January 29th, 2008
05:45 PM ET

GOP front-runners call each other “liberals”?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/29/art.mccain2.ap.jpg caption=" Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain ."]

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/29/art.romney.ap.jpg caption=" Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The race between the two Republican front-runners, Mitt Romney and John McCain, is getting ugly.

The stakes in today's primary are huge. The winner in Florida might well be the Republican nominee. Reflecting the pressure, and like two kids in a schoolyard, they are now calling each other "liberals." That's not a word you hear among Republicans very often.

Romney went after McCain for some of his "liberal answers" to the country's problems, including campaign finance reform, his view on illegal immigration and his support of an energy bill that Romney said would raise costs for consumers.

McCain shot right back, accusing Romney of "wholesale deception of voters" and flip-flopping on the issues. McCain says Romney was a liberal governor of Massachusetts who raised taxes, worked with Ted Kennedy on a massive government mandated health care plan and did a poor job managing his state's economy.

The angry tone between the two also spread onto the airwaves, where McCain launched a new negative radio ad mocking Romney's economic record as governor and questioning his electability. The Romney campaign said of the ad "This is the McCain way"… sinking to a lower level when a race is close.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the two front-runners for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney and John McCain, are calling each other "liberals”?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mike writes:
What does it mean? It's the first truthful thing either one of these bought-and-paid-for government mules have ever said. Truth is they are all big government liberals. There is only one TRUE conservative: Ron Paul.

Chris from Las Vegas writes:
Why are the Republican candidates doing the Democrats’ dirty work for them? The Republicans need to stop beating up on each other and start putting forth a strong, consistent, conservative agenda for the future of our country.

Geo writes:
The only thing liberal about these two jokers are their "liberal” use of insults.

Frannie writes:
It means they are not aware that many of us realize we are never going to find a candidate we agree with on every single issue, and we are just looking for one who doesn't make himself look like an idiot with no manners.

Roxie writes:
It means at a time when this nation most needs a rational-minded adult leader, we are made increasingly aware that we have neither adult nor rational-minded candidates.

Ruth writes:
McCain and Romney calling each other "liberal" reminds me of a 5-year-old that drops the "f-bomb" in front of his parents. He's not real sure what it means but he loves the attention he gets from it.

Jim from Somerset, Wisconsin writes:
Jack, What does it mean when top Republicans call each other "liberal?" Simply this, Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Daniel From Tempe AZ

    It means that we no longer have a choice in politics, liberal republicans, conservative democrats equals no choice for the American people, who desperately need a choice! Lets all vote independent for a candidate yet to be named, Lou Dobbs, what are you doing for the next 4 years?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  2. Matt Hylland

    Because they do share the same ideals as the "liberals", the idea of Big Government is now commonplace in both parties. Romney, McCain, Obama and Hillary will all create a larger Federal Government, while removing power from state and local governments.
    I find it funny that they don't argue who is the better conservative, but instead who is the least liberal.
    This is not a direction I like to see our country go, and that is why I will cast my vote for Ron Paul, the only remaining conservative in the running.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  3. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Doesn't mean anything. There is no one in America who does have some form of liberalism in them. It is just "hardcore politics" being played and the Media is sucking every moment of the "sensationalism." Tell me Jack, you are conservative, aren't you?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  4. Patricia

    This is simple, Republicans are trying to lure Independents back to them. By McCain calling Romney a liberal, McCain wants to hide the fact that HE will keep troops in Iraq for 100yrs. & start a war with Iran. By Romney calling McCain a liberal he wants to signal Big Business it will be "business as usual". I hope it back-fires.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  5. Barry

    Why is "Liberal" considered a dirty word? Unless you have been living under a rock, or are one of the clueless dimwits that actually think George is doing a great job you may have noticed that America is not in very good shape these days. Republicans made their "Contract for America". George promised to return integrity to the White House. What a load of crap. And yet, diehard Republicans still think it's the fault of the Clintons and all Liberals for the ineptitude of the last eight years. Give me a break. I may not be jumping for joy at all the Democrats are doing, or NOT doing, but it's time to pull over and let someone else drive. Before we end up going off a cliff.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  6. suzie from Atlanta, GA

