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.

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

    More shakeups in the McCain camp. I guess all that experience isn't paying off.

    July 2, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. lilacs

    The wo are joined at the spine. Mcain is bushs puppet.If you vote for mccrazy you voting for bush and company. we have dumb and dumber for presidental candidates. American we are screwed no matter which candidate you vote for Puppet Mccain or Gorgeie Nushs clone Obama. I will write my choice on the ballet this year.

    July 2, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. JA Cook

    He should keep adding former Bush campaign veterans, more Swift Boaters and a few more like Gramm. The we'll all be convinced they must've been pluses all along.

    July 2, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Dennis

    I wish McCain could travel back in time and beat Bush in 2000, back when McCain still made sense. Now he's pandering to the right wing doofuses who still blindly follow the Cheney administration.

    McCain 2000
    Obama 2008

    July 2, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Harvey Weewax

    Well let's see-

    In 2000, the supreme court ignored the election and picked the president themselves. So maybe he could buddy up with the justices, and make something happen.

    In 2004, in the midst of an unjust and unnecessary war, and a tanking economy, the republicans (with the help of a willing media) magically turned the national issue to stem cell research, same-sex unions and they threw in a color-coded terror alert every two days. So maybe he can rally the base by playing to their prejudices and scaring the bejeesus out of them.

    Change his motto to: "You may be scared, broke and miserable, but at least 'the gays' can't get married..."

    McCain 08

    July 2, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. John Doe

    He should quit the party entirely in protest over Bush's policies. But instead, he shakes up the staff but keeps all his big business and big oil lobbyist advisors. It's like he changed his Depends but forgot to wipe his behind.

    July 2, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Eleanor

    Maybe he can ask King George I to be his VP running mate! Then there would be someone on ticket older than he, more experienced and qualified than he, and more popular.

    July 2, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Francesco Totti

    MacCain should talk real and be himself and promise more reasonable things. Never go over your head. Unless you want Obama take the presidential chair.
    Sincerely: Francesco Totti

    July 2, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. scott brauer

    jack what about mcain not paying his taxes in california .

    July 2, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |

    I can't still get about the American politics. MacCain and Bush are different, even Bush brothers are different from the actual president; so, what the point?

    Will Obama like Clinton? Their are in the same party!!!

    Take side, just say, I want Obama to win, period.

    July 2, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Pat in Cali

    Rent Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11". Get a clue.

    July 2, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Steve


    It's too late to do anything. McCain has, over the years, carefully positioned himself as a true-blue Republican and a staunch supporter of Bush policies. If he tries to distance himself now, people are watching, and they'll see him try to throw Bush under the wheels of the Straight Talk Express. That will ruin his already poor reputation. If he continues to support Bush, he won't get elected. It's a lose-lose proposition for Mr. McCain. No one is buying the Republican story line these days, except the terminally stupid and the PUMAs (but I repeat myself).

    July 2, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Eleanor

    He could support the impeachment of the Bush Crime Regime, currently in power. He still won't win... But that would be a worthwhile start!

    July 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Griff

    In a business world, you would redirect your bad publicity, and produce a better thought about the time/period....

    July 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. KG

    He doesn't need to. Only you liberal idiots in the press and those liberal idiot robots (i.e. the posters here) who drink your Kool-Aid without going out and researching issues for themselves believe this.

    But, the truth is, John McCain has been one of the most "bipartisan, work for the good of the country not himself" politicians that we've head in a long time. Remember the Gang of 14? Remember him fighting (and winning) the fights against Bush (and Republicans/Democats) on campaign reform? Remember him fighting (and winning) the fight against torture? He's got a history of doing what is right, regardless of party affiliation.

    Obama's political history? Hmmm, doesn't really have one. Do you ever wonder why companies don't put inexperienced people in charge? BECAUSE THEY CAN"T DO THE JOB!! And, neither can Obama. Which is becoming more and more obvious since he can't seem to come up with any legitimate policies. And, when he does try to come up with something, as soon as anyone looks at it and figures out how amateurish it is, he stutters and stammers and says that wasn't what he really meant to say and that look out at the crowd and go "I'm the leader of change." Yes, you are Obama. They leader of changing your statements. It's become his trademark.

    July 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. No seperation

    Please, forward all these comments to the McCain people so he can do this country a great favor by quiting now.

    July 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. scott brauer

    if i didnt pay my taxes they would tak my house

    July 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Joe Reg

    It is hopeless, because Bush approaval rating is about 27% and when you take into consideration the margin of errors of about 4%; that means his real approaval rating is more like 24%.

    Now, Mcain approaval rating is going to be close to same thing.

    It is all because of deficits, wars, losts of properties, skyrocketing oil prices losts of jobs economics slow down and the list goes on.

    It is quite clear that the people wants a change from the current admistration to bring prosperity back to American's family and not the big oil like businesses.

    America is awake this time.

    Obama 08 & 12.

    July 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. matt gallant

    he supports bush's Policies, almsot all of them, he would infact be a older version of Gw, Another wolf in sheep's clothing. I think it is funny and sad that someone who is basing his entire run for the whitehouse on his military background and his knowledge of forgien affars, did not even show up to vote for the new war spending bill for funding for the troops. nice huh.

    July 2, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    I think Americans are stupid if they do not see the importance of race as a critical element of their leadership. Change of color will embolden other nations. Race is something this years election is different from any other in history. RACE is a fact. China, India will welcome it....hahhahaha. Someday they would love to see their very own at the reign of the most powerful country in the world...we will see.

    July 2, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Keith

    How should McCain deal with Bush's negatives? It's very simple, quit while he still can. This man will provide the United States of America nothing new if elected.

    July 2, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Chuck

    At this point who cares what the Religious right thinks or does. People are sick of the hate talk. They are fading away as fast as Bush's presidency. Maybe we can ship them all to their own little island like they would like to do to anyone who doesn't walk their walk. America has overdosed on Religion.

    July 2, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Sandy

    Realize the American People are too smart to think he will do anything different than Bush. Maybe he should just quit and save face.

    July 2, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Gary H

    Heck if he could talk Bush and Cheney into resigning he would win the election in a landslide!

    July 2, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. KenB

    Its politics as usual and unfortunately for McCain its a slow roll down a steep hill...he has to flip flop to keep the republican guard happy on one end and he has to play the roll as maverick to keep the following of American voters that could make the difference in this election. But, its really much ado about nothing...the Sen. can change his swagger and he still looks clumsy (sorry, he looks uncomfortable) in this role play...a capable representative on the hill, not in the white house. So, my opinion...there is absolutely nothing he can do about Bush negatives, especially when he house is shaky and changing residents.

    July 2, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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