March 5th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Is McCain 'moving beyond' conservative outreach?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For years, Republicans have stressed a three-pronged platform in trying to win votes. They’ve long maintained that they’re strong on national security, on cutting taxes and on social issues, including a strong opposition to abortion.

When President Bush welcomed John McCain to the White House to endorse his presidential candidacy, for example, he said voters will decide on a candidate based on who best can “protect the country and keep taxes low, and how to have a culture that respects the dignity of every human being.”

After effectively capturing the Republican nomination Tuesday night, John McCain stressed only two of those three pillars in his carefully-crafted remarks.

He spoke at length about national security, noting that “America is at war in two countries.” He spoke about the economy. “We will campaign to strengthen job growth in America by helping businesses become more competitive with lower taxes and less regulation,” he said.

But missing from his remarks was any reference to the third pillar - the social issues. Even though he has a long record opposing abortion, he ignored that sensitive issue in his victory speech. Was that deliberate? Now that he has the Republican nomination in hand, is he already moving beyond the need to reach out to the social and religious conservatives in the Republican Party in the hope of bringing in support from moderate and independent voters?

The late President Richard Nixon used to say that successful Republican presidential candidates need to run to the right during the primaries - but then run back to the center after securing the nomination.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA


    that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, what you've just said made absolutely no sense, and every one is a little dumber for reading it.

    Not only that you are calling every latino a racist, but you are also saying that every Clinton voter dumb because they would pick McCain (Bush on steroids) over Obama.

    When it comes to California, the most modern state in the union going for the oldest guy.

    ...and lastly, have you seen the turnout, in every of those states yesterday eihter Obama, or Hillary had more people vote for them then did McCain even though they split the votes.

    I trully don't know how a mind of a right winger works, but there must be some a lot of screws in there missing.

    March 5, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Rebecca AZ

    Hillary Clinton is a Goldilocks Story.
    McCain is too hot for war and way too far to the right. Obama is too unknown, not experienced enough and too far to the left.
    And Hillary, well she is just Right.
    Hillary is in the middle of McCain and Obama.
    Not too much to the far right, not too much to the far left . Hillary is not too soft and she’s not too hard, she’s not a rookie and she’s not too old. Not too hot , and she’s not too cold!
    Hillary is just right for President .

    March 5, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. Susan

    Whoever the Democratic candidate is, most Democrats will vote for that candidate (because they'll no longer have a viable choice). Most Republicans will vote for McCain (because they no longer have a viable choice). It's the independents or independent minded voters who will decide this election, and if Hillary is the Democrat, they will break for McCain. It pains me to say this because this country really needs an end to Republican control of our government. On the other hand, perhap it's OK if the Republicans have to clean up their own mess, if it weren't for the prospect of them fully and finally and irreparably taking the country down the tubes in the next four years.

    Portland, OR

    March 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Phyllis, Dallas TX

    I'm sorry, but every time I see McCain, I wonder about his judgement. This man is 71 years old people. He even realizes how old he is because he says he'll run for only one term.

    McCain is part of the past. He had his chance and let the idiot Bush beat him by telling lies. He just wants his chance and I think that chance is gone.

    This country is in a mess, and he backs the person that put us here.

    Times up!

    March 5, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Darren

    If Latinos don't vote for Obama, they don't deserve him...

    McCain? please, this guy is out of touch....If he wins i'm moving to Canada.

    If Hillary is the nominee, she will not beat McCain unless Obama is on the ticket , she knows she needs him to win but he doesnt need her at all

    Democrats are divided on this, Obamas supporters are growing to hate Hillary even more, and his supporters would probably stay home than vote for her..even voting for McCain would be better to them....

    pt is this is possibly the greatest election of our time, and we are dropping the ball.....

    How can u not see through Hillary's tactics, dont get me wrong I don't hate the woman....but slowly but surely my dislike is growing...

    March 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. ari

    He has a great run; agree with Nixon's statement, only he will probably empahise the whole security issue, other issues (secretly)middle ground but in campaign turn a more conservative view.
    Its tricky he he plays or endorses a more conservative agenda question is will true so-called conservatives belief him, but on other hand probably looses large parts of independent voting public. Further the more he allies himself with Bush the more he alienate voters. Some of issues can be relieved somewhat through VP choice.
    His attraction is part due to his independent views but out of necessity he needs to abandon that. Which from broadcasts of him he has hard time to deal with. Numerous mistakes lately, retract statements, apologies. In short he is not very good (yet) in playing the chamelion act.

    March 5, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. AnyoneButHillary

    K.Celina from IL!!!! March 5th, 2008 4:30 pm ET
    NO !!!!! TO !!!!! McCain !!!!!!!!!!!
    Republicans will vote for Hillary !!!!!!!!!

    Wahahaha... K.Celina, are you seriously on planet Earth? Get a grip!

    March 5, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Mark - Gilbert, AZ

    If you want to win votes, you pretty much either have to lie (aka. Hillary and McCain) or be honest and cross your fingers you win (aka. Barack). Problem is, the honest guy usually loses for the ones who buy into the beurocratic maneuvers; I hope this year is different and from now on it's all completely different for integrity sake (IE. I hope the voters and the media hold our candidates accountable for once).

