May 14th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain says GOP woes mean a tough road ahead

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" McCain admitted Wednesday the GOP’s woes could hurt him in November."] COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) - Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain conceded Wednesday his party’s loss in a Mississippi GOP stronghold is a bad sign for his own chances in November.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. I have a lot of work to do. I understand the challenge. I am confident at the end of the day my vision and plan for action for this nation will get the majority of the votes, but I have no illusions in this campaign,” McCain told reporters during a stop at an Ohio recycling plant. “It will be a very difficult challenge.”

A few minutes earlier on his campaign bus, McCain had been more specific.

“When you look at the data and look at our brand, we’ve got real challenges to re-energize our base,” he said. “This is an indication that our party has a lot to do if we’ve going to win. Not only my campaign but gaining seats in the House and Senate.”

McCain also reacted for the first time to the resignation of his coordinator for the summer GOP convention, Doug Goodyear, and another staffer after it was reported they had worked as lobbyists for Myanmar’s military regime. The Arizona senator vowed that his campaign aides would be “be more thoroughly vetted” in the future.

“We found out those two individuals had represented that country, and so they left and we will vet everyone more seriously to make sure that’s not a repetition,” he said.

McCain has made his fight against special interests in Washington a central theme of his campaign, but has come under criticism because several of his top advisers have been long-time lobbyists.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Sonali


    Don't worry, There are so many Hillary supporters who campaign for you including me since i and my friends are not voting for Obama.

    May 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. EDW

    What plan is that McCain? You keep changing your mind on all issues.

    Obama '08

    May 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. ktone

    its clear to me that McCain doesn't have a clue on whats going on! i can't wait until obama in him debate!!!

    May 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. Charlotte

    Why is Obama suddenly wearing a flag pin? He wouldn't be pandering now would he? Nah, he's above that. Write in Hillary in November..We don't have to accept Obama shoved down our throats. If McCain wins because we wrote Hillary on our ballots so be it. McCain is not a hard nosed republician. Those people lost because they had Cheney come and support them, how dumb can you be.

    May 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |







    May 14, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Another problem is that he isn't a true conservative. He will be trying to please too many people at once.

    McCain is the king of pandering.

    His chances are ZILCH.

    May 14, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. stop the madness

    I was watching yesterday when McCain was discussing his plans to deal with gobal warming and the negative responses he received form some of his FELLOW Republicans and I think they would have beat his butt if they could have gotten their hands on him yesterday. I think to say that there MAY BE problems is an UNDERSTATEMENT! They were ferious at him yesterday, but for some reason I didn't see anything about this on CNN.

    May 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. rw

    don't worry, clintons voters are coming.

    white, black, latino, hispanic, asian, moderate, mature, hard working.

    we are coming.

    No Hillary, vote for McCain.

    Hey Obama's what did the Clintons do in the 90's except balance the national debt?

    Silly rabbits. At least working people won't be paying more silly taxes like Obama wants us too.

    May 14, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Sharon Minnesota

    Sounds like an honest mans evaluation of the situation. That's a great start and will take him a long way in getting my support. No Hype, no phony promises, no hypocrisy, just complete honesty. Someone you can trust not to try hiding his past in the shadows.

    The democrats have proved their candidate Barack Obama is unelectable with people who are discerning and looking for a president who isn't willing to say or do anything to get elected.

    John McCain in 08

    May 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Jangel

    Now why would I call someone who can write YOU HATERS CALLED US CLINTON SUPPORTERS STUPID WITH KNOW KNOWLEDGE. stupid?

    May 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. Vietnam vet for Obama!

    I can only encourage people to re-read (or read for the first time) Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner." It's very apropos in the current political arena. There is no way Senator McCain will get rid of the albatross named Bush that's hanging from his neck. Either of the two competitors for the Democratic Party nomination would beat him, easily. Obama wins by a wider margin, and almost certainly be the nominee.

