. VLC

    He deals with it by being himself. Most (educated) Americans won't fall for the Bush = McCain = Bush nonsense the Dems are shoveling. McCain's record is clear. In the end it will come down to how he differs from Obama, not how he's similar to Bush.

    Not sure what all of these Obama disciples are smoking, but the latest Gallup and Rasmussen polls have McCain within 2 and 5 points respectively.

    The more Americans get to know about Obama, the more they'll realize he's not the answer. So, go ahead, keep flip-flopping on the issues and bashing McCain's experience. We'll see where it leads. . . . Hello President McCain.

    July 2, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. dan, los angeles, ca

    Lets see now, McCain has & continues to support the policies
    that led to those numbers. His only option is to come out & say
    "The devil made me do it". That is more believable than anything
    else he can come up with. McCain supports the Iraq war with more
    fervor than bush. As for the ECONOMY, they both went to the school
    for the very rich, and could not care less about OUR economy. It
    does not concern or affect them in the slightest. Both can very
    easily afford $100.00 a gallon gas.

    July 2, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Chris

    Well Jack, it seems to me his strategy is to just never talk about GW Bush. If he's ever asked a question about it, he can say, "I think GW made some mistakes but I plan to rectify those as soon as I'm in office".

    That's exactly what he's going to say, it's what Ford said about Nixon right up to the point he lost the election.

    July 2, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. kayla

    mcsame you would still loose if bush had favorable ratings. only Jesus can help you.

    July 2, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Montana is Obama Country

    The co-host of a recent top-dollar fundraiser for Sen. John McCain oversaw the payment of roughly $1.7 million to a Colombian paramilitary group that is today designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

    ............ MCBUSH is a BIG MC-NO....!!!

    July 2, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Griff

    Use them.... To be Positive.

    July 2, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Tony HUSSEIN Michigan


    July 2, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given that he has many of the same views as Bush, then it isn't surprising that he has to worry. Many of the Democrats are painting him as a third GWB term; the policies are fairly close and concerning.

    If McCain was really the maverick that he claimed to be, then this wouldn't be a problem. If he really took a harder line against torture, global warming and free wheeling spending and firm stance for increaced money and support for alternative energy sources (solar fusion research), reduction of the use of oil and increaced use of diplomacy. Since he hasn't (and the league of democracies isn't enough in the way of dimplomancy), he really needs to worry about his support for Bush and Bush's support for him.

    July 2, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Cynthia - Arkansas

    There is no way he can distance himself, when he sounds just like him. All McSame touts are the same old failed policies. I actually think McSame would be worse. He seems to want to finish what Bush started.

    July 2, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Little Lulu

    He does not have to distance himself from Bush. He is the best candidate (now that Hillary is out) for the job and he will win. Let me put it this way, I'd gladly take 8 more years of Bushism over Obamanation!!!!!!!!!!!!! No, I don't like war – but I certainly DO NOT want it on US soil and that is exactly what will happen with Obama – with him sitting on top like a cherry on a sundae. Someone needs to jerk the rug out from under him and make him stop and THINK for himself instead of having people think for him or clean up his wife.

    Obama is the most arrogant, self-righteous, self proclaiming excuse of a human being since George Bush. Now Obama is apparently taking on Bush's programs (faith based, etc). Looks like he isn't after change after – just going after what Bush has done. He honed in on Hillary until she was pushed out, then started picking up McCain's messages, not he "wants to be like Bush". True Christians and True Democrats won't buy his bag of bull. He'll have Wright and all the others out from under the bus in no time if he does actually get himself "selected".

    July 2, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. kayla

    give it up mcsame you are toasted.

    July 2, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian


    McCain has to STOP using pictures of McCain and Bush for his FUNDRAISERS.

    He should also distance himself from CARL H. LINDER JR. who just pleaded GUILTY TO FUNDING A TERRORIST GROUP IN COLOMBIA!

    I have no idea why CNN is not reporting about this current situation with JOHN McCAIN'S $25,000/ person FUNDRAISER.

    July 2, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Isaiah; Miami FL

    He can't. That's why he is trying so hard to divert the debate to non-issues such as whether getting shut down as a military pilot counts as qualifying executive experience for the presidency.

    Lately, McCain seems to have been trying to adopt Hilary's kitchen sink method: Throw anything out there to see what works. But too bad for McCain, Hillary has already emptied the kitchen, leaving McCain with nothing new to throw at Obama.

    July 2, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Linda from Prescott AZ

    He can't separate himself, it's all on the record.
    He's a creatin!

    July 2, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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