    McCain may or may not have cited "abortion" on purpose but that will unfold later on, probably during a debate. The bottom line is, he aligned with Bush and that is going to hurt him come November. What potentially will hurt Hillary is how she's been siding with McCain over her party colleague, Obama. This is one hell of a dramatic political season!

    March 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Ruben From Texas

    One thing is for sure. Obama can't count on getting the majority of the Hispanic/Latino vote if selected as the Democtratic nominee. McCain is very appealing to Hispanics all throughout the country (everyone know he is a Democrat in Republicans clothing). I for one will side with McCain over Obama any day. It is all about experience for me. Go Hilliary!

    March 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. RobNSF


    This is unrelated. With all due respect, watching Jack Cafferty on your program is offensive. He is not acting like a journalist nor a political analyst. His hatred for Clinton is expressed unprofessionally. I think I speak for a lot o people: We want the facts, not extreme personal opinions.

    Thank you.

    March 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. scott

    In the 6:35 ET time frame..... Thank you Wolf for calling Jack and correcting him on a slew of misstatements and incorrect facts. You pointed out to Jack that *both* Clinton and Obma followed the rules in Michigan and Florida. Taking one's name off the ballot was *not* a requirement or rule. Why Obama did that in Michigan is unknown.

    Please don't let Jack continue to let his 'everything Clinton dislikes' allow him to make false statements. This must stop. We are listening to get opinions - fair - and balanced facts. Kudos to you Wolf for keeping him honest.

    March 5, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. christopher flynn

    religious right conservatives are the dumbest people on the face of this earth...mccain is one of 'em, and that's why any person with intelligence would vote for anybody besides mccain...

    March 5, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. CEB

    I think that Senator Clinton should release her 2006 tax papers before 4/15 and then after the 15th she should release 2007 tax papers... The Clinton’s has been connected to some illegal business deals in the past; just like the deal that has ended up in a law suit in GA Courts. Hillary will never be President as long as Bill is around; Bill will be president by directing Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton talks about her being best to answer that phone at 3am not if she use the same judgment, (she used about the WAR); neither Hillary nor Bill have served in the Armed Forces!
    Senator Clinton says she has over 35 years of experience. Where did she get this experience? Your husband being president and you're the first Lady does not give you experience!!!! Hillary needs to release the papers from her white House years so the people can see just what her experience is. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton does have the same issues but Senator Obama want to use two different paths to change things for the better; It's time for a new government, one that will work together with both houses to reach the best decision for the people!!!
    We need a president for the people, not one that is for some of the people. You can see that Clinton is not that person, just look at how she is on the attack. Looking at the ads and rallies she is acting like a republican, not a democrat! The Clintons are old government, it's time for a change and NO, things will not change over night because Bush is leaving a mess; that needs to be cleaned up, before CHANGE CAN REALLY START but getting the houses to stop fighting and start working together is the 1st step. RESEACH FOR YOUR SELF AND STOP LISTENING TO THE POLITICAL ADS FROM A DIRTY FIGHTER! Named Senator Clinton!!!! Just check the Clintons record!
    I'll vote republican before I vote for another Clinton, I do remember the Bill Clinton years and what he did to Social Security Medicare!!!!
    There will not be an Obama/ Clinton ticket!!!! Never!!!

    March 5, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Dan

    Let see , in yesterday's primaries in Texas i noticed McCain got about 700,000 votes in rich republican country but Hillary doubled him with 1,400,000 and Obama got 1,300,000!!! It doesn't look good for McCain no matter what he does, unless the dems divide themselves beyond repair.

    March 5, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Jorge

    Wolf You are the worst journalist in CNN you are at the level of Lou Dobbs!!! your vias to Clinton its disgusting!!!!! Shame on you! and the Clinton News Network

    March 5, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Darren

    Ruben, what exactly has the Clinton's done for you?

    while McCain acts as though he wasnt even part of the comprehensive immigration reform plan just so he can drum up conservative votes....? Yet you'd vote for him over Obama?Obamawho has continuously and consistently supported immigration- co-sponsored the immigration reform bill and Dream act..

    he even refused to admit that Latinos play some role in growing unemployment rates for blacks..saying it was scapegoating, while Hillary said Latinos ARE partially to blame for stealing blk minority jobs

    i guess like that Latino Activist said, "Obama just happens to be black and therefore he will not get the latino vote...."

    how silly you all silly you are...

    March 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. ProudVet

    a war hero, a patriot?, he was shot down while bombing people in a country which didn´t even attacked the U.S., became a prisoner of war
    and that makes him qualified to run the country? run the country to ruins, yes.

    What has he done for his fellow homeless vets? ZILCH

    By saying that the NYT article was NOT TRUE, is not enough, didn´t deny anything that was written.

    Vote for him and be ready to scrape for cash-he will need every penny off your pocket to pay for the 100 years in Iraq, if not more......and then get ready to ship your sons and daughters to war WITH THE DRAFT.

    an ex-pow, that´s all he is, period.

    two brown noses in the white house today, pathetic.

    don´t shoot before you aim, how true!

    March 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
1 2 3 4