    It means that this GOP race to be the sacrificial lamb is really becoming high theatre.
    Frankly, I think it is totally funny to hear them screaming "you're a liberal" 'NO! YOU ARE", NO YOU are a bigger liberal..." all day, every day, and it is so silly. The GOP is history, thanks to their hero, the DECIDER. These fools need to look for a good deal on a foreclosure in their home state, because they are NOT going to live in the WH.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  7. Donna

    It means that they are playing to their base. The "L" word is worse than the "F" word to the average brain-dead republican. It's easier for them to create fear than to share their ideas (if they have any) for a better country.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  8. Conor

    It's means they're both liberals! The reason they haven't called each other that before is because they know the other one can say the same about them. Now with all on the line, they don't care what the other one says. It's ridiculous. Why would the Republicans want to vote for a liberal? Why not vote for a conservative and constituionalist like Ron Paul?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  9. Jon Dev

    To me and my family, they are irrelevant. I want a better future for my children and grandchildren than a larger guantanamo or more wars. Conservatism is dead, you can smell the carcas. Good ridance !!!

    January 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  10. CJ

    Jack, it means further proof we need someone like Lou Dobbs. I have these "liberals" crawling underfoot here in Florida where foreclosures are up 275% per RealtyTrac. Home Insurance & Taxes spiked 300 to 600% last year and more for businesses. Open jobs come with fries, and my local tomatoes cost $3 a pound, gas $3. Many of my Fla friends as well as other states all say they are getting queezy getting to know the candidates better. We want an "Other" option!

    January 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  11. Greg from NY

    Just the opposite – we finally have a choice other than extremely conservative or extremely liberal. I had given up on having candidates that represent the middle 75% of the country – not the 2 extremes.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  12. Terry

    Everyone is looking for an electable conservative ie; Ronald Reagan. Hey Jack guess what there aint one. And please dont tell me about Ron Paul .

    January 29, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  13. Michael from Houston Tx

    It means WATCH OUT, they could both be right! I may not be voting for a "front runner" but I know I am voting for a conservative with a long standing record. Ron Paul gets my vote, and there is no other "true conservative" that can take it away from him. I think these two "front runners" are confused on the definition of conservative.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  14. Ed Klein

    I looked up "liberal" in the dictiionary, and here are some of the results:

    "favorable to progress or reform"

    "favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible"

    "favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression"

    "free from prejudice or bigotry"

    So the only conclusion I can reach is that McCain and Romney are each really saying that the other one is more likely to protect the rights of all Americans than they are.

    Interestingly, the dictionary definition of "conservative" is:

    "disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., ... and to limit change."

    January 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Mary- Seattle,Washington

    It will certainly be interesting to see whomever finally gets the nomination then try to appeal to the left in a general election after dogging his opponent by calling him 'liberal'. Way to think ahead, you two.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  16. Joe in DE

    They know that this is the most damaging charge in the view of the conservative base. Obviously, they don't know what actually constitutes a liberal.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  17. Steve

    Resorting to name calling is what happens when individuals are unable to speak to the real issues facing the nation. And, these two clowns are promoted by the establishment mainstream media as the Republican Party front runners. If this is the best the Republican Party can come up with...we might as well put on our victim faces right now.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  18. Jon Barry, Rutherford, NJ

    I believe that George Bush has caused rifts in the Republican party between traditional fiscal conservatives, neoconservatives, and moderate Republicans who are being classified as "liberal". Though the polls are far from an accurate barometer, they have shown that Republicans running as conservatives have virtually no chance in a general election. McCain cosponsored a immigration reform bill with Ted Kennedy, which angers many conservatives. Romney had to run on a moderate platform to become governor of Massachusetts, yet is calling himself the choice for traditional conservative Republicans. He has changed his position on many issues. The strong conservative candidates have been virtually eliminated from the race. The country has clearly shifted away from conservative ideals.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  19. Steve in Tempe, AZ

    It's a compliment. They should be thanking each other for the kind words!

