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. Debby

    I agree Edwards won't woe those Hillary supporters. He is a loser and the medical field hates Edwards so it will be the kiss of death to Obama if he takes him as VP.

    May 14, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Jose

    The Republicans will need to bring in Terry McCauiff to win this.
    He can only defeat the liberal lattes out there.

    May 14, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. Cry For Our Country

    John, the GOP will be lucky if the whole US citizenry doesn't all rise up and demand jail time for a whole lot of your republican comrades.

    The GOP has a lot to account for – trillions of dollars, over 4,000 American lives, some 30,000 Americans wounded and maimed, the virtually complete destruction of our military, most of the world hating us, inflammation of terrorist activities and an actual increase in their popularity, increasing the influence of Iran, and with all the hysteria and no results over WMDs in Iraq, the loss of any credibility when some other country really does have WMDs.

    The republicans have blown it big time. Gore Vidal was on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and was calling for Bush and Cheney to be tried for treason. With any luck, that just might happen.

    May 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Extinct Snipe

    McCain talks about brand and re-energize.

    McCain says, "When you look at the data and look at our brand, we’ve got real challenges to re-energize..."

    Since when is a political party a business and we talk about branding and brand name and in this case, "our brand?" Oh yeah! It's been big business for a long time now. Isn't that why Obama is promoting CHANGE, because U.S. politics is only about business anymore? And isn't that why the Clintons, and cronies, can keep putting money in the political business slot machine, because they're waiting for a return on their investment? Chnng! Chnng!

    And McCain talking about re-energize is like the Bush's talking about the Duracell Bunny instead of counting the money their making on oil these days. McCain and energy just don't mix.

    I guess McCain would really like to RE-ENERGIZE the U.S. economy so we can all buy more Bush BRAND oil.

    May 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. Dee, MO

    @Sonali, don't kid yourself there will not be many Hillary supporters campaigning for McCain!!! You Repubican. LMAO

    May 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Griff

    It seams like thet prefer a Guy, who never served one day in defence of his Country. Obama Lama, Ding, Dong. After five year's as a Guest of the Vietnamese for Five Year's.. Four should be a sinch for you, in the White House....

    May 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. steve

    Sen. Hillary supporters are all talk,
    She can't even pay her Bills, 20 mil. in debt, So sad, what kind of support is that for the great white hope!

    Ask yourselfs why, something doesn't add up in the Clinton campaign:

    Obama 08

    May 14, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. wisdom

    Gary, we agreed with you. We will NEVER vote for Obama

    May 14, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Question to ask Clinton

    Obama and Edwards vs. McCAin!!!
    What a great race.

    May 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    SONALI and Hillary supporters:


    $10 TRILLION IN DEBT IS NOT ENOUGH? The war with Iraq....... and lies???????????

    So you would all rather vote for McCain, who will extend the Bush term than vote for Sen. Obama?



    May 14, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Billy J

    This poor guy. Rove cheated him out of the nomination in 2000 and now he has to pander to Bush's state of denial crowd to get anywhere with his party. I truly don't think they have a snowballs chance. Repubs in general have turned out to be almost everything their most vehement detractors claimed they were, and nothing they themselves said. Crooks, war profiteers, fear mongers, gay bashing homosexuals, and just me first and country last, kind of folk. (except for McCain and a few others)

    May 14, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It might help if John McCain would release his medical records and his wife release her tax information. Plus the fact remains John McCain was part of Keating 5 and nobody who invested in Lincoln Savings and Loan will never forget McCain's involvement, Charles Keating and his son went to prison, John McCain walked free and tax payers paid the investors. Yeah it was like Enron.

    May 14, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  13. Brian

    Clinton people pretending to be democrats but were always republicans will vote for McCain. But why McCain would want people who "pretend" to be what they are not is beyond me!

    May 14, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. Charlotte

    That sweetie Obama is in for a shock in November. Write in Hillary, we can do it, yes we can.

    May 14, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. An American in Canada for David

    Peggy Agar in Michigan asked Obama, “How are you going to help the American auto workers?”

    Poor baby Obama, made another boo boo, “hold on sweetie”, he told Agar a professional reporter.
    I'll answer that later which he never did.

    Probably, he never answered that particular question because his puppet master, still hasn't given him the answer to that particular question.

    God can you just see him hosting the Queen of England…..

    Lacking in the social graces springs to mind.

    Presidential material, LOL not in this life time!

    May 14, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I'm a Republican – who has asked (loudly) – what is John McCain offering this country different from President Bush?? The answer is nothing – I am breaking from my own party and have donated to Obama – the only way McCain will get my vote would be is Clinton is anywhere near his presidency – McCain is not a bad guy – but he is offering the same tired ideas and watered down "succcesses" such as McCain Feingold – he is not the right person for this job

    May 14, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Karen

    Wlof solicited Clinton's praise of her daughter, but I can guarantee you that Chelsea will drop politics dead. She is too proud to be humiliated for her name.

    May 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. jes

    Congratulation Mr. McCain, You just gained many votes. Hillary supporters have vowed that they will not vote Obama. We are holding them to that promise!!!

    May 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Linda

    Another Hillary supporter have my vote also!!!

    May 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. KE

    I think the brave people of the mountain country West Virginia have anointed a brave woman to be the next president of America. The West Virginians have pushed Obama back into the ground where he once gave up fighting for to remind him he has a lot of repairing work to do (for a long time).

    Meanwhile the wind of West Virginia should carry her to the next battle fields and to the White House.

    We need a real change in Washington.

    -Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense-

    May 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. Tom in CA

    ...and the House GOP is retooling their argument.

    If they do, then John is sunk!

    If they don't, then the House GOP is sunk, the Senate GOP is sunk and John is sunk.

    The GOP ship is sinking! Now what GOP?

    May 14, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  22. Punisher

    Senator McCain you'll get MY VOTE in General Election. ONLY two people has my FULL TRUST to keep this country safe, YOU and HILLARY. National Security is my biggest concern, both of you are TRUE PATRIOTS! You're my second choice for President this November.

    May 14, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. Aces full of Kings

    Oh Baby, it's all coming together now! Obama/Edwards '08!!! I knew it! Change we can believe in! Obama has found his running mate! Excellent speech by Edwards, made me smile!!!

    May 14, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Charlotte

    I just had a thought, what if McCain asked Hillary to be his VP? Kerry asked McCain so why not? We could unify the country after all.

    May 14, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. sportsguydave

    wisdom May 14th, 2008 8:17 pm ET

    Gary, we agreed with you. We will NEVER vote for Obama


    Then you deserve whatever happens if McSame wins.

    Grow up.

    May 14, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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