August 15th, 2008
04:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Preston on Politics: Can McCain win over social conservatives?

Sen. John McCain's campaign has downplayed any rumors of discontent among evangelical voters.
Sen. John McCain's campaign has downplayed any rumors of discontent among evangelical voters.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain stood before a gathering of social conservatives here last fall and acknowledged that he had some work to do to convince them to support his presidential campaign.

"I know that before I can win your vote, I have to win your respect," McCain told attendees of the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit.

At the time, McCain was in a tense battle for the Republican presidential nomination, and support from every corner of the GOP base was needed. He was received politely by the audience, but when the Values Voter Summit held its straw poll to gauge support for the nine Republican presidential candidates, McCain landed in last place.

Watch: Tony Perkins discusses the role of social conservatives

Full story


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. curtis

    He can't seem to even win over his kids. Seriously. Why are none of them camapigning for him – or even showing up for photo ops or in the background of photos or anything? I find this very weird and very telling.

    August 15, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. SD LJ

    This is silly. The social conservatives are may not LOVE McCain but what is their other option- not vote? I suppose they could do that.....but what does that accomplish- de facto vote for Obama. I simply don't see self proclaimed "social conservatives" going for a Democrat.

    August 15, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Chris

    Anybody who is a social conservative has no choice but to take the "lesser of two evils".

    August 15, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Mr Republican

    He'll never win this conservative's support. Amnesty for illegal immigration and pro-life is not conservative. I'm sure he'll change his pitch, but we learned from Bush that he will change right back if he's elected.

    August 15, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. blaising

    He can't win over myself and the 2 others in my household. That's 3 more votes for Obama...sorry McDeaf.

    August 15, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Barry Soetoro

    He's the guy now... so yes... he will get the conservative vote...

    Obama supports post birth abortion... not going to win over social conservatives...

    August 15, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Abandon another family, and make a few more commercials mocking religion, god and Jesus Christ, and hey, you may just win us over eh Johnny?

    August 15, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Who is Obama?

    All fair thinking Americans should have many questions and worries about Obama. I'm still having trouble getting past his church.

    August 15, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. California Gold

    McCain will be heckled and jeered by unsupportive social conservatives just like he was during the primary. Social conservatives know a liar and a fraud when they hear him.

    I may not be politically in line with social conservatives, but as a group they do their work and scour a candidates voting record. McCain just falls too far short of the mark.

    August 15, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. Obama '08

    Things younger than John McCain:
    ALF
    Howdy Doody
    Area Codes
    FM Radio
    Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
    Automatic Car Transmissions
    His latest wife who injured herself SHAKING HANDS!!!

    Vote for a presidential candidate NOT endorsed by the worst president in American history!

    McCain was a traitor in Vietnam!!

    His foreign policies are based on Wikipedia!!

    Ask Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft how valuable experience is!!

    Get off my lawn!!!

    August 15, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Mike

    NO ! McBush is not a conservative. Just a pandering politician.

    August 15, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. Sherry, Atlanta

    CONSERVATIVE'S AND INDEPENDENT'S NEED TO INVESTIGATE THE 'SAVINGS AND LOAN', BEFORE THEY MAKE THEIR DECISSION.

    JAMES KEATING SERVED TIME, JOHN MCCAIN AND ZEB BUSH DID NOT!

    August 15, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Joe

    The Only Social thing McCain knows how to do is to cash in his Social Security check.

    I wonder why he doesn't donate the money?

    August 15, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    he didnt win against george w bush in 2000 so can he now there are republicans who joining barack he wasnt good enough in 2000 primaries he is good enough now.,,.

    August 15, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  15. Indiana Bob

    I hope he can. I am a lifelong Democrat (since first voting in 1972) who will be voting for McCain in November. We need all conservatives to vote for him too. If McCain doesn't motivate you, the fact that Obama could be our next president should scare the hell out of you. That should be motivation enough. Obama, The Great One, must be stopped.

    PUMA - Vote McCain

    August 15, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Mac Acts... Bama Talks.

    Rather vote for a Christian then a Muslim hiding behind Christianity because it's good for the polls...

    Am I right Barry Soetoro?

    Also at least Mac doesn't support the killing a live child if he is born during an abortion procedure like Obama. Google Obama and PLA, and read the horrifying things this man voted for MULTIPLE TIMES. Also approving earmarks for this hospital after his wife got a raise there.

    Mac '08

    August 15, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Joe Kiloz

    I don't know nor do I care who the social conservaties will choose.

    One thing is for sure, it is very hard to envision them supporting a

    VICTIM POLITICS CANDIDATE LIKE BO , when he brings us race, nor

    Mr. Obama's 20 year relationship to a pastor who preached Black versus

    White racism from the pulpit.

    August 15, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. reality check

    if he keeps acting like a jerk.

    August 15, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. Lacy

    What happened to McCain's position on not pandering to "agents of intolerance"?

    Do I smell a flip flop?

    August 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. kimoshon

    I think MCcain's answer is perfect. the only reason the DEM'S(four letter wrd) are upset is because this author actually took the time to find out what type of character drives Mr. Hussein Obama. the American people want to know since he is not American to the Core...then what is he? and this book tells us all what he is, who his mentors were, and tells us what kind of a person mr. hussein really is since neither he or his campaign will tell us the truth. Mr. Hussein is not going to be the president of the free world after only four non-voting...present only years in office or a seat that happens to be in the office.

    August 15, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. DR. YES

    he's not winning over anybody.he never polls ahead of obama.even when obama's on vacation.

    August 15, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. fred

    I'm a social conservative, so let me answer this one. If McCain chooses a pro-choice VP, many of us will vote 3rd party. If McCain chooses someone who does not care about people, and only himself, such as Mitt Romney, we will vote 3rd party. If McCain chooses a running mate such as Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Pawlenty, or Sarah Palin, we will vote McCain. End of story. That's just how it is.

    August 15, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. Pat Riot

    Social conservatives have nothing to do with political conservatives. They can't sit for 5 minutes without trying to tell someone else how to live their life. It is completely opposite of the freedom message that true conservatives advocate.

    August 15, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Jeff from Jersey

    We still have hope so long as McCain finishes last as well!

    August 15, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Obama is risky and I'm afraid that this inexperienced person will get us all in a peck of trouble in world affairs.

    Obama has absolutely no experience not only in world affairs but national ones as well. Being a shoe clerk in Chicago does not make a presidential candidate.

    The green corn of August is big and tall and blows in the wind but is not ready for prime time and neither is Obama. By the way he is surging in Hawaii while the hard workers are trying to make a buck to buy gas. Obama wants us to pump air in our tires. Hey I've got news for him, that doesn't put gas in my tank.

    Let's drill where McCain suggests and let's get on with it.

    August 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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