    "Thanks John . . . . No thank you Mitt"

    January 29, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  20. Jeremy Schellie

    Maybe with all this "front runner" squabbling the American people will finally spend the time to get to know ALL the candidates. Hopefully before it is too late.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  21. Chris Boscia

    McCain and Romeny are continuing the hyper-partisanship that has characterized our country for the past 10 years. Conservatives and Liberals are first, and foremost, Americans. We need a President that can appreciate competing ideas and broker compromise. McCain and Romney have taken a page out of our current President's playbook–demonize the other side and negotiate nothing. If we want another 8 years of Bush-style leadership, these two are the candidates for you. In my opinion, this is not what our country needs.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  22. ken wayne

    It was a hard decision. But in the end I feel Romney would be best for America at these pivotal times in our history. I voted, I do not regret it. I do regret my vote for Bush

    January 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  23. Bob M


    When things really hit the curb, will people be screaming for socialism or liberty? Thats my biggest concern. People wonder why the dollar is collapsing and why we've lost credibility around the world, and try as I may, I'm giving my all for Ron Paul, getting this word out, but its difficult to fight the media and the warhawks / corporatists that run the GOP.

    Isn't it just WEIRD that voters seem to play this game with their votes... they don't look at the candidates or their platforms... they just try to guess the winner. They feel they have a civic duty to vote, but they don't have a civic duty to self educate and inform on the issues and the candidates. What do you win if you guess correctly? What do you win when you vote for a candidate you don't even like for electability reasons? People talk about "throwing away your vote"... well the power of one vote is over-stated. Either register it for the guy you AGREE with, or truly it IS wasted.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  24. Tina

    Isn't name calling what you do on the school playgrounds? Shut up and get busy trying to win and don't worry about the other person.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  25. Brian, San Jose

    They're both liberals! In fact the only true conservative among the 5 remaining Republicans is Ron Paul. Paul's ads are starting to get better and are pointing out this fact; have you seen the latest one that is currently being run in Arkansas and Alabama?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  26. Andrew

    It means the Republican party has no idea what it means to be Conservative anymore. In 2000 Bush paid great lip-service to smaller government, and condemned policing the world. However, we now live in a country that is $9 trillion dollars in debt, and has adopted the Wilsonian ideology that we must make the world safe for democracy. I say hog-wash. We shouldn't be in the business of controlling the fate of the Iraqi people, and we shouldn't be sending Pakistan $10 billion dollars for absolutely nothing in return. Mitt and Mac are absolutely right though. They're both liberals.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  27. Andy from CT

    I looked up the word "Liberal" in the MSN Encarta dictionary. Here are some of the definitions that I found: broad-minded, tolerant of different views, progressive politically or socially, favoring gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual, generous, culturally oriented, somebody who favors tolerance or open-mindedness.

    Can you explain to me why these are bad things?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  28. Bill in Wisconsin

    It means that this proud liberal might be tempted to vote for one or the other of them. Any liberal is bound to do better than the conservatives who have completely messed up the country over the past seven years.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  29. Scott

    Its real simple, Jack. It means neither McCain nor Romney have a brain cell among them, so they have resorted to childish, stereo-typical name-calling. What a fine example these two "front-runners" are to the American public!

    January 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  30. CARL

    carl from sc

    what's wrong with getting along across the ilse. that is why our government is "broken" now. Not enough of give and take and compromise. Our media needs to show how to candidates are different and alike, rather than the popularity contest that is going on. i'm not that old (40) but I miss Cronkite, Rathers, and the real newscasters and reporters. I wish CNN would create a new show called "The Real News"... No endorsements, no Britney, just facts. How many Soldiers are dying in this unjust war, both American and Iraqi. What pork barrel projects were attached to the bills and who sponsered them. This is the stuff the american people really need to know. Maybe it would not sell expensive ads, but i would watch it. These so called political gurus have enough makeup on to make a monster movie. Sorry to go on but this is a joke. But the joke is on the American people.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  31. Greg Sager

    It's all one party now. The party of elite corporate interests. We have no representation. We've lost our rights, the media only reports what they want us to think, and the voting system is corrupted by electronic voting code that no one can review. The country is doomed and both parties are pushing it over a cliff. Only Ron Paul offers any real change or hope. Otherwise, it's BUSINESS – as usual.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  32. AJ from NY, NY

    Somehow both parties have forgotten that they are all on the same team.

    McCain makes Romney look like an opportunist and Romney makes McCain seem weak are willing to placate the audience to get ahead.

    Hilary is tarnishing Obama's overall image which would have been an asset for years to come and Obama is creating a rift within the democratic party of emourmous proportions – Clintons Democrats vs...

