February 11th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain on weekend losses: I have a 'lot of work to do'


Watch McCain's comments Monday.

(CNN) - In his first press conference since two key losses over the weekend, John McCain said Monday he remains on track to be the Republican Party's nominee.

"We're doing fine. We're doing fine," the Arizona senator, who suffered losses in the Louisiana and Kansas caucuses and narrowly won Washington, said in Annapolis, Maryland.

"I am confident that we have and will continue our path toward getting the prerequisite number of delegates," he continued. "I am glad we have the support that we have - increasingly financial as well as political support from around the country."

McCain continues to hold a wide 437-delegate lead over Huckabee, and it remains nearly impossible for the former Arkansas governor to catch up in the delegate count.

But McCain has suffered some embarrassing setbacks in the days following Mitt Romney's decision to end his presidential bid. He drew a mixed reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference late last week, and has yet to score a convincing win since becoming the apparent GOP nominee.

His losses in Kansas and Louisiana were only tempered by a narrow win in Washington State – a victory that Huckabee is currently contesting. And the Arizona senator is continuing to have trouble uniting conservatives behind his candidacy: According to exit polls in Louisiana, conservatives broke for Huckabee over McCain by nearly 20 points.

"I have said we had a lot of work to do to unite the party," McCain said Monday. "Our party is dispirited because of spending and corruption, as we all know, and we have to reenergize our base."

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Ron

    Senator McCain,

    Call on Romney and other conservative leaders to stump with you and to unite the party. If not, Hillary is in...to bad for the country.

    February 11, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. brad

    "spending and corruption"

    what spending and corruption? oh that's right the republican created issue.

    February 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Eric-Houston, TX

    I support 100% Gov. Huckabee's right to stay in the race as long as he wants to. Using 1992 as a parallel, I recall Jerry Brown staying in the race well into March, and he had one at least one or two primaries I think....didn't seem to hurt Clinto too much in the general. Ah, you say, in '92 there was the Perot factor. Well, unless you let the Evangelical/Conservative thing play itself out, how do you know there won't be another Wallace or Perot factor this time around?

    February 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Becky

    I agree with Mike. What happend to by BY THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE. Voters should make those decisions and voters alone. I don't think there should be these so-called "super delegates" either. And further, I don't think there should be the "all or nothing states." Delegates should represent their State's votes. That's it. Simple.

    The National Party (Republican or Democrat) should not ask a candidate to bow out for the sake of the other candidate. WE THE PEOPLE should make those decisions. I love t his country for letting me speak out – It's a great place to be. I want to keep it that way.

    February 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Frank G.

    Yes, you do have a lot of work to do, John. And here's why: you spent 20+ years mocking conservatives, calling them names, yelling at them and demeaning what they were trying to accomplish. You did all this gleefully and with great enthusiasm.

    You were so proud of yourself.

    Not only did you often vote with the socialist democrats, but you often led the charge against the conservative-initiated legislation within your own party.

    And now you want something from these very same conservatives: you want their support.

    Not in your lifetime, dude. Get ready to lose big.

    February 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Praetorian, Fort Myers, FL

    Mr. McCain...how do you propose to unite the nation when you have been such a divisive element within your own party?

    Between the kudos from Bush (like getting the "black spot") and the trickery in Washington State–I've got serious concerns regarding the Republican parties ability to find compromise.

    We citizens–are accustomed to seeing the arrogant, harsh, uncompromising, and divisive activitiesof the Republicans in the congress-but now they're not only directing the "bluster cannons" at the Democrats...it seems your are also a target!!!

    I've never been a Republican...and now I know why.

    February 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. mary Cusack

    mac here's an ex democrat who will support you. I am not fool to fall for the lies of obama

    February 11, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Mark

    ...WRITE-IN...Mitt ROMNEY...it's the only way to get this country BACK ON COURSE...

    ...any president other than Romney at this point spells IMPLOSION to the CONSERVATIVE Republican Party...which in the long run might not be such a bad thing...

    IF MITT doesn’t make it this time, then here's to MITT in 2012!!!

    February 11, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Linda

    Please work on changing the winner take all rule in GOP NJ, NY, CT election
    to make all the vote counted proportionally.
    How could Rudy manipulate our state election rule to benefit himself,
    and then benefit McCain after Rudy dropped out of the race.

    JR Dieckmann
    Any and all conservative candidates were driven out of the race before the vast majority of Republicans even had a chance to vote for them.

    To prevent this from happening again, all primaries, or at least the vast majority of them must be held on the same day, as the candidates campaign to the nation instead of individual states. This would prevent back room deals played by McCain and Huckabee in WV. No more open primaries. Only Registered Republicans should have a say in who is selected to represent their party. Primary voters should be pre-registered before a given deadline, not simply sign up on election day.

    You just don't let the stockholders of Ford vote for the CEO of General Motors, or the stockholder of Sylvania vote for the CEO of G.E. This current policy is simply ludicrous, and now we see the results.

    February 11, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    It is not clear to me how McMain can win or has won so far. The conservatives don't like him for some reason and as a liberal I can tell you I don't like him either. He is just plain dangerous. 100 years in Iraq, bomb bomb Iran, sounds like stuff the conservatives would go for.

    February 11, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. From Planet Earth

    Wake up Republicans and smell the smoke! The country is already on fire thanks to the Baby Bush administration. I don't think this country can handle another four years of conservative leadership.

    February 11, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. jim brownback

    McCain and Brownback, There a winning team

    February 11, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Dear GOP. You lost me when you dissed the real conservative Ron Paul.

    The GOP Bush Team...now those were some all-stars.
    I will often reflect on the days of Rove and Rumsfeld, Libby and Cheney...then get on my knees to pray that we won't get fooled again.

    Maybe the Constitution Party, maybe Obama.....but never the GOP again.

    February 11, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Allison, NH

    Between McCain and Huckabee – the Dems have a real chance..nomatter if Clinton or Obama...to take the White House. Either way its a win/win for Dems.

    February 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. jim Scottsdale AZ

    The Republican party is done. I have been a republican for 40 years. I remember Rudy durng the debates when he was a head, he was disrespectful of the other candidates and had this smug look like everyone is dumb except me. The last debate McCain had that same look.

    Ron Paul I voted for and gave money. I beleive in the Constitution and free Eneterprise. I watched George Bush destroy our lives, economy and our reputation around the World.

    No Republican will win and the good old boy network will change. McCain will be swept if it is Obama, if Hillary get's the nomination he has a chance.

    McCain made a deal with the party all this drama it was his all along. Rudy never tried, Thompson was a joke and Romney could not fight the republican party machine.

    Huckabee to get the votes and some delegates shows how screwed up the party is. The Republican Party is now a joke, Bush helped create it, but the party took it the rest of the way.

    February 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Darth Vadik, CA

    Here is how strong the McCain campaign is:

    4 days after he mathematically will win the nomination,



    February 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    Only in your dreams, McCain! You don't have ANY WORK TO DO except retire!! You're a loser, so "hang it up"!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. sam

    you shot yourself in the foot when you said we need to stay in iraq even my friends who are republicans said they will be voting democrat this time you need to chang your thinking your out of step with the country you cant win when the majority is against your policys. im three generations of democrats. hillary 08

    February 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |