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. Bob from Santa Barbara CA

    Jack –

    There are very few posts today on how John should deal with Bush's negatives..

    Must mean there are very few good ideas for John on this subject.

    July 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Doug in Seattle

    McCain has so little going his way. He claims to be more experienced, and by the measure of his age and years of service to the country he is. But when you consider judgment, character, temperament, and even intelligence, he comes up short.

    July 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. mendoza

    there is nothing McBush can do! Obama is going to be the next President and that is that! People in this country just cant take or afford another 4 years of the McBush policies! Look he is already bringing in all of the Bush team to help him with his campaign that is going no where! CHANGE IS COMING AMERICA!

    July 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. K Hussein Powell

    Really! He should embrace all of the Bush policies and lose!

    Obama for America and America for Obama!

    July 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. pierre

    Doris from Memphis, you are so cruel wanting to send senator Mccain to another country. Please, don't sent him to Canada.We have our own, don't need any more.

    July 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |



    July 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Dianne Scheck

    I don't think its having the impact it should be having. The national polls are pretty darn close and that is surprising. I don't get it. McCain is so uninspiring, boring, too white and slow. I can see he is trying to hold his temper.

    I think this is crazy regarding Obama's flag pin. Who cares. Americans are so petty and get fixated on mundane things. You could be a killer and wear a lapel pin. Does that mean the killer is patriotic.

    Yes Mccain should be worried but I am waiting for him to drop in the polls. Go Obama!

    July 2, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. James, SC

    Drop out!

    July 2, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Elesha

    What he's doing sure isn't effective! First, he leans into Bush and Rove for fundraising, then, he heads back on the campaign trail – in that super-dooper Straight Talk Express jet of his, I mean Cindy's – claiming vehemently at those infamous town halls that he is independent of Bush, that Bush policy is flawed and that he will be everyone's President.

    Jack, I may be a lady, but I need a beer or two or twenty to make it through this campaign season. Bush Lite anyone?

    July 2, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Greg, Florida

    I think he should deal with it by 'staying the course' on what he has been doing all his political career– flip-flopping.

    July 2, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. McCain is still Running?

    Promise you will bring the whole lot of them up on War Charges, that would be a start, even I would vote for the first one who says that

    July 2, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Ron

    saga4obama: WELL SAID!!!

    July 2nd, 2008 2:51 pm ET

    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. 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 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. George, DC

    Jack, the math is too fuzzy. The numbers only appear negative. They are actually positive negatives.... (Jumping Jehosophat, Dubya what are you typing). Jack, gotta go. Bye!

    July 2, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Jon

    Can someone tell me what george Bush has done that is sooo wrong?? If you ask me....the war fronts are on the right track.....the economy is due to the initial price inflation on housing....local tax increases are due to union influenced compensation being out of control....etc...etc...

    July 2, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Karen, Missouri

    McCain can never separate himself from Bush. Actually, I find McCain more fanatical than Bush. The Republicans have gotten us in one heck of a mess and there's NOTHING any Republican presidential candidate could ever do to get us out of it...VOTE OBAMA!

    July 2, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Fred, Las Vegas, NV

    It will help if McCain tells us who his pastor is and where he goes to Church and how many times he campaigns on weekends.

    July 2, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. patriot

    Bush or McGain. they are same,they are just puppet.. They have same agenda . Their mission is to invade the rest of the world to protect ISRAEL. They don't care American people.

    GO OBAMA GO 08

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Southern view

    Not by being George Bush.

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Godwin

    Easy, just make Bush his veepee!! Haha

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Jos/TN

    Those think Bush is doing a good job fit the insanity definition, America has tanked on most frontst the GOP rule is over deal with it.

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Brandon Hillary Democrat for Mc Cain-Pa

    Considering the Bush negatives are as high as this it is suprising Mc Cain is polling as well as he is and that this race is competitive....
    Speaks to the other candidate and his movement type candidacy.

    This election should have been a landslide and when its all said and done Yes the republicans will hold the white house because
    Mc Cain is a moderate and Obama is well....many colorful things moderate is not one of them.

    Go puma pac.

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Matt, Manchester, CT

    1.) Or how can Obama distance himself from Congress' even lower approval numbers (lower than Presdient Bush's)?

    2.) The geniuses on here w/ the witty "McSame" and "McBush" names are some of the same morons who hate whenever Obama's actual middle name is mentioned. I guess idiotic name calling trumps actual legal name usage in their world.

    Where are all you morons going to go when Obama doesn't win? Instead of a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" will it now be a "Vast Center-Right Wing Conspiracy?"

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Leaning08

    Take Bush's negatives and McCain's negatives = Obama. Get it two negatives equal a positive.

    July 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Marie; Miami FL

    He does not need to. All he has to do is keep his surrogates talking of how America will be attacked by terrorists in 2009. That should scare enough votes his way.

    Plus, he can keep milking Gen Clark's comment that being shut down as a fighter pilot does not count as executive experience. The more he talks about Gen Clark, the less he has to talk about the economy, the war, the energy crisis, health care, education, and everything else.

    July 2, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Ron

    Not even the religious extremists who blindly voted for Bush last 2 terms will put Mcsame over this time. Bush/McSame is not on your side. They just wanted your votes and he got them. Sorry

    July 2, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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