    Niether really gains politically in the long run.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  33. Patrick H

    It means that they're running in a very close closed primary, where only registered Republicans can cast a vote, and the winner gets the biggest prize so far this season.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  34. Dawn

    At least it's not racial. Then we all would be more confused.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  35. jim franck

    Speaking as a liberal I find the headline personally insulting.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  36. Bob M

    Ed Klein, put your dictionary away. Liberal and conservative when it comes to politics usually refers to spending. Liberals try to give away / print money for a populist appeal to the poor, whereas conservatives try to avoid waste, and protect people from big government. That said, none of the Republicans except Ron Paul actually qualify as a conservative, because they haven't offered a path to fiscal responsibility. The Democrats even less so. But whatever. The system is so rigged right now... you only have the illusion of choice. Who among the front runners will abolish the IRS, end the war, end the Patriot act, protect privacy, abolish torture, prevent amnesty, and introduce sound money? NO ONE.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  37. G2D2

    Mr. Cafferty, you asked: "What does it mean when the two front-runners for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney and John McCain, are calling each other “liberals”?"

    For one thing, I think it's funny how Republicans try to insult their intra-party opponents by labeling them "liberal", while you will never see competing Democrats use the term "conservative" as a derogatory term for each other. Especially since 9/11, "liberal" has been a dirty word while being "conservative" is something to be proud of. I myself am a conservative (Go Ron Paul!) but this trend I've mentioned is blatant.

    The second observation that I have is that both McCain and Romney are very liberal when they are compared to Ron Paul.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  38. Jeff Maldonado (New York, NY)

    Quite frankly, Mr. Cafferty, I prefer "progressive."

    January 29, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  39. Dennis in Gwinn, MI

    To call each other what they really think would not be able to be broadcast over the airwaves...

    January 29, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  40. Mike in Ohio

    Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats are great for the American political system. Having more combinations would actually mean more choice, rather than being forced to decide between dumb and dumber year after year.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  41. Robert Sattelmeyer

    Since when did the word "liberal" become hate speech? This country was founded on liberal principles. If conservatives had been in charge throughout American history we'd still be subjects of the King (or Queen), slavery would never have been abolished, women wouldn't be allowed to vote, children could still be sent into mines, civll rights laws would never have been enacted, and millions of the elderly would have neither pensions nor health care. Being guided by conservative principles is like saying you drive your car by looking in the rear-view mirror.

    Robert from Atlanta

    January 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  42. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    It means that the republican party is officially bankrupt and bereft of ideas. It is a shame that having progressive ideas and thoughts are now considred an obscene crime. Republicans have forgotten that their greatest leaders were moderates in their thinking on several subjects. These people included Reagan Goldwater,Nixon,Dirksen,Hatfield and Eisenhower. The moderates in the repubican party need to wrest control away from the neocons,rigrt-wing nuts and the religious right if they want to become relevant in the future.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  43. Ian Miller

    Since when in America did the term liberal become a slur? I would think the opposites of 'liberal' as described in Rogets Thesaurus, to be much worse. Terms such as cold-hearted, malevolent, malicious, selfish, unkind, backwards, obsolete and so forth aren't particularly flattering, to my way of thinking. But then I'm just a liberal type Canadian eh? and completely unable to grasp the finer points of American political debate.

    Ian Miller
    Belleville, ON

    January 29, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  44. Beverley

    LIberal is such an 80's word! For that reason alone neither of those guys should win – Can we atleast get someone with slurs from the 90's?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  45. Ralph

    Romney would say anything to win the nomination. McCain's campaign is being run by the old fossils from the first Bush administration and they have talked him into doing the Willy Horton. McCain will go to war against Iran and so the word is "No" on him.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  46. Lydia

    Hmmm, wasn't it just yesterday that the McCain supporters were touting him as the man with crossover appeal...a true bipartisan? Ouch, that stings.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  47. Joe from Michigan

    If they were true Conservative Republicans, like myself, they wouldn't even be able to say the "L" word. They are fighting over who is the lessor "L" word then the other. – That is very sad to true conservatives.