    As a US Navy Vietnam veteran, I am certain that there's nothing in Senator McCain's history that makes him qualified to be president. He was a pilot, a good one, I'm sure, and a hero, but that's irrelevant to the presidency. What's needed is good judgement and listening to competent advisors, and Senator McCain has neither. The country simply cannot afford another four years of Bush policies.

    May 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga



    May 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. rw

    Bob Novak has the dirt on Obama, just like Scooter LIbby.

    He is got in and is saving it for the Republicans.

    Good luck chuck.

    Obamas, you killed our chances. You should read more.

    This is all a set up, silly people, the weaker candidate is on his way to loosing!

    May 14, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Linda

    McCain you are old enough to retire so retire and enjoy your family and "My friends."

    May 14, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Barb

    Zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz.

    May 14, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Tony in Chicago

    gary.... Please come back to reality.... Hillary Clinton ran an horrible campaign..
    1. Mismanagement of funds
    2. In-fighting
    3. No strategy past super Tuesday
    4. Taking the approach she was due this nomination – even making the statement early in the process
    5. ignoring the causus states
    6. Being untruthful during the campaign
    7. The list goes on..

    Hillary and Hillary's team is the reason she lost this... They flat out got out worked and out strategized.

    If she runs a better campaign - she wins

    May 14, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. stop the madness

    And this is the man, the party you Democratic defecietors are promising to vote for? Yeah! Yall do have a lot of work to do! Even his own don't want him.

    They can send over Huckabee we will take him in exchange for Hillary!
    I hope Obama picks Huchabee for Vice that would really say something about crossing party lines.

    May 14, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Jenny, Oregon

    John McCain now will flip flop to try to look more like a Democrat. But don't forget he voted for Bush twice and he is very proud of that. That should tell everyone about his judgement.

    Go Democrats 08!!!!!

    May 14, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. John in KY

    You're history McBUSH!!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  20. Steve

    When the Republican Party selected George W. Bush as its nominee in 2000 democrats scoffed. How could this man with such limited capabilities defeat Al Gore, a sophisticated, experienced and well liked Vice President. It'll be a Democratic landslide! In 2004, we learned of the deception involved in the invasion of Iraq and the terrible mismanagement of the war. The Democrat's nominated John Kerry, a highly respected U.S. Senator and decorated Viet Nam Veteran. This time it'll be different– besides they stole the election in 2000. It'll be a shoe-in, right? Now, we come to 2008. Even though the Republicans have destroyed the country and should be run out on a rail they still are a very savy group. The GOP knows how to win elections. It'll be a game of dirty politics and the Democrats wiil have to fight tooth and nail to gain the White House. The Democratic Party is gonna have a fight on its hands. Republicans will not go quietly into the night.

    May 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. mitchell from arkansaw

    republicans are more than welcome to join the obama movement.we want all americans involved in the changes to come.

    May 14, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. obamakat


    May 14, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. David D Kollie

    Congratulation McCain for congratulating Hillary Clinton. Though she said you would be a better president than Obama but she won't be contending with you in the fall for you to have that advantage of winnig.
    When I heard that McCain congratulated HRC, I LOL. How can one tells his/her opponent come and beat me? If Hillary is the one to win over McCain, how could McCain congratulate her for a landslide win over Obama. It is almost like saying come and win over by a landslide too. The fact is that the Republicans' are affraid of Obama. McCain, it is time for you to start worrying. Your dream of becoming President is at stake. Have a nice return to the senate.

    May 14, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. mitchell from arkansaw

    your special interests and lobbyists are history!

    May 14, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Yes, a VERY tough road! I am hoping that EVERY American is just sick and tired of the Republicans! And come November we will rise up and speak with ONE VOICE AND SAY ENOUGH! To the politics of destruction, hate-and-fear-mongering, to lies, to torture, to 'holier-than-thou' politicians, to questioning a person's patriotism for opposing a war with Iraq............. the list is long. But what's made me the angriest is the arrogance of the far right........ and their cronies the AM Radio hate-and-fear mongers! They have misled a nation, and its time AMERICA to take our country back!

    WE are MUCH better and DESERVE better! OBAMA 08!

    May 14, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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