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. Richard, FL

    McCain just needs Joe Lieberman with him 24 hours a day to correct him everytime he says something wrong.

    July 2, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. al



    July 2, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. eOpinion

    The GOP needs to let it go. They still think they can mislead, spin, distract Americans from what's going on (like they did with Bush) to get another lackey (McCain) into office to again do their bidding.

    They've had their good years with Bush and will continue (with McSame) to cut taxes for the top 1%, support a war that's making some American Cos. rich, ignore the environmental warnings that again will, in the short-term make money for some Cos., subsidize Oil Cos. that are raking in record profits, etc. at the expense of Americans, the list never ends. And they confuse, distract, politicize (you liberals are all alike), to keep Americans stupid about what is going on.

    Basically do what specific, large US corporations want at the expense of everyone else and keep Americans stupid and pissed off about issues that don't matter.

    This shouldn't be even as close of a race as it is so maybe the GOP has hope they can 'steal' another election to keep taking money from regular Americans.

    July 2, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Tony, Philadelphia, PA

    McSame can't do anything to deflect Bush's negatives because he flip-flopped so easily to embrace all of Bush's failed policies.

    July 2, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. swb

    jack mcain should stay in colombia along with his free trade

    July 2, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. DJ, LA, CA

    It is what it is...nothing can change the facts. Perhaps McCain should have not made comments to the press the same day Bush did about wanting to endorse offshore oil drilling.

    NOT a smart move and especially not here in California where even the Republican governor is against offshore drilling.

    July 2, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. crown point tim

    McCain should continue going thru the motions-the Republicans have written off this election. They are planning on 2012.
    It doesn't matter what McCain does or does not do. The 2008
    election will be a Democratic landslide.

    July 2, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. richard

    he should not deal with the negatives he should be himself.

    July 2, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Christopher Cyphers

    Every American that drives a car, cares two hoots about the air they breath (no pun intended), has money invested in the stock market, or is the least bit concerned that the US will go down the road of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan (remember, Afghanistan led ultimately to the undoing of the USSR), should be concerned about the potential for a McCain presidency. They say insanity is repeating the same failed acts over and again. To put Mr. McCain in office would be, therefore, an object lesson in insanity. If we as a nation don't get it right in 2008, I think even the most optimistic among us would agree that we are destined to be a failed empire–like the Romans, British, Ottomans.

    July 2, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. brian, calif

    WOW such hate from the supporters of the great uniter

    If he runs on his record of which he has one he should win in a land slide

    Remember words matter

    July 2, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Boldeen Arfens

    The answer is very simple. McCain should simply claim the "realities" that would otherwise improve his candidacy if they happened to actually be true: "Bush is a great president." "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are American success stories." "The economy is strong and getting better every day." "Energy prices are declining." "Our food supply is safer and more economical than ever before." "The future just looks rosier and rosier." If he makes these statements with confidence and a straight face AND RNC operatives get enough anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-stem cell referenda on the ballots in key states to rev up the base, this cranky, sad old man can easily win the presidency and continue the sorry Bush agenda for another 4-8 years.

    July 2, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. YES WE WILL!

    MCBUSH AGREES WITH 95% OF BUSH"S LEGISLATION – How are they different?

    Both War Mongers

    ++ Use Fear Tactics!

    July 2, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. cj Clearwater, FL

    The only reason MCCain is changing his staff is to get in the news; otherwise he should be in the news for promoting more free trade in Columbia and Mexico....just what the Rust Belt States and all of America need.....sending more jobs away and hiring cheap labor to take jobs that are left here.
    Anyone who votes for him is against America and what it was founded to be to all people!!

    July 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. DIZIZI31

    Where is that Presidential approval rating poll? If Bush loves American this great country and has done virtually everything he can to destroy the economic system, the "former" military strength and families really what can McCain do other than join him. Because that's what Republicans do, or jump to the democratic ship of fools that doesn't know where it's going but has got a young man at the helm trying to do something right and restore America's might.

    July 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Nava-Canada

    It is not too late for Mr.McCain to dislodge himself from Mr.Bush's policies. He must say war against Iraq was a mistake and support
    the war against Alquida insurgency in Afghanistan. He should move
    away from war mongering and concentrate more on Education,
    Health care, economy & diplomacy. Wars do not win people and it is
    direct diplomacy & dialogue that win people. If he can concentrate on above,other than war, and move away from Mr.George Bush, he may stand a chance in the coming elections as there is infighting in Obama camp and chances of Mr.Obama getting elected is debatable
    as he lacks experience to lead a powerful country. He has so far won the primories due to his ability to twist & turn issues with his oratory
    skills but when it comes to working out issues,he needs outside help

    July 2, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Mike

    I agree with most of the comments. I agree that he should continue to endorse everything Bush says and does. I think he should endorse an even bigger surge in Iraq. I want all those old guards in both parties to get out of Washington and a brand new crop should take over with fresh ideas.

    July 2, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. dapo

    Interesting that the same anti-clinton tirades are now back. This time with another opponent.

    The fact is that Bush and Obama have a lot in common. litle experience before going to the white house, campaign based on likability. I bet he will end up having a VP like Dick Cheney

    I just don't understand why people try to deny the truth.

    July 2, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Sarah

    Proves getting shoot down and 5 years in prison doesn't make an experienced for the oval office, and he keep changing staff? It is his staff or lack of experience running things that make all of those mistakes?

    July 2, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Gene

    Well.. you can start by not hiring additional Bush aids.

    How can you distance yourself from Bush if you keep hiring and seeking councel from his people?

    McCain has absolutely no common sense... yeah.. that's leadership I can believe in 🙂

    By the way... by hiring a new campaign manager.. is he basically saying that the "straight talk express" which he claims to be running isn't working? So is he saying that since the "truth" isn't working... he's going to have to go another rout? Kinda makes you go hmmm...

    July 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. cj Clearwater, FL

    YEHHHHH; choosing a Bush campaign manager to spice it up just shows exactly that MCWar will not and does not want to separate himself from GWB! Isn't that a shame!!!!
    Obama/Biden '08

    July 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. totally neutral

    I believe the proper response is " I simply can't recall".

    July 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Obama/Hillary 08

    I wonder if Joe Liberman is the one that is going to launches the new terror attack. Please stop scaring people for political reason. America, it is not true no terror attack in 2009. If there is one Joe Lieberman and the Republican Party is behind it.

    July 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Charles

    There is no chance for Mcbush opps I mean Mccain to win anything.
    the bush negatives will not just cost them the presidential race but it it will also cost theme senate seats and a lot of other seats. thank you Mr. president.

    July 2, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. MLG

    I think that he should talk about how he is going to try and fix our economy. I think he needs to find a conservative to run vp for. I think he is the right man when it comes to National Security.

    July 2, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. swb

    jack what about bush lying about mcain helping webb on the gi bill

    July 2, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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