    January 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  48. Paul in Louisville

    I'm liberal and proud of it. I have to laugh anytime one of these neanderthals on the right call each other liberal. None are even close. Heck, most of the Dem candidates are not truly liberal, either.

    Reality is liberal. Conservatives live in a fantasy world. As long as both parties kowtow to the deluded in this country, we'll never progress. The "good ol' days" were only good for white, heterosexual males. I would think the majority in this country wants to move forward. Haven't the last eight years been enough?

    January 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  49. John Lange

    "Liberal" has always been mis-used by politicians who don't even know it came from Edmund Burke – and that 18th-century worthy is the author of ideas most dear and near to conservatives!

    Really the expression is entirely meaningless today. People who think it has any signficance as a swear word inhabit a small segment of the political spectrum – the dark side.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  50. Jonathan

    With all these liberals, it's no wonder a real conservative like Ron Paul doesn't have a chance.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  51. Mike from VA

    It means that, in a closed primary, winner-take-all state like Florida, the candidates understand that they have to appeal to the party's "base" or they cannot win. It also means that they do not believe the voters are capable of understanding individual issues outside the generalizations of "conservative" vs. "liberal". Sadly, such accusations wouldn't fly if they didn't work.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  52. Roderic Hewlett

    Politicians are convinced rhetoric rather than truth prevails in wooing voters. Who could win if they admitted Social Security is unstable and we are addicted to government and consumer debt?

    January 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  53. Daniel Frazier

    This simply means that McCain and Romney, much like a broken clock, are occasionally capable of being accurate.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  54. Tom McNeill

    "What does it mean when the two front-runners for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney and John McCain, are calling each other 'liberals'?"

    Well, Mr. Cafferty, what it means to many of us is this:

    We are proud traditional conservative Republicans, but every 4 years, our party drifts further to the left. No one ever asked us if we supported socialized medicine, gun control, amnesty for illegals, and chicken little environmentalism, but that's what the 3 so-called "front-runners" are pushing. And, did they really think that, just because we're Christians, we'd vote for a Clintonesque preacher from Arkansas? How simpleminded does the GOP establishment think we are?

    No thanks. No more fake conservatives for us. This time we're voting for the only true traditional conservative candidate running for the Republican Presidential nomination, a man of character and independence. We'll no longer let our voices be drowned out by the chorus of U.N. and NAFTA-loving socialists who've invaded our party. We are rallying behind Dr. Ron Paul to send a message to the GOP that we want our party back, and we want our country back. Join us, and together we can make our voices heard again. If you are dissatisfied with the leftward drift of your once grand party, a vote for Ron Paul will send the RIGHT message.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  55. Jim in boston

    That they treat the phrase liberal as a pejorative suggests they have no respect for Americans with liberal opinions, and would no doubt govern accordingly – with a bias towards their conservative base. Having lived through Bush doing this, I have no yearning for a repeat. Apparently neither man has the guts to do anything but demonize straw men for their core constituents. Good riddance to both of them, I say.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  56. George

    The Republican race is all for formality. The only way one of these two win the general election is if Clinton is the Democratic nominee. I think Obama/Edwards or Edwards/Obama is going to be the Democratic ticket for 2008. If I am right Romney and McCain have no chance.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  57. Darren Hamilton

    It means that the politics of division still seem to have a stranglehold on our government. This bitter cycle of partisanship will likely continue into the next presidency and beyond, much to the dismay of many Americans. In particular, it is a bad move for McCain because it may scare away some independent voters who may be worried that his often moderate position on issues may be shifting further to the right. Barack Obama's pledge to incorporate republicans into his staff is a breath of fresh air that is much more attractive and inspiring to independent voters fed up with the usual bickering in Washington. Whether his words hold truth or not, Obama is preaching the politics of acceptance and it is a road more rewarding than any partisan name calling could afford. Wait and see.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  58. Robert Marley

    It means that these candidates are correct – they are both liberals. The real tragedy is how news organizations (like CNN) report on this stuff ad nauseum and, at the same time, dismiss the chances of the other candidates with poll numbers that have been consistently inaccurate.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  59. Karen P

    Liberal...conservative...right....left...populist...Who cares about a label? How about just "good for America"? Did Romney and McCain have lunch with Hillary by chance?

    January 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  60. Carl on Long Island

    It's 1984 time here, Jack. Black is white, up is down. "Liberal" is a GOOD thing – it means "open to new ideas", "willing to change", etc. The only way I can interpret the McCain-Romney fight is that they are each standing there saying "Vote for me because I'm more close minded than the other guy." My guess is that anyone who buys into this ridiculous debate is probably still expecting them to find WMDs in Iraq.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  61. Patrick from York, Pennsylvania

    Lou, the childish phrase, "it takes one to know one," could not be more fitting; neither McCain nor Romney are true conservatives. If voters are interested in a candidate that truly represents conservative values, Ron Paul may be the answer.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  62. Tripp

    This is a two part problem... first, we seem to have evolved into a society that believes pointing the finger and assigning fault for where our country is, and is headed, has become more acceptable than searching for bipartisan solutions to these problems.

    If any of the 4 front runners in either of the 2 camps would stop this useless bickering and focus on the principles they stand for and put forth viable bipartisan solutions to this country's problems they would be leaps and bounds ahead of the other candidates.

    Sadly, we've had a few candidates actually do this but they are no longer running.

    Second, we have the media (including CNN and others) who seem more interested in reporting on the bickering than they do about spending serious airtime on those candidates, who exist in both parties, who have made an honest effort to make this election more about the issues than the mud slinging.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Ken KS

    Jack, that's easy. Whether McCain to Romney or Romney to McCain: "It takes one to know one." These two had better not be too mean to each other, they most likely will be facing Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama in November.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  64. Alice King

    If we go to the dictionary we find several definitions for "liberal", one of which is "of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism."

    Okay, so look up liberalism. Again several definitions, one of which is "a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties."

    What's not to like about that?

    January 29, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Patrick Santa Monica, CA

    I think it very well maybe that they are both liberal and are simultaneously trying to appear to be a lesser liberal. Both have become very progressively neo-conservative in policies in this ridiculous charade to get the nomination. Its a shame the conservatives don't dump them both and recognize there is only one true conservative running for the GOP ticket.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  66. velogeezer

    Bob M:

    At the end of the day, the brutal reality is that Democrats and Republicans are opposite sides of the same wing on the same old bird.
    Romney, McCain and Huckleby even beginning to plagerize Ron Paul's ideas, research, and statements.
    Keep it up boys, and you will hand the nomination over to Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul 2008!

    January 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  67. Robin

    Jack, try spotting the conservative on the next republican debate. (Yes, on stage!)
    And you better not blink your eyes to much. You might miss him.

    Run, Ron, Run!

    January 29, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  68. Patrick from York, PA

    Jack, the childish phrase, “it takes one to know one,” could not be more fitting; neither McCain nor Romney are true conservatives. If voters are interested in a candidate that truly represents conservative values, Ron Paul may be the answer

    January 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  69. jason

    Lets forget whose endorsing who and all these politicians playing high school popularity games, and lets focus on this so called "stimulus" package, this package is appalling. Its like using piece of paper top stop a sword. I find it scary to think that they want cut all these needed programs especially when we need them the most.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  70. Kyle

    When all the GOP candidates are deemed as liberals it simply means that the Republican field of candidates is weak. Romney changes with the wind, McCain didn't vote for tax cuts, Huckabee's tax plan is very liberal, and Giuliani has liberal views on abortion and same-sex marriage. What is going on here? The Republican field has lost it's way but there is one true Republican left, Dr. Ron Paul. I have never been so let down by the Republican party but Ron Paul brings me a new hope.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  71. James V

    It means that, for once, both of them are telling the truth. This last century has seen government expand to a size that should truly horrify any conservative. Sadly, the true ideals of the Grand Old Party are long gone, and the Republicans today have taken on the left's position of foreign intervention, federal expansion, market controls, and big spending. With the exception of Ron Paul, not a single Republican running can truly define themselves as "conservative."

    January 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Mark Henneken

    It's all part of a psycho play where the so called front runners – in both parties – are all actors hired by the CFR and which again is a political theatre company sponsored by Rockefeller & the Bilderbergs.
    The idea of the play is to ultimately make both parties look so bad that Michael “The Independent Billion Dollar Man” Bloomberg (also sponsored by Rockefeller & Co) starts to look like a decent alternative for the desperate voters.
    So, while the world economy crashes, the dollar collapses and the fake, hi-jacked two-party system takes its last breath, it is "Benito" Bloomberg who gets to play the Elite's Real Front-Runner in the show – naturally with a “little” help from the media monopoly.
    A happy end ? Absolutely not.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  73. G. Beckett

    What could it possibly mean Jack? Maybe it means that the GOP are now more liberal than conservative. After all they favor spending all your money on an increasingly large and overbearing government. They have forgotten about staying out of other countries internal affairs. They write laws like the patriot act which errode away at even basic freedoms. But what it REALLY means is that its time for a third party. Perhaps called the Conservative party...now I wonder who is in a position to make that happen. I would tell you Jack, but "they" might not let you read this comment if I did.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  74. George

    Jack, it means that there are still honest men in this country. Unfortunately they are only being truthful about each other's faults. True conservatives are a dying breed in this country...that is probably why the government now spies on everything we do and rips away every one of liberties. We must all face it, Jack...Ron Paul is the only conservative in this face.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  75. becky

    Simply put it means Ron Paul is looking better and better. I hope like heck there is a box on the ballot that says none of the above.....This cast of clowns need to find a new gig.......

    January 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  76. Noel

    Jack ,
    i should think its the real thing, the democrats fighting and the repulicans fighting , so which ever two emerges will reall be the best of what America need

    January 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  77. Ann

    Maybe these two are telling the truth for a change! How refreshing!

    January 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  78. Bruce Marshall

    Jack they don't even know what a Liberal is but they will run to the middle after they get the big prize. Jack it came to me today Rudy Giuliani just had a winter vacation in Florida at the tune of what ? 30 million, I hope room service was good.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  79. melvin

    It means, you had better watch your billfold, cause I am coming after it.
    Probably not a tax increase but plenty of "fee" increases.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  80. Alex

    It means they'll both self destruct, leaving Huckabee and Paul as the top choices. Which isn't a bad thing seeing how they both are "true" to the real ideals of the Republican party.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  81. Greg from PA

    By their definition, George Bush is the biggest liberal of them all. He pushed for amnesty for illegal aliens, he grew the size of government more than any president other than Roosevelt and Reagan, and increased the national debt by spending more than any other president. So why aren't they calling him a liberal? Because they are both wooing that core Republican base that idolizes Bush and has a knee-jerk reaction to the word "liberal."

    January 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  82. Julia

    I just think it's all to give the voters a headache. Raise your hand if you agree!

    January 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  83. Dave in Colorado

    It simply means they are using "weasel words" to demonize each other in the minds of brainwashed conservatives, who believe "liberal" is a derogatory term.
    All Fluff, NO Substance!

    January 29, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  84. Maggie

    In the past decade, "liberal" has become an expletive rather than a description of a candidate's stance on each issue. The "L" word as a pejorative has been favored by radio and TV show hosts who need a catchword that is uncomplicated and can stand for "evil". There is no need for listeners/voters to think about the value of being conservative, liberal, or both on any issue.

    Candidates who have no forward vision can also take advantage of casting the "L" on an opponent. No need then to explain their own ideas iand fear alienating a segment of voters.

    It's all so easy. He/She's a liberal; vote for me.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  85. Michael M Phx AZ

    Maybe what we need is someone who is really a "liberal-conservative" and understand both sides of all the issues.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  86. Doug M

    How dare you call me a liberal ! No one can accuse me of putting the needs of the American people ahead of corporate greed and empire building !

    January 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  87. Daniel Schmid

    Ironically, they're telling the truth. They're both liberal! Just take a glance at their records and you'll barely find a hint of a conservative candidate. There's only one fiscally and socially conservative candidate in this race, but if I say his name it'll just get censored by the mainstream media.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  88. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Romney is attempting to get McCain to talk about economics and McCain is avoiding debates on economics because he is not qualified. McCain rather talk about continuing the war because the military is his only qualified subject whether he's right or wrong. I like McCain, but the economy can't withstand his lack of knowledge in this area.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  89. Eugene in NorCal

    Jack, there's nothing worse than calling a republican a liberal, but there's really no difference between the two parties anymore. On the good side, they're both running a clean and decent campaign.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  90. john

    It means it is time for a third party to represent the eighty percent (80%) of Americans that aren’t either a morally bankrupt flaming liberal or extremist war mongering religious zealot.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  91. Jerry Wilson

    Isn't it curious that the leading republican candidates believe there can be nothing worse than being called a liberal. Especially when you consider Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy were all liberals.

    Jerry Wilson

    January 29, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  92. Wendel

    Mitt and John are no more liberal than the Pope. The boxing match consists of jabs at each other without connecting, especially with voters. Edwards said it right. Does this bickering provide health care to children? I am not looking forward to negative campaign ads. Time to get the earplugs out.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  93. Derek

    Jack, this is just the process. Working with Democrats in the primary is bad. Whichever candidate wins the primary will flip on this and will campaign to moderates by talking about how important it is to be able to unite the country. This is nothing new. I'm still trying to figure out how Obama is getting away with a general election campaign in the primary.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  94. Dennis

    If they are the leaders and their calling each other liberals maybe they both recognize the need for redefining exactly which label they fit. Perhaps they could both come to the consensus that labels are ignorant and used by the ignorant in order to better understand circumstances that tend to be over ones head. Thats right people that call each other names are stupid. Please let there be a leader that does not care what others say or do and believes in their own ACTIONS and ABILITIES. It must be hard to find PRIDE in ones actions if you must constantly seek the flaws of others around you.

    January 29, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  95. Justo from Harrisburg,PA

    When will corporate media stop thinking about their own political motives and start thinking about what the American people really need? I mean, who really has any interest on whether McCain is calling Romney liberal, conservative, or whatever term they want to use. People need to wake up and ask themselves what change this country really needs. If you want the same old thing your choices are clear. You want every candidate but Ron Paul. I consider myself a common sense person. I think it is quite clear that Ron Paul is the only candidate on either side that really cares about the American people and the course this country is currently taking. So if you want somebody that cares about you, your country, your liberties, and the constituition then Ron Paul is your only choice. Don't be sucked in to the media making your choices for you. I think you're all big girls and boys that can make a wise decision on your own. Live happy not in tyranny!!!!

    January 29, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  96. Karen

    The conservatives are liberal, the liberals are conservative. It appears UNITY has been achieved.

    January 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  97. Sherrie

    It means they don't want us to concentrate on the issues. I just saw Wolf trying to get the Governor of Florida give his explanation as to why he endorsed McCain on what specific issue. His response was something like, "I think it was his issue of honesty, patriotism, etc..." It was painful to watch Wolf try to pin it down to an actual issue. Nobody wants us to know about this stuff people! Keep up the good work CNN with your name calling articles of ridiculous stories and paparazzi journalism.

    Sherrie – New Jersey

    January 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  98. Dana

    Jack, They are trying to win Independent votes. It is that simple. My vote for president hasn't been decided. I know two things: I refuse to vote for Hiliary or McCain. I went to the poll's to vote for Romney. I am sick of hearing about the Olympics; but Romney appeals to me. If I wanted another Bush; then I would vote for McCain. I would also vote for Obama or Edwards. My favorite is Ron Paul, but know one really knows who he is. Personally, I think since Obama and Romney keep talking about change they need to act like change and they should run together especially if they are up against McCain or Hiliary. That's right Jack, one republican and one democrat side by side as a President and Vice-president; this would really show change. It is obvious, nothing will ever get done in Washington unless two people decided to change things. Obama and Romney could unite this nation, congress, and the people to one. They could set the example for the house, congress, senate and the future of this country!

    January 29, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  99. Alan Warner

    It means that they have no understanding of the issues and can only resort to schoolboy tactics like name calling to get attention.

    January 29, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  100. Delmar

    Jack, they cannot say the really bad words ,, so liberal is the next in line,, to bad neither of them will get to the white house, so they should just shut up and get along because the real battle is going to be on the Democratic side,, the blood is just starting to flow there,,,, Delmar in Missouri

    January 29, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  101. JIM LAGO

    Thats the only name they can think of in their limited vocabulary. I sure wish
    they would limit their name calling and speak to the issues in detail

    January 29, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  102. Wes

    Hey, why not stoop down to their level ourselves? Jack, you're a liberal. How about you start covering their positions on issues instead of covering this petty name-calling that will help you attract more viewers and earn an extra buck.

    January 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm |